Newton’s town planning commissioners sidestep objections, approve home daycare and retail hub
COVINGTON, Georgia. – Neighbors’ objections failed to convince Newton County Planning Commissioners to recently approve two projects that deviated from current zoning restrictions in adjacent areas.
The planning committee voted on May 25 to give final approval for a daycare to operate inside a residential zoned area near Porterdale.
Planning Commissioners also recommended that Newton County Commissioners Council approve rezoning for a mixed-use commercial project on Salem and Smith Store Roads despite neighbors’ forecasts of increased traffic congestion on Salem Road. and the decrease in the value of their properties.
Chess’Mia James was able to get the final approval of an administrative use permit from the Planning Commission to operate a daycare center at her home on an R2 (Residential Single-Family) site because she said she planned to serve a maximum of six children. .
An application for more than six children would have required James to receive a conditional use permit requiring the approval of the council of commissioners, according to reports from the county development services department.
James said she plans to operate a Christian day care center at the end of a cul-de-sac at 13 Manor Oak Drive.
She said she recently graduated in early childhood education and wanted to create a program to prepare children up to 5 years old for kindergarten.
James said she plans to operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and use her home as a daycare for only a year, while she looks for another location.
She said she plans to communicate with parents in a way that prevents vehicles from queuing for children to drop off.
Supporters of James’ plan also told planning commissioners that she had shown herself to be a “leader” in starting a business.
However, a nearby resident, Betty Tanquary, said she can’t remember anyone who had operated a daycare center in the neighborhood in its 25-year history.
She also complained that a daycare would obstruct traffic on Manor Oak Drive because it would add more vehicles to those already parked on the street.
Another resident said he and his wife had lived on Manor Oak Drive for six years. He said they were 70 years old and they chose their house because it was at a dead end.
His home is also adjacent to the daycare site which he says lacks “even the short-term parking that a daycare business would need to operate.”
He also said the restrictive covenants restricted the homes in the subdivision to residential use only.
However, County Attorney Paul Frickey said subdivision agreements are civil matters and do not affect the actions of the planning commission.
Zoning administrator Tracy Hernandez said James has met all the requirements for an administrative use permit.
She said James had agreed to install a fence of at least four feet around any play area, as required by state law.
James would also be required to pass a fire inspection and obtain a state day care license and a county business license.
Planning Commissioner Vivian Richardson moved approval and the vote was unanimous.
Residents west of Newton’s neighbors also failed to convince town planning commissioners to reject Conyers-based CSCL Holdings LLC’s request to change the zoning for the construction of offices and a building. Fast food restaurant on a 6.6 acre site on Salem Road in Smith Store Road.
Residents of the neighboring Westminster subdivision said the rezoning would result in a development that would further clog the two-lane road in Salem and reduce the value of their properties.
Nancy Penn, a longtime resident of Smith Store Road, said she wanted commissioners to deny rezoning in order to prevent commercial development in the area which she said was part of future land use plans county for the region.
“We want our residential neighborhood,” Penn said. “We want it to stay that way.”
The request to change its current residential zoning to CH (Highway Commercial) was in line with the intent of the county’s comprehensive plan and the future land use map, planning staff said.
Planning Commissioner Ronnie Glover said GDOT plans call for the widening of Salem Road, which is Georgia Hwy. 162, when the developers were finishing their multi-use project.
The Planning Commission then voted to recommend to the Council of Commissioners to definitively approve the rezoning at the June 15 Council meeting.
The Newton County Planning Commission also voted to approve:
• An application by Jim Chapman Communities of Atlanta to rezone 35 acres at City Pond Road and Georgia Hwy. 142 from M2 (heavy industry) to RMF (multi-family residential) to develop a 226 unit townhouse development near Three Ring Studio.
Developer Jim Chapman told commissioners he is planning an upscale community called Studio Village with rents in the range of $ 1,650.
The zoning change request is sent to the Council of Commissioners for final approval.
• A preliminary platform for a 52-lot residential subdivision called Covington Creek on 20.47 acres at 3539, 3480, 3489 and 3549 Fairview Road.
Chris Harrell is the applicant and developer of the site, which was already zoned R3 (Single Family Residential).
A related candidate, Summit Engineering Consulting, had previously requested a zoning change to multi-family for townhouses on the same site, but the planning commission recommended the denial amid strong opposition from the neighborhood earlier this year. .
Approved preliminary dishes are transferred to county planning staff for administrative reviews and final dish approval rather than the county commission.