Dollar General, McDonald's coming to Ga. Hwy 11

COVINGTON — Residents near the Ga. Highway 11 and Interstate 20 corridor can expect two new businesses to be built near Georgia Perimeter College.

A 9,100-square-foot store will be constructed to become a Dollar General. The company has worked with the county to comply with the future Brick Store overlay district standards including downcast lighting in the parking lot and separate block letters for the store’s signage.

The store will also be a brick front design to comply with the higher standards when commercial properties are developed in the future.

Newton County Zoning Administrator Judy Johnson said Jason Frix of Sullivan Wickley Properties requested 5.9 acres on U.S. Highway 278 be rezoned from agricultural-residential to general commercial, but only 1.7 acres will become the Dollar General site.

Commissioner John Douglas noted that that property is one of the last zoned as agricultural-residential.

“I thank everyone involved to cooperate with the site. I know residents appreciate the new business taking the steps to have a high standard,” Douglas said. “It will be a precursor for the quality development in the future.”

The rezoning was approved 4-0 at the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday night; Commissioner Nancy Schulz was absent.

A McDonald’s was also approved despite a long wait from Liberty Marts LLC owner Kevin Price. County Attorney Tommy Craig told commissioners that a settlement agreement had been reached and Price was given 18 months to purchase adjacent property in order to meet the impervious surface requirements to build a fast food chain restaurant alongside the current BP gas station that is located on Ga. Highway 11 at the I-20 interchange.

Commissioners tabled Price’s variance request for an increased amount of impervious surface in April.

Price requested commissioners allow for a 75 percent impervious surface in order to upgrade his property by adding the fast-food chain to the gas station.

Douglas wanted Price to reduce the impervious surface in order to comply with the zoning ordinance in place because the county adopted the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual in 2003 and established a zoning ordinance that states the maximum amount of impervious surface allowed is 50 percent, in efforts to protect the watersheds.

Douglas again commended the efforts of the county staff and Price to come to an agreement. The McDonald’s could bring in about 60 jobs and generate about $5 million in revenue each year.