Salem overlay work begins

COVINGTON -- The planning of the future of the Salem Road corridor is in the first stages.

In preparation for adopting an overlay district along the corridor, spanning from the Rockdale County line to Ga. Highway 81, county commissioners recently approved a $40,050 contract with The Collaborative Firm of Atlanta. Consultants will study the area, meet with stakeholders and come up with the specific components of the overlay district.

"Our intent is to implement what the 2050 Plan calls for in this area," said Scott Sirotkin, director of the Department of Development Services. "Exactly how that will play out will be determined by stakeholders and the community input process."

The resulting ordinance will likely be similar to what was adopted in 2010 with the Almon Overlay, addressing land use, design and building materials, and designating a mixed-use town center, he said.

Property owners in the area and other stakeholders will be invited to attend upcoming meetings. The process will take about eight months, Sirotkin said.

The potential widening of Salem Road and the impact to the overlay will be one of the first items addressed by consultants, he added.

The county commission is currently hashing out details of an ordinance to regulate alcohol sales, which will potentially be on the ballot in November. As the ordinance currently stands, by-the-drink sales would be allowed only in overlay areas. If the Salem Overlay is approved, this could be an area where alcohol sales are allowed. Currently, only a portion of the Almon overlay and the town center at Stanton Springs would qualify.

"Other areas, such as a portion of the proposed Salem Overlay, or a portion of a Brick Store overlay when that is developed, would have to be added by the board once they are identified and overlay standards are adopted by the board," Sirotkin said.


bartsimpson 3 years, 5 months ago

I don't think for one minute that selling liquor by the drink will cause a huge influx of white cloth restaurant chains to locate to the Salem Road corridor. Major restaurant chains will choose instead to be within one mile of an interstate exit. Who would want to exit I-20 and detour five miles to eat. There's not enough local income to support a major restaurant chain. Just because Walmart and Kroger have opened community retail outlets in these areas does not mean that it will become a thriving shopping district. I think a more logical geographic proposal would be the Almon road, Highway 11 district.


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