COVINGTON, Ga. — County officials hope “to have a solution finalized and put in place as quickly as possible” to shore up what residents say is drainage from a new subdivision that has plagued an existing west Newton neighborhood for months.
The Pulte Group, developers of the 187-acre Westfield Village development, are evaluating a different way for rainwater to drain from the new subdivision rather than it entering adjacent Creekview neighborhood, said county spokesperson Bryan Fazio.
He said county Development Services interim director Shena Applewhaite “had a productive meeting” Wednesday, Aug. 10, with Pulte officials about a possible solution to the problem of red clay-filled water flowing into back yards and streets of Creekview, which is adjacent to the east side of Westfield Village off Kirkland Road.
“This conversation was the latest in a series of discussions between Newton County staff and the developers in an effort to eliminate the issues impacting residents of the Creekview community,” Fazio said.
County Commissioner Alana Sanders said officials were discussing installation of “new infrastructure” in the affected area of Westfield Village to divert the stormwater flow.
“Development Services has answered the call for each occurrence I have reported and currently connecting with the development,” she said.
Macey Kessler, corporate conmunications manager for the Pulte Group, said the Atlanta-based company is “actively working with Newton County officials on a solution to enhance stormwater management and drainage without impact to surrounding properties.
“Pulte Homes prides itself on being an integral part of the communities where we build and is committed to being a positive presence and good neighbor in the community,” Kessler said.
Some Creekview residents complained recently they have seen regular flows of water after a retention pond was built in an effort to stop the runoff from affecting them, WSB-TV reported.
County officials have dealt with complaints since at least December 2021 when they investigated a mud-filled stream that residents claimed had started as ponding water on nearby land cleared for construction for Westfield Village and breeched the retention pond that was stopping it from moving to a lower point.
One resident said constantly flowing water has damaged her fence while others say the water has left their yards constantly muddy and possibly damaging to their homes’ foundations.
Sanders told residents in an email that county leaders stated before development of the project “that this wasn’t good land to build on,” WSB-TV reported.
The 187-acre Westfield Village is to include 542 lots combining townhomes and single-family homes and some commercial retail space at Salem and Kirkland roads, according to a preliminary plat approved in January 2021.
Pulte, a nationally known homebuilder, is developing the project which will be valued at $145 million at buildout in 2025, according to a Development of Regional Impact filed with the state government in 2020.
The new subdivision is located on the east and south sides of 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 is being built around an existing road, Westgate Parkway, created as part of a subdivision approved in 2005 but never fully developed.