A reluctant and divided Dalton-Varnell-Whitfield County Planning Commission on Monday recommended rezoning that could bring a Dollar General store to Varnell.

The commission makes recommendations to the city councils of Dalton and Varnell and the county Board of Commissioners on rezoning requests.

The commission members voted 2-1 to recommend approving a request by DGP Single Tenant Georgia to rezone to general commercial from general agriculture 1.73 acres at 4036 Highway 2. Commissioners Eric Barr and Octavio Perez voted to recommend the rezoning. Commissioner Chris Shiflett voted against.

All of the commissioners expressed discomfort at commercial use extending further into what is now an agricultural area. But they noted that the area across the highway is general commercial and that there is general commercial east of the property at the intersection with Cleveland Highway, with several longstanding businesses in both areas.

Ethan Calhoun, a planner for the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission who does staff work for the planning commission, said the proposed rezoning is not out of character for the area and would not conflict with the comprehensive plan for the area.

The Varnell City Council will make the final decision on the rezoning.

The planning commission members unanimously recommended approving:

• A request by Garland Barnes to rezone to rural residential from low-density, single-family residential 1.52 acres at 400 Sam Love Road.

• A request by Nicholas Tucker to rezone to general agriculture from low-density, single-family residential 20 acres on Bowers Road.

• A request by Edwin and Jose Machado to annex .17 of an acre at 1232 Frazier Drive into the city of Dalton.

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