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IDA industrial rezoning request supported
Covington planning commission votes 4-1 to recommend request
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The Covington Planning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend approval of the annexation and rezoning to heavy industrial of 160 acres owned by the Newton County Industrial Development Authority along Ga. Highway 142 and Airport Road.

The industrial development authority asked for the changes so the state will market the property to prospective industries. Authority member Frank Turner Jr. said the city also has a dearth of available industrial land and the parcels would adjoin the existing Covington-Newton County Industrial Park.

Neighbors of the property packed City Hall for Tuesday night's planning meeting. Some told commission members that they opposed rezoning and were concerned about the affect on the environment, property values and traffic.

Mike Traylor, who lives next to the property on City Pond Road, presented a petition of signatures from area residents opposed to the rezoning. He said he was concerned that the 50-foot buffer set by the commission would be insufficient.

Other residents expressed concerns about traffic. According to city officials, a traffic study cannot be ordered because no one knows what kind of business will locate there.

The commission voted 4-1 to approve the annexation and rezoning, with Greg Shy opposed. Member Eula Hardeman recused herself from the discussion and vote, because she had signed the petition in opposition to the rezoning. Members Michael Geoffrey, Paul Oeland, Ruel Parker and John Travis voted in favor of the motion.

The measure must now be presented to the Covington City Council. No date has been set for its presentation.

For more details continue to check or read Friday's edition of The Covington News.