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Newton planning board OKs more home lots in $145M mixed-use plan
Home Construction

COVINGTON, Ga. — More home lots have been added to a proposed $145 million mixed-use project on Newton County's west side.

Newton County planning commissioners on Jan. 26 approved a preliminary plat for a 542-lot, mixed-use subdivision called Westfield Village combining townhomes, single-family homes and some commercial retail space on a 187-acre site at Salem and Kirkland roads.

The commission already had approved nationally known homebuilder The Pulte Group’s request for 521 lots in October. Planning commissioners on Jan. 26 approved the addition of 21 more lots to the plan.

The multi-use subdivision will be valued at $145 million at buildout in 2025, according to a Development of Regional Impact filing with the state.

Any developer must gain approval of a preliminary plat from the county planning commission before installing utilities and doing other work to prepare for new residential subdivisions in unincorporated Newton County.

Preliminary plats must include such items as the layout of lots, location of streets and their proposed names, types and location of stormwater drainage facilities, and more, according to the Newton County Development Regulations.  

Westfield Village will include part of a formerly planned subdivision approved in 2005 but never fully developed. The new subdivision will be built around an existing road, Westgate Parkway.

The site is behind the Covington Marketplace shopping center on Salem Road, which is anchored by Kroger supermarket and borders the north side of the historic Salem Campground.

It will have an entrance off Kirkland Road, access to Salem Road and at least one other entrance, according to plans.

Rick Martin of The Pulte Group Martin told a member of the Creekview Heights Neighborhood Association that the road layout in Westfield Village was designed to slow traffic through the area. As a result, it will discourage motorists from using roads in neighboring Creekview Heights as a cut-through to the main roads it borders.

He said single-family homes in the subdivision likely will be in the $250,000 to $350,000 range. A swimming pool and clubhouse will be included as an amenity for homeowners.

Walking paths are planned within the interior and residents are within walking distance of the nearby shopping center, he said.

The site is within the Salem Overlay District, which requires homes to have brick or stone front facades, among other design standards.

County Development Services director Judy Johnson noted the Newton County Board of Commissioners approved a moratorium on new zoning applications recently which will allow the county to address such issues as infrastructure around large subdivisions. Salem Road also is planned for widening, Johnson said.

The county planning commission also voted to:

• Recommend the Board of Commissioners rezone 42 acres from the Agricultural zone to a type of zoning designed for the Stanton Springs Business Park on Shire Parkway in northeast Newton County.

The Joint Development Authority of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton manages the business park which includes part of Newton County south of Social Circle.

Authority attorney Andrea Gray said the additional land will be used to attract more industries to the park, which already includes Takeda Pharmaceuticals. 

Facebook also is building a 900,000-square-foot data center in Stanton Springs and has announced plans for construction of an additional 1.5 million square feet of space.

• Approve a preliminary plat for Monticello-based VI Land Sales LLC for a 41-lot subdivision named Sampson Creek Bluffs on 55 acres on Ga. Highway 212 at Bethany Road.

• Recommend the county commission rezone 30 acres on Henderson Mill Road from Agricultural to Agricultural Residential to subdivide the land into lots for members of a family to build individual homes for themselves.