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Dearing Road apartment complex plans approved after zoning in place for 34 years
Home Construction

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County planning commissioners recently approved early plans for single- and multi-family developments that have been in the works in one case for decades.

Commissioners approved a preliminary plat for a 176-unit apartment complex whose zoning had been in place for 34 years southeast of Covington.

Covington Place apartments are planned on 10.5 acres on Dearing Road at Dearing Woods Way. They are part of a planned unit development called Covington Plantation that was first approved in 1988, according to county records.

A PUD essentially is approved as a single entity that can include a mix of multi-family and single-family residential uses. Covington Plantation already has a single-family area and a multi-family section called the Townhomes at Dearing.

Commissioners also approved the extension of approval for a 15-year-old preliminary plat for Cornish Hills on a total of 211 acres west of Lake Varner in north Newton County.

The proposed preliminary plat includes multiple parcels on Cornish Mountain Road, Flat Rock Road and Hale Drive which will be combined on a final plat and developed under the Open Space Conservation Residential regulations in the zoning ordinance.

The Open Space regulations require at least one-third of the site to be conserved in minimally disturbed natural areas that must be maintained under such uses as wetlands, forested areas, meadows, wildlife corridors, game preserves, agricultural, parks, pedestrian trails, bike paths, utility easements and corridors; or for the preservation of historic and cultural resources.

Cornish Hills’ preliminary plat includes 75 lots on 211 acres for a density of 0.36 units per acre with 33% — 70 acres — to remain as open space.

Planning commissioners must approve a preliminary plat before a final site plan and plat can be approved by the planning staff and building permits issued, according to the county zoning ordinance.

Also at its most recent meeting on March 22, the county planning commission:

• Voted to approve with conditions a preliminary plat for an eight-lot subdivision on 20.5 acres on Malcom Road.

• Voted to table (delay action) on a request for a rezoning of 2.3 acres at 12862 Brown Bridge Road from single-family residential to commercial, and a request for an exemption to parking requirements in the Salem Road Overlay District.

The site is directly across Brown Bridge Road from Walmart. Applicant Taylor English Duma LLC is seeking a special exemption to overlay district regulations that limit parking to two rows in front of commercial properties.

• Voted to approve with conditions the rezoning of 9.5 acres at 200 Bates Road from Agricultural to Agricultural Residential.

• Voted to approve two requests for 33.7 acres at 55 Potts Lane, including a rezoning from Agricultural Residential to Agricultural, and a conditional use permit to establish a tree service.