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Posted: August 22, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Quality development only

We were pleased to see Covington City Council back the Planning Commission’s recommendation not to allow any new homes to be built by The Ardent Companies, or any other developer, in the Wildwood community until the developer builds a second access road.

During our great growth boom in the 2000s, developers were given carte blanche to put up large numbers of houses, many made of cheap materials, without really investing in the properties.

There was barely any enforcement of developers’ promises to build roads, parks and other amenities that would be beneficial to the residents of those subdivisions. And, because many of these developers were allowed to break their promises, and banks and mortgage lenders did equally shoddy work on the loans they gave out, we’re left with weed-infested lots, cracking roads and run-down, abandoned houses.

We suffered through one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, and many businesses that counted on this artificial growth to survive have failed.

We have a beautiful county with bountiful agriculture and water, and we have three colleges and an improving school system that was dragged down because of the fast growth.

The Baxter International manufacturing plant now under construction will attract many competent businesses to our community, which we hope will, in turn, attract other businesses.

There is no need for us to allow developers to operate here unless they want to build first-class communities that have all the amenities budgeted ahead of time. The costs for those amenities should be passed on to the new homeowners.

We hope our political leaders have learned a valuable lesson from our past mistakes; based on new bonding requirements for developers, we believe they have.

Newton County should be known as a great place to own a home, a place that attracts people with families who care about their community.

It might take a little longer to procure the kind of development we want, but, in the long run, it will only make our county a better place to live.

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