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Commissioners scale down Conkle Road project

By Billy Corriher

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a development at the intersection of Conkle Road and Fielder Road. But the commissioners approved a less dense version of the development after hearing concerns from neighbors.

The project would have consisted of townhouses, but dozens of local residents showed up to ask the commissioners to deny rezoning for the project.

Mary Baker, a resident of nearby Highland Park, brought a petition signed by her neighbors opposing the dense development because of concerns about its impact on the infrastructure and the school system.

Traffic was an especially important concern for Baker and other residents who spoke against the development.

"Fielder Road is horrendous," Baker said, pointing out that there have been many accidents on the road as the area has grown.

Ray Mauldin, former president of a local homeowners' association, said the townhouses also would not have been consistent with the surrounding neighborhoods.

"We know the land is going to be developed," he said. "I would just ask that whatever is built be compatible with the other houses."

The commissioners agreed with the neighbors and approved a rezoning of the land with larger homes.

"There's got to be connectivity and continuity," Board of Commissioners Chairman Crandle Bray said.

Robert Hamilton, a neighbor of the proposed subdivision, said he was satisfied with the commissioners' decision.

"The townhouses would have killed our property values," he said. "(The commissioners' decision) is going to help us out."

The commissioners also approved an extension to St. Philip Benizi Catholic Church, but denied a rezoning for a Cambodian church.

Ketovong Vann asked the commissioners to allow the church to worship in a house bought for that purpose.

But the commissioners pointed out that they recently had a similar request on the same road and it was denied because it did not fit into the county's zoning plan.

"I support your church, but I think you need to find a location that fits into our county's comprehensive plan," Bray said.