DeKalb Fighting Decatur Annexation

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution opposing the annexation of two heavily commercial areas outside the Decatur city limits.

Decatur's facing an uphill fight to annex Suburban Plaza and the Publix-anchored Emory Commons Shopping Plaza.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners has approved a resolution opposing the annexation plan, saying it “would increase the tax burden to both property owners targeted for annexation and taxpayers throughout unincorporated DeKalb County.”

In the Crossroads News, BOC legislative consultant Phyllis Mitchell was quoted as saying,

“We believe that the county needs the opportunity with the creation of Brookhaven and the creation of Dunwoody to assess what is the immediate financial impact on the county. And we need a chance to look at the ongoing effects on unincorporated DeKalb County.”

The city first talked about annexing six areas outside the city, which would have brought in about 2,000 new residents. The county didn't like losing property-tax-producing land and the city school system worried about an influx of new students.

In December, the city pared down the proposal. The city commission voted to only annex the two shopping centers and surrounding neighborhoods. That would include about 500 residents, with about 45 age 16 and under.

Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett

We don’t have somebody in the legislature to champion it, to carry the bill for us. I’ve talked to some legislators about it and haven’t had any expression of enthusiasm from them. I’ve spoken to Burrell Ellis and of course there’s not going to be any enthusiasm for it from the county.

It appears the annexation could be approved by special legislation in the General Assembly rather than referendum because so few residences are affected.

Here are some previous Patch stories about annexation.

  • Decatur taxes bashed at annexation hearing.
  • Report says annexation would swell school system attendance.
  • Decatur school system starts annexation blog.
  • Decatur planning to annex.
  • Mayor says the city should annex Suburban Plaza.
  • .
  • Could a 'City of DeKalb' affect annexation timetable?
JayJay February 07, 2013 at 05:10 PM
What, I wonder, will this legal fight cost?
Kevin Polite February 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM
Word in the retail construction community is that City of Decatur has been in direct contact with Wal-Mart in trying to push along their effort for annexation. They knew the political winds were blowing against them and tried to convince Wal-Mart and Selig that annexation wouldn't hurt them. DeKalb delegation is definititely against it. COD has even put feelers out in the Republican controlled state legislation, however, unlike Dunwoody and Brookhaven, there isn't a referendum and so they won't touch it either.
Steve February 07, 2013 at 07:33 PM
There's really no legal fight involved. The annexation measure must be introduced and passed by the General Assembly.
Thisten February 08, 2013 at 05:49 PM
According to CrossRoadsNews, "Rader said the county is not opposed to all annexations but is specifically targeting the Decatur resolution. 'It’s a relatively small geographic area with a large tax base,' Rader said." http://www.crossroadsnews.com/view/full_story/21581856/article-Commissioners-ask-lawmakers-to-help-stem-annexations?. While I understand that, DeKalb better be concerned about more than just this little area. There was a piece in the AJC yesterday about DeKalb residents exploring the possibility of forming a new city of Lakeside, and I remember reading about a group of people who were exploring a northern DeKalb city a couple of months ago. The focus for DeKalb should be on trying to address the larger issue of annexation, because even though this area may have "a large tax base", it seems slightly misguided to focus on two shopping centers and 500 residents when this new Lakeside city would "encompass approximately 50,000 people" and presumably represent a much larger tax base. http://lakesidecityalliance.org/about/.
Kevin Polite February 08, 2013 at 06:19 PM
I agree with your shameless plug :-) however the two go hand in hand. .lets all work together, get more active, attend county meetings, make our voices heard. It seems cheaper to correct what we have instead of continuing to splinter.


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