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DeKalb commissioner featured in New York Times for work related to dollar stores

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DeKalb commissioner featured in New York Times for work related to dollar stores

DeKalb County Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson. Photo provided to Tucker Observer

DeKalb County, GA — Following the passage of text amendments to DeKalb’s zoning ordinance, Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson is featured in the New York Times for her work related to small box discount retail stores and healthy food options requirements.

In the article, Cochran-Johnson details how communities across the United States, including DeKalb County, have addressed the proliferation of small box discount retail stores (SBDRS) in their neighborhoods, according to a press release.

Cochran-Johnson has become a credible authority on ways to address the rapid growth of dollar stores and similar business models, due to legislation she introduced in February 2019, which led to an enacted moratorium in December 2019 halting the issuance of new business licenses to SBDRS.

“It was an honor to be interviewed for the New York Times,” Cochran-Johnson said. “I am happy to see the proliferation of dollar stores receive national attention and communities address the adverse effect of these stores.”

In December 2022, the board of commissioners unanimously passed comprehensive text amendments to the DeKalb Zoning Ordinance to set distance requirements with the intent to diminish crime and mitigate negative consequences linked to SBDRS.

According to a report by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, about 75 communities have voted down planned dollar stores, while about 50, like DeKalb County, have enacted moratoriums or other limitations on their development.

“I am proud to see DeKalb County receive national attention as a progressive thinker on the forefront of developing legislation that creates the best outcome for communities when faced with known consequences of adverse development,” Cochran-Johnson said. “I also want it to be known that I am a dollar store shopper. My only concern is ensuring retailers of any type do not have a harmful effect on our communities.”

To read the complete New York Times article, click here.

To view the text amendments by DeKalb County Planning and Sustainability to the Zoning Ordinance and all other sections, click here.

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