Proposed annexation by Brookhaven fuels push back from cities not even formed – Lakeside and Briarcliff

By David Pendered

A border dispute appears to be breaking out in DeKalb County, involving Brookhaven and two cities that haven’t even been incorporated.

Brookhaven would expand south of I-85 if its approves annexation requests submitted by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and Executive Park. Credit: brookhavengeorgia.org, David Pendered

Brookhaven would expand south of I-85 if its approves annexation requests submitted by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Executive Park. Credit: brookhavengeorgia.org, David Pendered

The issue is the tax base represented by two tracts of commercial land whose major players have requested to be annexed into Brookhaven – Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Executive Park.

Two proposed cities, Lakeside and Briarcliff, have included property taxes from this area in their budget considerations. The future competitors are now aligned against a common foe.

In addition, the situation presents the latest twist in the evolution toward municipalization in metro Atlanta, particularly in DeKalb and Fulton counties – where six cities have been formed since 2005.

If the annexation is approved, Brookhaven would cross south of I-85 to pick up two significant commercial districts that flank the highway access road. I-85 is now the southern boundary of Brookhaven, and its northern boundary is I-285.

CHOA is leading the annexation effort in the section in the northeast quadrant of I-85/North Druid Hills Road, involving Tullie Road and Tullie Circle. Executive Park, the office development, is leading the effort involving its office park, which at one point the Sembler Co. envisioned renovating into a development of homes, shops and offices.

Advocates of Lakeside and Briarcliff have joined forces to combat the proposed annexation. The two cities released a statement Oct. 9 asking that the proposed annexation be deferred until after state lawmakers decide what to do about proposals to incorporate portions of north-central DeKalb.

Brookhaven responded Tuesday by releasing a statement saying the annexation requests are complete and that DeKalb County has been notified:

  • “As of Oct. 20, after a thorough review of the annexation petitions by City of Brookhaven officials, the City has determined both petitions to be complete and has notified DeKalb County of the request for annexation.”

This is not the response that cityhood advocates hoped for after issuing their Oct. 9 statement, which included the following remarks:

  • “We ask the [property] owners, and the new city of Brookhaven, to respect their neighbors by deferring any action until after we have a chance to form our new city,” said Allen Venet, president of the City of Briarcliff Initiative.
  • “The CHOA properties have been in our map since 2013, and the Executive Park properties were added in 2014,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, co-chair of LakesideYES! “We urge those businesses that are eager to become part of an incorporated city to wait just a little longer, as Lakeside will soon be up for a referendum.”

The referendum could be on a ballot in 2015.

For that to happen, one or more DeKalb lawmakers would have to file legislation to allow voters in the proposed City of Lakeside and City of Briarcliff to vote on cityhood. How quickly the cityhood bills could be passed by the House and Senate, and be signed by the governor, is a matter of conjecture.

The phenomenon of municipalization has been steady since 95 percent of voters in Sandy Springs voted to form the city in 2005.

The next year, cities were created in 2006 in the former north Fulton communities of Johns Creek and Milton. In 2007, the south Fulton community of Chattahoochee Hills was created.

North DeKalb was quick to follow suit. Dunwoody was formed in 2008, and Brookhaven was created in 2012.

A larger version of the Lakeside map is at http://lakesideyes.nationbuilder.com/city_map

A larger version of the proposed Lakeside map is at http://lakesideyes.nationbuilder.com/city_map

A larger version of a proposed Briarcliff map is at http://brookhavenga.gov/home/showdocument?id=1757

A larger version of a proposed Briarcliff map is at http://brookhavenga.gov/home/showdocument?id=1757

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

14 replies
  1. ScottNAtlanta says:

    I want to know where Brookhaven is getting all this money for litigation.  They are going after the Pink Pony and that still isn’t over.  They are going at it with Chamblee over Century Center, they are going to go at it with the residents who are trying to form Briarcliff Lakeside (and it was in their planning)…thats a whole lot of ill will they are accumulating…and a whole lot of unbudgeted money for a brand new city to be spending…maybe thats why they are doing the land grab…Report

