Map Above: “A very preliminary draft” of future annexations by the City of Decatur to prepare for City of Briarcliff
“…it is likely that by 2018, all of DeKalb County north of Memorial Drive will be located in either an existing or new city.” Those are the words of Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss in a memo to the City Commission.
As such, Decatur needs to get it’s often messy, complicated and controversial annexation house in order.
Over the past 5 years or so, Decatur officials have struggled to pass a larger scale annexation bill to incorporate more commercial property inside the city limits. Opposition has come from both sides, with unincorporated DeKalb residents balking at Decatur’s higher tax rate and groups city residents cringing at the addition of any more residential property that could overwhelm the city’s popular school system.
Well there’s now another ship on the horizon – the City of Briarcliff. According to a letter from the City Manager to the Commission as part of the agenda for tonight’s meeting, “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.”
Ms. Merriss suggests that the City of Lakeside – which runs along the southern side of the I-85 auto-river up in North DeKalb – has Republican backers in both the Georgia House and Senate, is the city most likely to be created in the coming legislative session in January. But that doesn’t mean that Decatur or any of the other existing DeKalb cities aren’t going to begin getting their annexation ducks in a row now. Again, the City Manager…
“…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.”
She also states that the city should make sure that this potential annexation be a part of ongoing community discussions with the school system regarding enrollment and facilities, as well as maintaining good communication with the neighboring city of Avondale Estates to make sure that the cities’ plans are consistent.
2014 should be interesting.