Lakeside Cityhood Bill to Be Filed This Week
An alternate proposal for a city of Briarcliff would include the Emory University area and part of Druid Hills.
The bill, to be filed by Dunwoody state Sen. Fran Millar, will act as a "placeholder" bill and could not be considered by the legislature until next year, said Mary Kay Woodworth, chairman of the alliance, which is studying the creation of a new city of 60,000 residents that would reach from North Druid Hills to western Tucker.
The bill could be changed over the next year as the alliance, local officials and other groups debate the merits of cityhood. The process mandated by state law would include a study by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia that would determine the area's feasibility as a city.
The alliance will have to contend with the increasingly complicated politics of creating a new city in northern DeKalb County. Woodworth and the alliance, including former state Rep. Kevin Levitas, faced off Tuesday at Sagamore Hills Elementary School against The North Druid Hills Study Group lead by Don Broussard, a former member of the DeKalb County Planning Commission.
Broussard's study group, which includes members of the local Civic Association Network, has released an alternative map for a city of Briarcliff that does not include Tucker and stretches south all the way to the borders of Atlanta and Decatur, including the Emory University area and part of Druid Hills. That proposed city would serve about 80,000 residents. The North Druid Hills Study Group is also pursuing its own cityhood placeholder bill, though, so far, it has not begun fundraising in earnest, Broussard said Tuesday.
Decatur state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver and Decatur state Sen. Jason Carter, both Democrats, are also working on a package of placeholder bills "to create the greatest flexibility for citizens to engage in the debate and make decisions," according to an email last week from Oliver to Broussard and local officials.
The Tucker Civic Association also lashed out this week at the Lakeside City Alliance for including western Tucker in their cityhood proposal, and the civic association along with DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer will meet with the alliance at Tucker Middle School on Monday.
Any new city is required by state law to offer at least three services. The Lakeside City Alliance has proposed three: police, zoning and code enforcement and parks and recreation. The North Druid Hills Study Group has not stated three services officially, but Broussard said Tuesday zoning and code enforcement should be a top priority.
If the bill is filed and eventually voted on, Lakeside cityhood could be put before residents for a vote as soon as the fall of 2014.
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