Opponents of new cities in DeKalb County planning public meetingA map of DeKalb County.
Groups opposed to creating two new DeKalb County cities of Greenhaven and Vista Grove are planning a public meeting on Feb. 26.
The three groups involved are DeKalb Strong, Concerned Citizens in Opposition to Greenhaven and Neighbors Against Greenhaven.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Rehoboth Baptist Church, 2997 Lawrenceville, Hwy, Tucker, GA 30084. Several members of the DeKalb County legislative delegation are expected to be in attendance. Here is the full event announcement:
Several groups from across unincorporated DeKalb are coming together to fight the creation of additional new cities in DeKalb County. The groups will hold a coordinated public meeting on February 26th discussing opposition to the two most recent cityhood proposals.
Lobbyists this session are working to find sponsors for two new cities this legislative session: Greenhaven, an area encompassing nearly 300,000 people and covering most of central and south DeKalb, and Vista Grove, the same area as the LaVista Hills proposal that was rejected by voters in 2015.
“No government is perfect,” said Marjorie Snook, President of DeKalb Strong. “But adding additional layers of government and further fragmenting our community is not the answer.”
New cities began forming in DeKalb in 2008 with the creation of Dunwoody, one of the most affluent parts of the county, which tried to separate itself from the rest of the county in 2008. The cities of Brookhaven, Tucker, and Stonecrest followed. However, the majority of DeKalb residents are still living in unincorporated areas. There is significant opposition from across the county to the new efforts, which are both led by small groups without much widespread community support.
Claudette Leak, a long-time resident of DeKalb and a member of Concerned Citizens in Opposition to Greenhaven, does not believe the extra layer of government proposed by Greenhaven would address the primary concerns of area residents.
“Creating the proposed of City of Greenhaven provides only three-limited core services, but do not include any public safety components, nor any of the other services currently provided to residents by DeKalb County Government,” said Leak. “It simply creates a new bureaucracy that would cost taxpayers money without providing any real benefit.”
Daniel Walker, spokesperson for the Neighbors Against Greenhaven group, takes issues with the massive size of the new city of Greenhaven and the small size of the group advocating for it.
“For years, a small group has tried to push a city on 293,000 potential residents.” Walker said. “This group has even made it seem that their proposed city is ‘inevitable’. However, Neighbors Against Greenhaven (NAG) advocates for a slower approach and encourages open, honest, and transparent dialogue among residents in southern DeKalb.”
“We love our community in DeKalb, and it is wonderful to come together to keep it whole and strong” said Snook.
The meeting will be held Tuesday, February 26th at Rehoboth Baptist Church, 2997 Lawrenceville Hwy, Tucker, GA 30084, from 7 to 9 p.m. all legislators in the DeKalb delegation have been invited and several have indicated their intention to attend.