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Bill seeks to ban name of would-be ‘Buckhead City’

A shirt from the volunteer fire department in Morgan County's Buckhead shows the long-standing local irritation to confusion with Atlanta's Buckhead. (Photo by John Ruch.)

By John Ruch

A bill that would ban the name of the would-be “Buckhead City” has been filed by a state lawmaker from the existing Morgan County town of Buckhead.

State Rep. Dave Belton. (R-Buckhead.)

Residents of the existing city, which sits along I-20 about 60 miles east of the Perimeter, have long been irritated by the growing fame of Atlanta’s Buckhead and resulting name confusion. The 1996 Atlanta Olympics was a high point of debate for perplexed tourists. But the Buckhead cityhood movement has spawned political resistance, including a legal dispute about trademark rights.

House Bill 1347 was filed on Feb. 14 by state Rep. Dave Belton, a Republican from the Morgan County Buckhead. Its language would “prohibit the creation of new municipal corporations with the same name or a substantially similar name as that of existing municipal corporations.” That specifically includes the tactic of Atlanta’s Buckhead cityhood proposal of merely adding “City” to the end of the name.

“If two municipalities in Georgia share the same name, the local governments, the citizens and the local businesses within both localities will suffer from inevitable confusion,” the bill states.

The legislation to create Buckhead City is apparently dead for this General Assembly session. Belton did not respond to a comment request. State Rep. Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs) in a Twitter post noted the bill and called it “one final dunk” on cityhood legislation.

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