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Covington denies special use permit for body shop
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The vacant building used to be the home of Goodyear and Aamco. (Jackie Gutknecht | The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. - The Covington City Council denied a special use permit (SUP) for an auto body repair shop on Eagle Drive in a 5-1 vote after concerns from residents were raised about the noise and additional traffic that would result from the business. 

Located at 10500 Eagle Drive in Covington, is a vacant building that has formerly been the home of Goodyear Tire Company, from 2003 to 2011, and Aamco Transmissions & Total Car Care, from May 2012 to October 2012. Classic Collison, an Atlanta-based body shop company, saw the building as the perfect spot for its next satellite location, Robert Armstrong of Classic Collision, said.

Armstrong said, had the SUP been approved, the collision center would be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week, with no weekend hours. He said there would be seven or eight employees at the location and the added traffic impact would be roughly 35 trips daily. The building can store up to 14 or 15 vehicles at a time inside, so there would be no need for outdoor overnight storage, he said.

Five major insurance companies have asked Classic Collision to have a location in the area due to its high customer satisfaction rating, Armstrong said.

Residents from the neighboring 55-and-up subdivision attended Monday night’s council meeting in force and spoke out against the business, even providing a petition with 27 signatures against the SUP.

One of the residents, Warren Liem, said around eight houses could be directly impacted by the noise from the business.

Tyron Jones, another resident, said he moved to the area in February of last year from Greensboro because of the peace and tranquility it offered. He said if the SUP was approved he would consider putting his house on the market.

“I doubt very seriously that there will be members of the subdivision utilizing the services of this business,” he said. “So it’s not an asset, it’s like a landfill moving in.”

Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said he wished the subdivision residents and Classic Collision representatives would get together to see if a compromise was possible. 

Councilman Josh McKelvey was the only vote in favor of the SUP.