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Decatur Memo Annexation

Decatur Memo Annexation

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Published by Tucker Initiative
Memo on the question of Decatur future annexations, December 2013.
Memo on the question of Decatur future annexations, December 2013.

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Published by: Tucker Initiative on Feb 24, 2014
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02/24/2014

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 emo
To:
From:
Date:
City
Commission
Peggy
Merriss,
City
Manager
December 12,2013
Re:
Annexation
City
Manager s
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This time last
year,
the
City
Commission adopted Resolutions R-12-18
and
R-12-19 which
proposed a
modest
annexation
of
primarily commercial properties in areas adjacent to the existing northeast and northwest city limits.
The
City was
never
able to secure a sponsor
from
the local
DeKalb
County
legislative
delegation
and
annexation efforts
stalled.
At the
end
of the 2013 General Assembly session, several bills were introduced that
provided
for
the creation
of
new cities in DeKalb County. These bills
made
it
possible for
efforts
to
incorporate
Lakeside,
Tucker, Briarcliff
and
Stonecrest to
move
fo V.'ard
for possible consideration
during
the 2014 General
Assembly
session. All
four incorporation
plans
have raised sufficient
funds
to
cover
the
cost of financial feasibility studies.
Currently,
the study
for the
City
of
Lakeside
has
been
completed
and
it appears that
it
is
financially
feasible based
on
criteria
used by
the
Carl
Vinson Institute of Government. The other studies
are
underway
and are
likely
to
be
completed before the 2014 General Assembly
begins.
The
potential
existence of
new cities
in
north DeKalb
County has a significant impact
on
the future
of
the
City of
Decatur,
particularly given
that the
proposed
borders of
the
City
of Briarcliff
surround the existing
City of Decatur northern city limits
on all
sides. Once the
city
is
surrounded by other
municipal
borders,
our
city
limits
are
set
and
there
will
be
no
capacity
to
change.
Basically, the
city
limits will
be
permanently
set
The
question before
the
City
Commission
is
not if
all
of
northern
DeKalb County
will
be
municipalized, but
when
will
that
happen. Based
on
last year s General Assembly
session,
the
environment
can
shift
quickly
and the
City
of Decatur needs
to take action to
determine
its
future
plans and move
forward with
those plans
before
it
is
too
late.
Over the summer, the
City
of Decatur
and
other members of
the
DeKalb
Municipal
Association
(DMA) have
been
meeting
with
the organizers
of
the proposed
cities
of
Briarcflff, Lakeside,
Tucker
and Stonecrest;
with DeKalb
County officials;
and,
with each
other
to
consider
what the impacts
of municipalization
could
be
and
what
the
appropriate
response should be
from
existing
cities.
The
outcome
of
the
discussions
is
that existing cities
should
consider
and adopt annexation
plans
that
indicate
their
future
city
limits.
Draft
plans have been
compiled
and
have
been
made available
by
the
DMA
to
DeKalb County officials
and
to members
of the DeKalb
General
Assembly
delegation
in
various
town
meeting
settings.
An
Equal
Opportumty
Emr
Jr:y.;..r
 
City of Decatw
In
terms
of
the 2014 General Assembly session, indications are that due to the change
in
the election primary dates from June to March, the session will
e
compact and move quickly though the forty legislative days. The three new city bills in north DeKalb County, (Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker) include maps with overlapping territory. It does not seem realistic to think that the General Assembly will adopt all three
in
their current form; nor does
it
seem realistic that they will get specifically involved
in
redrawing the maps.
It is
my understanding that the City
of
Lakeside
bill
has a Republican sponsor in both the Georgia House
of
Representatives
and
Georgia Senate, so
it
may
e
the first bill to move forward. However, as indicated by
all
of
the activity at the end of the 2013 General Assembly session,
it
is
impossible to predict what could happen during the session. Based on what has happened
in
the past year
and
looking at what might
e
happening
in
the coming year
or
in
the near future, it
is
likely that by 2018, all
of
DeKalb County north of Memorial Drive
will
be
located
in
either
an
existing
or
new city. This means that
in
a relatively short time span, we need to assess what areas,
if
any, should be part
of
the future City
of
Decatur and move forward
in
conjunction with the City Schools of Decatur and other stakeholders to develop appropriate plans. Attached
is
a very preliminary draft of what the future City limits could encompass. This is an important starting point that should
be
incorporated into the community-based committee discussions about City Schools enrollments and facilities.
We
also need to continue discussions with the City
of
Avondale Estates to assure that each city's plans are consistent. To that end, we anticipate putting together for your consideration
in
January 2014, a project budget proposal to include professional demographic, financial, capital planning and market analysis assistance to review and analyze potential annexation options and the impacts on the community. This group could also provide assistance and expertise with the efforts of the community-based committee's work. Attachments: Draft Potential City
of
Decatur Annexation Proposed City
of
Briarcliff Proposed City
of
Lakeside Proposed City of Tucker Proposed City of Stonecrest
Cc:
Board
of
Education
City Schools
of
Decatur
Phyllis Edwards School Superintendent
Ju
Ec :r
.ul
Opr:n l\Ullt'/
Employ•. l

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