The property on the west end of Bert Johnston Avenue in Covington may soon be the home to a subdivision, however the city’s aldermen say they are hearing a lot of criticism about the project. Source: Tipton County GIS

Covington Alderman Jeff Morris said his constituents are not happy about a proposed annexation on Bert Johnston Avenue. 

“I’ve had a lot of concerns about that annexation, to be honest with you, and I’ve heard from a lot of people … I don’t know if anybody else has or not, but I’ve heard from a great deal with a lot of concerns.” 

There are currently ongoing discussions about annexing the 41.82-acre property on the street’s west end, which is adjacent to both the Covington Sportsplex and Parkway Cove Senior Living Center. 

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Public records show the property was purchased by Blue Oval Land Development II LLC in April for $340,000. The company was created in March and is owned by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, a Memphis oncologist and property owner whose tenants told news station WREG their building is falling apart. 

Morris said residents have told him they’re concerned about an increase in traffic on Bert Johnston if it is connected to Walton Loop, especially considering there are two schools, two assisted living centers, and a park located on the road.

Alderman C.H. Sullivan said he’s heard the traffic complaints as well. 

“It just becomes a highway,” Morris said during a meeting of the public works committee Tuesday afternoon. “That’s a big concern.”

Alderman Danny Wallace is also concerned about the traffic and the ability for service vehicles and first responders to navigate the proposed subdivision while vehicles were parked on its streets. 

Dr. Kumar would like to construct single-family homes on the property and the planned size of the small lots is another issue.

“I’ve heard a lot and nothing favorable.” 

Wallace said after a planning commission meeting earlier that afternoon the minimum square footage went from 1,215 to 1,800. 

“I challenged the square footage a bit …” Wallace told Morris. “There will be a few lots that will end up being 6,500 square feet.” 

Some lots will be up to 8,000 square feet, which is .18 acres. 

They expect the homes to be priced at $260,000 to $400,000, Wallace added. That will add property taxes for the city. 

The proposal is still in the planning stages. The planning commission approved the plan for services Tuesday and the board of mayor and aldermen may vote next week whether or not it will adopt resolutions accepting the plan and proposing annexation. 

From there, public hearings about the annexation and rezoning could take place as early as next month. 

The final plat for the subdivision has not yet been presented or approved but a traffic study will be part of the process. Site plans cannot be approved until after a property has been rezoned.

“I’m just sharing some input that I’ve gotten,” Morris said. “I mean from a lot of folks, not just one or two. A lot of people.” 

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.

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