COVINGTON -- Commissioners shot down a request for a conditional use permit to open a personal care home on Ga. Highway 81 South at Tuesday night's board meeting.
Applicant Kaprisky Pierre requested permission to open an assisted-living facility for three clients in a three-bedroom home at 2129 Ga. Highway 81 S. Clients would be mentally stable but in need of assistance with some basic tasks such as laundry and cooking, Pierre said.
Pierre, a registered nurse, said she would be the primary caregiver, and would have two assistants who would relieve her when needed. Pierre said she has experience supervising a much larger facility with 105 residents and a large staff.
Pierre said vehicles for visitors and staff could park in the backyard.
About 50 residents in the area signed a petition in opposition to the request. Two residents who spoke during citizens' comments said the roadway in front of the home is dangerous, with a hill that creates a blind spot.
They also expressed concern that the more than 1,500-square-foot house and its driveway and yard are of in adequate size to accommodate the residents and visitors.
Commissioners also were concerned about safety hazards related to the state highway.
The speed limit on Ga. 81 is 55 mph, and Commissioner Nancy Schulz said she has several similar facilities in her district and residents have been found wandering along the road. She asked Pierre what safeguards would be put in place to keep residents and motorists safe.
Pierre said she would fence in the backyard and install a security system, as well as keep track of residents at all times.
"Even though the speed limit is 55 mph, we all know they go a lot faster through that area," said Commissioner Tim Fleming, who represents District 5, where the home is located. Fleming made a motion to deny the permit, citing incompatibility with adjacent properties, inadequacy of the public street to accommodate additional traffic that would be generated and an unreasonable and adverse impact on adjacent property owners. The motion was approved 4 to 1 with J.C. Henderson opposed.