Controversial changes to LaVista Hills, Tucker map approvedCloseup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons
This story has been updated with the new maps of LaVista Hills and Tucker, approved by the Senate SLOGO Committee.
The Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee approved proposals to create the cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker Thursday — but with controversial changes to a compromise map that was created last year.
The AJC reports the Senate committee amended the legislation to move the Livsey precinct from Tucker to LaVista Hills.
State Senator Fran Millar, SD-40, told Decaturish Thursday morning before the vote, “The Livsey precinct will be in LaVista Hills. It will not be in Tucker. 2,000 people. I represent them. 80% of them want to be in LaVista Hills. That’s where I put them.”
Millar continued, “Scott Holcomb knows they want to be there too. We’ve gone to meetings over there where people have said that. Last time I checked, Scott and I are the ones who represent those people. I don’t need someone from another area telling me these people can’t be there.”
In a statement on Facebook, representatives of Tucker 2015 said, “If the bill passes the Senate, it will then go back to the House due to the map change. We are disappointed that the LaVista Hills leadership chose not to honor the boundary agreement. We are heartbroken that once again many of you find yourselves removed from the Tucker map.”
Tucker 2015 said areas removed from the proposed city of Tucker are all of Livsey, Shadow Walk Lane, the QT shopping center, the shopping center at Britt Road and Chamblee-Tucker, Briarglen Court, homes on Thornbriar Road, and Scyler Way and Scyler Place.
Last year, a cityhood subcommittee was appointed to create a unified map. Both Tucker and LaVista Hills agreed to stick to the boundary. A few days ago, when rumors of the map change were swirling, LaVista Hills YES released a statement saying,
The House subcommittee’s charge was to draw the boundary between the proposed cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker. While neither effort was 100% satisfied with the outcome, we agreed to abide by that decision. We continue to maintain that the line drawn by the subcommittee is the border between our two cityhood efforts.
We are aware that constituents who reside in all of the cityhood and annexation efforts before the legislature are contacting their Representatives and Senators, requesting changes to boundaries. We are not part of this legislative discussion.
Today LaVista Hills YES said, “Senator Millar’s amended map for LaVista Hills will be posted as soon as we receive from him. We do not have complete, specific details of the changes.”
Comments on the LaVista Hills YES page included concerns that the late changes would get both city measures killed.
In his discussion with Decaturish Thursday, Sen. Millar said, “Three city studies, and it boils down to this. We send something over to the house, if they agree, they get the cities. If they don’t agree, they’re probably all dead.”
State Rep. Buzz Brockway, R-Lawrenceville, was one of five appointed members who created the compromise map last year. He released the following statement on his Facebook page:
When House Governmental Affairs Chairman Amy Carter asked me last year to chair a subcommittee tasked with drawing a border between the proposed cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker, the goal, in my mind, was to avoid a situation where one city proposal was getting almost everything they wanted and the other was getting very little of what they wanted. When the subcommittee finished it’s work, I said the line between the two cities was set in stone, meaning I could not support any changes to that line. The Senate SLOGO committee changed the line today. They have the right to do so, but it puts us back to where we were last year, with one group getting almost everything they want and the other getting very little of what they want. I gave my word to the people of both city hood groups that I would not support changes to that line and I will be true to my word. The Legislative process is far from over but in their present form, I stand now opposed to both the LaVista Hills and Tucker bills.
The cityhood bills now must be approved by the full Senate before going back to the House which has to decide whether to accept or reject the changes. Below are the maps approved by the Senate SLOGO committee, provided to Decaturish by the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office.