Coweta Board of Commissioners

Rezoning approved for property on Poplar Road

by Sarah Fay Campbell

A rezoning for property at the corner of Poplar Road and the Newnan Crossing Bypass, across from Ashmore Drive, was approved by the Coweta County Board of Commissioners.

Several residents of the area spoke Tuesday against the rezoning, which adjoins a residential area.

Poplar Road LLC plans a medical office complex with some commercial for the 15-acre tract. The Office-Institutional Zoning is for 11.4 acres, and 3.8 acres will be zoned C-3, Commercial Retail.

The applicant’s representative, Robert Ward, said that they had thought about getting annexed into the city of Newnan but decided to stay in the county because of the commissioners’ decision last year to lower impact fees.

Engineer Neal Spradlin said the property has a great location, convenient to the new Piedmont Newnan Hospital as well as the Cancer Treatment Centers of America regional hospital. Plans are for a 60,000-square-foot medical office “anchor” with other medical services and commercial such as a drug store. “Of course we haven’t marketed any of this stuff yet.”

The OI zoning is “really intended to be sort of a transition” between commercial and residential, Spradlin said. He added they are seeing the economy improving.

Pat Boyce lives in the subdivision behind the development. She’s concerned about what grading the land will do to her yard, and also said the buffer is not sufficient.

Chris Sims lives across the street; a year ago, his property was flooded due to a clogged culvert and he is concerned about the future impact of the development. Traffic is also an issue. They lost their well when the road was widened for turning lanes. If new turning lanes are required, “How much more yard will I lose?” Sims asked.

Greg Geren lives on Ashmore and is concerned about the effects on his well and the growing commercialization of the area.

“I just want to know what is going to happen to our little pocket of heaven here. Are they going to do away with it? Are they just going to run us out?” Geren asked. He also doesn’t think the buffer will be sufficient.

Spradlin said there are many regulations on stormwater runoff, so that shouldn’t be a problem. There is also a required landscape strip in front of the development.

“We don’t have a landscape plan, we don’t have a grading plan,” said Sims. “We don’t know what is going to go in our front yards. We are just concerned because all we’ve got is a plat with buildings.”

Commissioner Al Smith asked Spradlin and Ward to get together with the neighbors after the meeting to talk about issues.

The rezoning was approved unanimously, with conditions recommended by the planning department.

In other meeting business:

Approved was an agreement with the Board of Regents and University of West Georgia regarding the relocation of the Newnan Campus to the original Newnan Hospital building on Jackson Street in Newnan.

The board executed a proclamation for Public Safety Appreciation Week, April 29 to May 3, Confederate History Month and Confederate Memorial Day, and confirmed a proclamation designating April 7-13 as Boys and Girls Club Week in Coweta County.

Approved was a cell phone reimbursement policy that will reimburse employees for the use of their personal cell phones for business use. The county will no longer provide cell phones for employees “except in limited situations such as public safety and public works,” according to agenda materials. The reimbursement rate will be $25 for voice and text, and $55 for voice, text, and internet.

Setback and height variances were approved for a proposed Microtel Inn and Suites on Amlajack Boulevard and Barith Road.

Commission Chairman Bob Blackburn asked to delay the vote, but was told that a decision needed to be made by April 26. Blackburn didn’t explain why he wanted to delay the vote, but asked applicant representative Kip Oldham several questions about the parent company, Wyndham, and the franchise agreement.

The site is located behind Race Trac and currently home to a car wash.

The county will not be objecting to the city of Newnan’s plan to annex 4.9 acres at Parkway North and Bullsboro Drive. Plans are to build a Nissan dealership on the site.

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