Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Reader Judd Owen writes: "CSD has made it plain that it wants to be consulted on annexations. So we need to evaluate this policy as a policy, separate from individual petitions, which make the question personal."
Wednesday, March 27
Judd Owen lives in Decatur with his wife and two children. He has served on the Enrollment Committee and Annexation Committee for the City Schools of Decatur. He teaches political science at Emory. The second of a two-part series. The first part appeared Tuesday. By Judd Owen [Yesterday] appeared my obituary of large-scale annexation for Decatur. It was an idea that was pushed hard by some of the City’s political leadership without having been adequately evaluated. The most massive blind spot was the impact on the school system (CSD) and on school taxes in Decatur. The idea was originally presented as being about tax relief, but with scant attention paid to the impact on the larger school side of residents’ tax bills. Once CSD got …
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Reader Judd Owen writes: "Somewhere, on this big issue at least, there arose a disconnect between the vision of Decatur that I think is generally held by its residents and the vision held by its political leadership: Indie vs. Walmart."
Tuesday, March 26
Judd Owen lives in Decatur with his wife and two children. He has served on the enrollment committee and annexation committee for the City Schools of Decatur. He teaches political science at Emory. The first of a two-part series. By Judd Owen Decatur Metro directed readers last week to a brief story in the print edition of the AJC reporting that Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss had said that “potential annexation of two heavily commercial areas outside the city limits has apparently died quietly in the legislature.” I have been keenly interested in the push for large-scale annexation that has just died, and I’ve followed it closely since I first learned of it in October 2008. So I decided to write an obituary. I have tried always to be…
Monday, March 25, 2013
The annexation plan never got a sponsor in the General Assembly, the city manager says.
Decatur's plan to annex two commercial areas died in the General Assembly. City Manager Peggy Merriss said no legislator could be found to sponsor a bill in support of the annexation, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In December, the city commission voted to annex two heavily commercial areas that included Suburban Plaza and the Publix-anchored Emory Commons Shopping Center. No referendum was needed because few residences were affected, Merriss said at the time. However, the plan would need legislative support, which it never got. The city went through long discussions before approving the failed annexation plan, including the potential annexation of six areas, a move that would have added about 2,000 new residents. Here are …
Thursday, February 7, 2013
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 …
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The Decatur Commission voted Monday night to proceed with annexing two areas that include several shopping centers and about 500 residents, but approval in the state legislature is not certain.
Monday, December 17, 2012
With no referendum likely, the annexation issue moves to the General Assembly and faces an uncertain reception.
The Decatur City Commission voted Monday night to move ahead with annexing two heavily commercial areas, despite opposition from business owners and residents who might be brought into the city. The city will next ask the DeKalb County legislative delegation to pass a bill in the upcoming General Assembly authorizing the annexation. The city attorney has said no referendum is necessary because so few people reside in the targeted areas. Commissioner Patti Garrrett noted that assage on the state level is not a certainty, saying "If we vote today to annex, that doesn't mean it will happen." Mayor Bill Floyd said that the General Assembly might still require the city to hold a referendum. The meeting started at 7:30 p.m. but the commission …
If the commission votes yes, the annexation of two heavily commercial areas would need approval from the state legislature.
Will Decatur grow by annexation? That question won't be settled Monday night when the city commission votes on whether to annex two areas on the northeast and northwest corners of the city limits. (See the attached memo from the city manager outlining her recommendation and maps of the areas under consideration.) If the commisison votes yes, the discussion would move to the General Assembly. Annexation would probably have to be approved by state legislators representing DeKalb County, and those guys don't always get along. Remember the commercial land between Avondale Estates and Decatur that was annexed last summer through the legislature? The state senators from DeKalb took years to all agree. Citizens can attend the meeting in city hall…
Friday, December 14, 2012
The Clairmont Heights Civic Association and Medlock Area Neighborhood Association have both come out against the annexation proposal.
Two neighborhood groups have taken positions against the possible annexation of land by the City of Decatur. The Clairmont Heights Civic Association and Medlock Area Neighborhood Association started online petitions asking the City Commission to not annex two heavily commercial areas. Those areas contain the Emory Commons Shopping Center and Suburban Plaza along with about 500 residents. The petitions say: The inevitable tax increases will undoubtedly be a hardship for the tenants and owners of these properties, which are owned by families and individuals who have been long-time owners of their centers and have served our community well. To rip them out of the unincorporated area in order to enrich the Decatur city coffers seems …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Vote in the Patch Poll. Do you think the annexation will go through?
The Decatur city attorney does not think a referendum is necessary to proceed with the most recent annexation proposal, City Manager Peggy Merriss said Wednesday. Merriss sent Patch this email: [City Attorney] Bryan Downs responded this afternoon that after reviewing the relevant sections of OCGA, he did not believe that a referendum would be required if the properties annexed by local Act of the General Assembly were less than 50% residential. The Decatur City Commission meets Monday, Dec. 17, and will decide whether to move ahead with annexation. Merriss recommended Decatur annex the two heavily commercial areas on the northeast and northwest corners of the city limits. Even if the commission votes yes, there will be many more steps in …
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Shopping center owners at Clairmont and North Decatur roads say, "We face tax increases of more than 30%, and a host of greater red tape from another governing body."
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By Eliot M. Arnovitz, Brice Ladson and John Ladson The City of Decatur again has faced widespread opposition from residents of nearby unincorporated DeKalb to annex their properties into the City of Decatur. This is convenient for the city, since it doesn’t want to add more children to an overcrowded school system, and because annexing residential properties can present a net loss for city coffers. The city wants a net gain, so its leadership unveiled a scheme last week that even big fans of Decatur have denounced in public forums as unbridled government overreach. At the recommendation of the city manager, commissioners have now sharpened their knives and carved out mostly commercial properties for annexation. Because so few residential …