Clarkston halts new gas stations, dollar stores and storage companies

Clarkston City Hall. (ALYSSA POINTER/alyssa.pointer@ajc.com)

Clarkston has put a six-month pause on new gas stations, dollar stores and self-storage facilities coming to the city.

Separate moratoriums for all three industries were approved at Tuesday’s council meeting in the small DeKalb County city. Officials plan to conduct a rewrite of the Clarkston zoning code and want to be strategic about how available space is used in the future, Councilwoman Y.T. Bell said.

In the meantime, she said, it is best for the city to temporarily block the businesses from opening shop. Resolutions passed by the council argue Clarkston has an “over-abundance” of them, and that they may be negatively impacting the city.

According to city records, Clarkston currently has three mini-warehouses or self-storage facilities, seven gas stations and three dollar stores, which are technically called “small box stores.” The city spans less than two square miles.

Last year, DeKalb County imposed a moratorium on dollar stores in unincorporated parts of the county while researchers study their economic impact. The city of Stonecrest banned them completely, with officials arguing they give off a bad look for the community and contribute to food insecurity.

Clarkston’s ordinance would allow a new dollar to open in the next six months if it dedicates at least 15% of its shelf space to fresh or fresh frozen food.

All three moratoriums are set to expire Sept. 21.

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