Clarion planning panel will address Walmart, Dollar General requests

The Clarion County Planning Commission has been asked to grant final approval for a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General in Limestone Township.

The final approval was on the agenda for the commission’s meeting Wednesday, but the session was canceled due to inclement weather. It has been rescheduled for this Wednesday.

The new store is slightly larger than the last Dollar General built in Clarion County. That store, located along Route 322 in Shippenville, is about 7,200 square feet.

The Limestone store is located along Route 66 across from Palmer’s Store.

Dollar General also has stores in Leeper, Rimersburg, Knox, Strattanville, Fryburg and Clarion.

Trade magazine Business Insider says Dollar General now has more locations than McDonald’s and Starbucks. Dollar General has 15,227 stores, McDonald’s 14,000 and Starbucks 14,600.

In 2017, Dollar General opened new locations at a rate of around four stores a day. The company opened 900 new stores last year and plans to open 975 more stores this year.

Walmart charging station

In another matter scheduled to come before the Clarion planning commission, the Walmart Real Estate Business Trust plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at the Walmart Supercenter in Monroe Township.

The request to the planning commission is for relief from the 10-by-20 foot parking space size requirement and relief from the minimum 40-foot building setback requirement for an electric vehicle charging station.

Installation of the charging stations is relatively new. In August, said Walmart partnered with Electrify America as part of the retailer’s effort to “grow the plug and charge national network that fits with Walmart’s sustainability initiative.”

Walmart last year announced plans to add several hundred more electric vehicle charging stations over the next few years. The new stations will span 36 states and bring Walmart’s total number of chargers to well over 1,000.

That will make Walmart one of the nation’s leading charging station hosts.

The Walmart charging stations are part of a broader Electrify America project to install 2,000 chargers at nearly 500 charging stations across the country by June.