Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson Is Featured Today In ‘New York Times’ Article on Dollar Stores

DeKalb County’s recently passed text amendments to the Zoning Ordinance cited for its small box discount retail store distance and healthy food options requirements.

DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson is featured today in a New York Times article detailing how communities across the United States, including DeKalb County, have addressed the proliferation of small box discount retail stores (SBDRS) in their neighborhoods.

Commissioner Cochran-Johnson has become a credible and desired authority on ways to address the rapid growth of dollar stores and similar business models, due in large part to legislation that was authored and introduced by her in February 2019, which led to an enacted moratorium that same December halting the issuance of new business licenses to SBDRS.

Since that time, Commissioner Cochran-Johnson has been cited or interviewed in over twenty articles and news stories featuring similar coverage surrounding the efforts of local municipalities to curb the development of dollar stores in their jurisdiction.

“It was an honor to be interviewed for the New York Times,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “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, after almost three years of discussions and research spurred by the Moratorium requested by Commissioner Cochran-Johnson, the DeKalb County 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, a national research and advocacy organization that is critical of corporate control and its effects on community power, close to 75 communities have voted down planned dollar stores, while approximately 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,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “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.”

The New York Times article cites DeKalb County’s distance and healthy food option requirements under the text amendments, as well as sheds light on similar efforts throughout other United States municipalities. 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 therein, click here.


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