Let’s say you want to build something but the land isn’t properly zoned. For Dollar General, that hasn’t been a problem for a store at the intersection of 11th and Ash streets, where construction began a month before the city council on May 21 approved a rezone from industrial uses. Mayor Jim Langfelder, who allowed building to begin on the condition it must stop if the council said no, says it’s arguably a downzoning, given that Hobbs Honeywell once ran a factory on the site. “That’s a part of town where we want retail development,” the mayor said. But aldermen blasted Dollar General for litter and overgrown grass at its other stores in Springfield. “They’ve turned out to be horrible neighbors,” said Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner, who told colleagues that multiple calls to management do no good and store managers have been belligerent. Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin said he shared Turner’s concerns. When Ward 4 Ald. John Fulgenzi said a Dollar General in his ward had caused no problems, he was refuted by Turner and Darryl Harris of the public works department, who confirmed complaints about migrating trash that prompted the city to require fencing around trash disposal areas. “People kept calling me about it,” Turner said. Outgoing Ward 2 Ald. Herman Senor praised the project but incoming Ward 2 Ald. Gail Simpson said the store took constituents by surprise, and she would have opposed it. “I would have opposed it pretty much because there’s a glut of Dollar Generals in Springfield,” Simpson said. “I would have worked to see what other options were available.”

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