    Reply
  2. ScottNAtlanta says:

    I want to know where Brookhaven is getting all this money for litigation.  They are going after the Pink Pony and that still isn’t over.  They are going at it with Chamblee over Century Center, they are going to go at it with the residents who are trying to form Briarcliff Lakeside (and it was in their planning)…thats a whole lot of ill will they are accumulating…and a whole lot of unbudgeted money for a brand new city to be spending…maybe thats why they are doing the land grab…Report

    Reply
  3. no__tad says:

    ScottNAtlanta

    Mostly by not spending the taxpayers’ money the way that they had
    promised us they would when they wanted us to form a new city. I
    guarantee you that the majority of the residents in Brookhaven are
    completely fed up with the actions of the Mayor, the City Council, and
    the City Manager.
    Fortunately one of the council
    already resigned and we get to elect a new one in November. The two
    candidates are both better than the people currently in office.
    Hopefully we’ll be rid of all of the developer-friendly people soon and
    things will get better for everybody – including our neighboring
    citites.Report

    Reply
  4. no__tad says:

    ScottNAtlanta

    Mostly by not spending the taxpayers’ money the way that they had
    promised us they would when they wanted us to form a new city. I
    guarantee you that the majority of the residents in Brookhaven are
    completely fed up with the actions of the Mayor, the City Council, and
    the City Manager.
    Fortunately one of the council
    already resigned and we get to elect a new one in November. The two
    candidates are both better than the people currently in office.
    Hopefully we’ll be rid of all of the developer-friendly people soon and
    things will get better for everybody – including our neighboring
    citites.Report

    Reply
  5. ScottNAtlanta says:

    Burroughston Broch 
    It can buy lawyers, but it needs to buy…city services, clean up trash, and numerous other things.  9.8 million is a mighty small number in the big picture.Report

    Reply
  6. ScottNAtlanta says:

    Burroughston Broch 
    It can buy lawyers, but it needs to buy…city services, clean up trash, and numerous other things.  9.8 million is a mighty small number in the big picture.Report

    Reply
  7. Burroughston Broch says:

    ScottNAtlanta You asked a question and I responded to your question. Now you seem to question your own question. What’s your real issue?Report

    Reply
  8. Burroughston Broch says:

    ScottNAtlanta You asked a question and I responded to your question. Now you seem to question your own question. What’s your real issue?Report

    Reply
  9. Noybu says:

    Brookhaven will have been a bad neighbor if it proceeds with annexations of commercial property south of I-85 without consideration of also including residential areas or the impact on residential areas left behind.  I generally support municipalization efforts, but Brookhaven appears to be living up to the worst characterizations of the cityhood efforts – enriching itself at the expense of its neighbors!  Cityhood should be about better governance and tax dollar effectiveness and value, not a land grab for tax base.  Shame on Brookhaven!Report

    Reply
  10. Noybu says:

    Brookhaven will have been a bad neighbor if it proceeds with annexations of commercial property south of I-85 without consideration of also including residential areas or the impact on residential areas left behind.  I generally support municipalization efforts, but Brookhaven appears to be living up to the worst characterizations of the cityhood efforts – enriching itself at the expense of its neighbors!  Cityhood should be about better governance and tax dollar effectiveness and value, not a land grab for tax base.  Shame on Brookhaven!Report

    Reply
  11. ScottNAtlanta says:

    Burroughston Broch 
    No, I was clearly stating that your number was insufficient in the big picture of running a city in addition to all the ‘extras’ Brookhaven has taken on.  I didnt ask any additional questions.Report

    Reply
  12. ScottNAtlanta says:

    Burroughston Broch 
    No, I was clearly stating that your number was insufficient in the big picture of running a city in addition to all the ‘extras’ Brookhaven has taken on.  I didnt ask any additional questions.Report

    Reply

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