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County board OKs preliminary plan for 500-lot subdivision in west Newton
Westfield development
This site plan shows the Westfield Village development at Salem Road and Kirkland Road, adjacent to Covington Marketplace shopping center. For more business-related news, see A12. (Special to The Covington News)

COVINGTON, Ga. — A plan for a $145 million development containing more than 500 single-family homes and townhomes in western Newton has received a preliminary nod from a county board.

The Newton County Planning Commission voted Tuesday, Oct. 27, to approve a preliminary plat for Westfield Village that includes more than 400 single-family homes and about 130 townhomes on 185 acres on Salem Road at Kirkland Road.

The site is adjacent to Covington Marketplace shopping center, which is anchored by Kroger supermarket. 

Developers estimated a 2025 completion of the $145 million project in a submission of plans to state officials.

They also estimated traffic could reach 12,000 vehicle trips per day to the subdivision when built out — though a traffic study had not been completed, according to the Development of Regional Impact filed with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Rick Martin of developer Pulte Group of Alpharetta said houses on 55 lots previously developed on the site likely would be offered at $300,000 to $350,000 each. 

Homes on the remaining lots would start at $260,000 and go up to $350,000, he estimated.

An amenity plan included a swimming pool, seating area and linear park, he said.

“This has a lot of walkability,” Martin said.

The site is bounded by Plum Orchard, a duplex development, on the north; the historic Salem Campground site and Pebble Brook subdivision on the south; Creekview Heights subdivision on the east; and Covington Marketplace on the west.

Westfield Village will have access from Salem and Kirkland roads, plans showed. 

It previously was approved as a residential subdivision, also called Westfield Village, in 2007. 

Developers installed asphalt streets with curb and gutter, water and sewer lines, storm drainage systems and underground electricity but never filed a final plat, according to a staff report to planning commissioners. 

Commissioners on Tuesday approved the submitted plan for 521 residential lots despite Martin saying his plan showed 542 lots. 

Development Director Judy Johnson said Pulte could return with a revised plat if it wanted more than 521 lots.

A commercial area on 27 acres of the site, containing six outparcels and parking for retail shops, is planned for the west side of the project fronting Salem Road. However, commissioners only considered the residential part of the plan at their Tuesday meeting.

Commissioners’ preliminary approval allows Pulte to further develop its plans before it returns to the planning staff for final plat approval — at which time it can begin obtaining land disturbance permits.

In other action, the planning commission approved a preliminary plat for Cobblestone Apartments on a 35-acre site at 3655 Fairview Road in Covington.

The site is near the new location of the Ginn Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram dealership on Access Road in Covington. It will have frontage on a proposed new road called Cobblestone Lane, according to a staff report.

A total of 318 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are planned, along with a clubhouse, fitness center, car wash area and dog park.

Apartment sizes will range from 650 square feet for a one-bedroom, to 1,000 square feet for a three-bedroom unit. Monthly rents will range from $1,100 to $1,500 and will not be government subsidized, developers said.