Cobblestone Museum has petitions to oppose Dollar General in historic district

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 July 2018 at 7:41 am

File photo: The Cobblestone Schoolhouse District 5 was built in 1849 and was used as a school until 1952. In 1961, it was acquired by the Cobblestone Museum.

GAINES – The Cobblestone Museum is planning to submit petitions to the Town of Gaines against a proposed Dollar General in the Commercial/Historical District on Ridge Road.

The new store could be built across from the cobblestone schoolhouse that was built in 1849. The Dollar General is eyed for what is now wooded land, east of the Route 98 intersection. That land is zoned commercial and a new store is an allowed use.

Because it is in the Commercial/Historical District, the town has more discretion for how the building should look to better blend in with the historic character of the Ridge.

The petition urges the Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals, which also functions as the Planning Board in Gaines, to do “all in their power to reject this proposal.”

Besides the Erie Canal, the Cobblestone Museum is the only National Historic Landmark in Orleans County. Putting a Dollar General across from the cobblestone school, “will mar the character and ambiance” of the Cobblestone Museum’s historic buildings on Ridge Road and also just south of Route 104 on Route 98.

The petition also states that the Town of Gaines won’t receive any direct sales tax from a Dollar General and the potential tax relief offered by the new building “will be negligible.”

Dollar General has five stores in Orleans County. The fifth Dollar General opened Dec. 18 in Kendall. That new store is 9,100 square feet. Other stores are located on West Avenue in Albion, Route 31 in Holley, Maple Ridge Road in Medina and Ridge Road in Medina (just south of Lyndonville).

“We believe that agricultural based, or locally owned businesses best reflect the character of the Town of Gaines,” the petition states. “This proposal sets a dangerous precedent for other national corporate entities to encroach on the town we love.”

Museum officials plan to submit the petitions to the Gaines Zoning Board of Appeals at the ZBA’s next meeting, 7 p.m. on Aug. 6. People are welcome to stop by the museum and sign a petition.

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