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Annexation/Cityhood resources

Guides, reports and studies

Georgia Municipal Association’s guide to annexation law

Report on laws of annexation and incorporation, prepared for the DeKalb County Operations Task Force

How annexation happens

Georgia law establishes several annexation methods. Here are the three that are being discussed in the debate over new cities and annexation in DeKalb County

100 percent method – All property owners in a specific area sign a petition to be annexed, requires public hearings and service delivery reports

60 percent method – Requires signatures of 60 percent of land owners and 60 percent of voters to sign an annexation petition, requires public hearings and service delivery reports

Referendum – The General Assembly passes a law calling for residents in the affected area to vote yes or no

Annexation/ Cityhood Timeline

Here are key events so far in the annexation and cityhood debate

2014

March 3- Lakeside cityhood bill passes the state Senate

March 21 – 2014 legislative session ends without any cityhood bills passing the General Assembly.

June – Concerned Citizens for Cityhood for South DeKalb forms.

June 16 – Decatur announces moratorium on annexation petitions.

July 2 – Briarcliff and Lakeside supporters announce they will be working together on a new map.

Aug. 26 – State House Governmental Affairs Committee meets with representatives of three potential new cities: Lakeside, Briarcliff and Tucker. The committee tells the cityhood groups they have until Nov. 15 to come to an agreement on city boundary lines, or the committee chair will appoint a panel to draw the maps for the new cities.

Here is the full press release published after that meeting:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Betsy Lynch
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

House Committee Gives Instructions to DeKalb Cityhood Proponents

ATLANTA—Today State Representatives Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven) and Tom Taylor (R-Dunwoody) met with Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker cityhood proponents to discuss directions issued by House Governmental Affairs Committee Chairwoman Amy Carter (R-Valdosta) for DeKalb County cityhood boundary line proposals.  The House Governmental Affairs Committee oversees legislation in the Georgia House of Representatives involving the creation of new cities.

“Tom Taylor and I worked with Rep. Carter, Chair of the House Governmental Affairs Committee, to develop a process for DeKalb County cityhood proponents to follow as we approach next session,” said Rep. Jacobs. “Our goal for this process is to encourage all stakeholders to engage in conversations now about cityhood boundary lines and to ensure any remaining disputes are resolved prior to 2015.”

The directions for drawing cityhood proposals are as follows:

– Each of the three DeKalb County cityhood proponent groups (City of Briarcliff Initiative, Lakeside Yes, and Tucker 2015) will have until September 5 to identify one authorized signatory for a compromise boundary map.

– DeKalb County cityhood proponents have until November 15 to come to a mutual agreement on city boundary lines and submit the agreed upon map bearing three signatures from the authorized signatories to the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

– If an agreement cannot be reached by that date, House Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Amy Carter will appoint a panel of five state House members to carry out the task of drawing city boundaries for the proposed cities. The panel’s sole charge will be to produce a boundary map no later than December 31 by majority vote of the panel.

– Either the agreed upon map by cityhood proponents or the map drawn by the legislative panel will be the only acceptable version that the House Governmental Affairs Committee will consider.

“This process Rep. Jacobs and Rep. Taylor developed gives cityhood proponents in DeKalb County the best chance for successful passage of legislation that will allow new city proposals to go before the voters for consideration,” said House Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Amy Carter. “There is a need to bring order to this process and the directions outlined to the stakeholders today will accomplish just that.”

Late September – Controversy erupts in Avondale Estates over the city’s annexation plans.

Sept. 24 – DeKalb Farmers Market owner Robert Blazer speaks to Avondale Estates Men’s Club. He tells Decaturish he does not want to be in Avondale Estates’ annexation plans.

Oct. 1 – Avondale Estates holds work session on annexation amid controversy about the city’s annexation plans.

Oct. 2 – Ed Rieker resigns as mayor of Avondale Estates to pursue a professional opportunity.

Oct. 15 – Supporters of creating a Druid Hills Charter Cluster announce they are pulling their petition. This gives momentum to the idea of the Druid Hills neighborhood – including Emory University – being annexed into Atlanta.

Nov. 4 – Clarkston voters approve an annexation proposal. Doraville voters reject a proposed annexation.

Nov. 15 – Deadline for new city proposals.

Nov. 17 – Briarcliff and Lakeside publish a map for a proposed city of LaVista Hills. The map overlaps with a proposal from Tucker 2015.

Nov. 18 – Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces his support for a plan presented by Together in Atlanta, a group formed after the Druid Hills Charter Cluster petition failed. The annexation plan encompasses the Druid Hills neighborhood.

Nov. 19 – House Governmental Affairs Committee Charwoman Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, appoints five members to a Cityhood Subcommittee on Governmental Affairs

Dec. 9 – City Schools of Decatur Board of Education will consider resolution adopting an annexation master plan.

December 15- Decatur City Commission will consider adopting annexation master plan, to be presented to the General Assembly.

Dec. 31 – Deadline for House Governmental Affairs Cityhood Subcommittee to create a map for DeKalb County.

Cityhood Subcommittee Members

Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), Chair

Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem)

Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming)

Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta)

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur)

Neighborhood annexation information

Several local neighborhoods in DeKalb County have taken surveys regarding annexation. Here are links to individual neighborhood pages regarding this topic. If you have a page you’d like to submit, send an email to editor@decaturish.com

Druid Hills Civic Association

Medlock Park Neighborhood Association

Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association

Clairmont Heights Civic Association

Forrest Hills Neighborhood Association

Decaturish.com annexation and cityhood map

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