Plans for Dollar General Delayed in Inlet Beach

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INLET BEACH - A group of South Walton residents are getting more time to fight a retail giant that plans to move into their neighborhood.

Dollar General wants to build a store on the corner of Highway 98 and North Walton Lake Shore Drive, near the Grande Pointe subdivision.

Neighbors say the store would lower property values, increase traffic and congestion, and is incompatible with the surrounding development.

They've started an online petition against the store and say more they've got more than 300 signatures.

In the interest of full disclosure, we must point out Newschannel 7's Chief Meteorologist Chris Smith is one of the organizers of the online petition. Thursday night the issue went to the Walton County Design Review Board.

The board members delayed Dollar General's plans because of issues with the outside lighting, lack of landscaping and false windows, which are not allowed.

"If it's gonna be there, then let's do it correctly, let's do... the right architecture, the right sitework, the right screening, the right traffic, which is not within the perveiw of the Design Review Board and it's safe. Is it consistent with the design corridor? And, is it consistent with the architecture and the indigenous nature of Inlet Beach?" says Larry Brocato, a resident of Inlet Beach.

Dollar General will have to modify the plans before going back to the Design Review board in September.

If the board passes the plans, the next stop would be the County Planning Commission, followed by the County Commission.