Covenant Academy seeks lighting approval for athletic field

lmorris@macon.comMarch 8, 2014 

A private school in Macon is planning to upgrade its practice field with lighting as part of a plan to add a football stadium, a track field and concession stand in the coming years.

Macon-Bibb Planning & Zoning Commission is expected to address Monday a conditional-use permit for Covenant Academy to allow lighting of an athletic field at 4652 Ayers Road, which is in a single-family residential district. The school also is asking for approval of its master plan.

“The last three seasons have revealed the need and desire to hold home football games on campus and to enable night time practices,” according to a statement provided by Covenant to the commission. “Lights will allow periodic night time practices and the ability to host home football games in the future.”

The school is planning to add four, 80-foot-tall concrete poles with two poles on each side of the field, according to the commission’s staff report. Each proposed pole will have 12 light fixtures. The poles would be more than 50 feet from any property line.

“Information submitted by the applicant states that the lights are designed to direct the lighting onto the field,” according to the P&Z staff report.

Except for Ayers Road Baptist Church to the north across Ayers Road from the school, the area is dominated by single-family residential subdivisions.

In 2007, the commission approved a recreational/sports facility for 10 acres of the 35-acre school campus, which included a football field, bleachers, a concession stand and a field house. Plans did not move forward and the application was withdrawn, according to the staff report.

In 2010, the commission approved a multipurpose practice field on 3 acres. The approval was for a grassed field only, with no lighting, seating or buildings.

Current plans would upgrade the field for competitive athletics. If approved, the upgrade would be done in five phases during the next 10 years:

• Field lighting (immediately);

• Stadium seating with 790 seats (two to five years);

• Track field with eight lanes (four to six years);

• Concession stand with restrooms (five to eight years);

• Field house (eight to 10 years).

“The immediate need is for lighting of the existing field ... however, the proposed master plan for the track/field will be implemented over time as funds are available,” according to the school’s statement.

The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in the 10th floor conference room, Willie C. Hill City Hall Annex, 682 Cherry St. in downtown Macon.

Other items on the agenda are:

CERTIFICATE OF APPROPRIATENESS:

1105 Adams St.: Certificate of Appropriateness to allow design approval of exterior modifications, HR-3 District. Lesley Clarke, applicant.

VARIANCES:

8251 Rock Mill Road: Variance in cul-de-sac length to allow a residential subdivision, R-1AAA District. Paul Kelley, applicant.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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