Update: The Georgia House approved the annexation bills on Tuesday morning.
The legislation next goes to the Georgia Senate. Since it's local legislation, it needs four signatures to pass, said state Rep. Karla Drenner, one of the co-sponsors.
The previous story:
A new effort has been mounted in the legislature to allow Decatur and Avondale Estates to annex the strip of unincorporated land between the two cities.
State Reps. Stephanie Benfield and Karla Drenner submitted bills that would allow Decatur to annex commercial parts of the land along College Avenue up to Sams Crossing. Residential areas would not be annexed.
Avondale Estates could annex the land up to Sams Crossing on its side of the road. The two cities would then share a common border.
But one property owner in the unincorporated area, Charles Blalock, said Wednesday he and others will fight the effort. Blalock said the owners would meet Thursday afternoon to come up with a plan of attack.
He said he opposes annexation because he'd pay more in taxes and not receive any more services from Avondale Estates than he does from DeKalb County.
"We wouldn't be getting anything for our money," he said.
Also, Blalock said Avondale Estates "is not a very friendly place for business." He said most buildings in the unincorporated area are occupied, whereas downtown Avondale Estates is full of empty buildings.
Benfield and Drenner got the required 10 signatures on Monday that would allow them to introduce local legislation. A mass email from former Avondale Estates Mayor Pro Tem David Milliron was sent out as a call to action, saying
Success now depends on you. The small number of targeted property owners is organized, active and vocal in their opposition to annexation. Please speak out for the best interests of our City, take action and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
Several previous legislative efforts that would have allowed Avondale Estates to annex the land have failed.