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County denies request
Planned day care won't get expansion

COVINGTON - County commissioners have denied a request to expand a day care planned for Salem Road.

Commissioners rezoned the 5.5-acre parcel, located just south of Westgate Parkway, to neighborhood commercial in August, and now applicant Nathan Adrian is requesting a modification of the site plan.

The adjustment would include increasing the maximum number of students allowed from 235 to 338 and increasing the square footage from 11,230 to 15,454, to allow for construction of a gym adjacent to the day care.

There was no opposition to the petition, but District 3 Commissioner Ester Fleming said the overburdened road would not accommodate additional traffic.

"I've looked at this, and I've had grave concerns regarding more cars put out there on Salem Road," he said.

The petition was unanimously denied.

Commissioners also denied a variance request from Christopher A. Clarey to allow commercial vehicles to be parked on less than 10 acres on his property at 100 Lake Forest Drive.

Clarey said he'll use the equipment to earn a living after retiring from the military. He has had a Bobcat on the property for some time, but discovered the machine was not allowed on his 5.5-acre tract when he went to the Planning and Development Department to apply for a business license.

The county ordinance permits only one large commercial vehicle per 10 acres. Clarey requested a variance to allow two vehicles on his property, a request that was denied by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Clarey said his closest neighbors did not oppose the petition, but he had met with opposition from neighbors down the street.

Maxine and Marlene Wood both spoke against the petition, saying the street is too narrow to accommodate commercial vehicles. Marlene Wood said she recently had to drive off the road to allow a dump truck to pass her.

"I know our street is not for large vehicles. I know there will be potholes soon that I'll have to go by," she said.

Clarey said he's seen people in violation of the county ordinance and said it should be enforced across the board.

"I suggest if I get denied that maybe you might want to look at enforcing this throughout the county," he said, before commissioners voted to deny his petition.

In other news, commissioners approved a request by Gail and Lonnie Humphries of 131 Boogers Hill Road to replace their existing residence with a manufactured home.

The Humphries were appealing a denial by the Planning Commission.

The Humphries said their house was in disrepair. Newton County Code Enforcement has been out to the house and issued a warning against the couple for storing junk vehicles in their yard. A code enforcement officer with the county wrote a letter June 6 stating the property was in 100 percent compliance.

But neighbors said the vehicles have not been removed, but have instead been moved to the woods.

Darlene Smith read a letter on behalf of her elderly parents, Thomas and Virginia Dodgen, saying the Humphries have not taken care of their current home and they are afraid the same thing will happen with the manufactured home.

"Any home that is not maintained will fall apart, but a mobile home will fall apart sooner," Smith said.

Class A manufactured homes are built to the same or better standards as stick built homes, according to Planning and Development Director Marian Eisenberg.

Commissioners approved the petition with assurance from Eisenberg that code enforcement would make sure the property is in compliance.

Finally, commissioners also approved a conditional use permit for Adjahnae Vereen to operate a day care for 12 children at 90 Cornus Drive.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.