UPDATED: Briarcliff, Lakeside can’t reach deal with Tucker

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 16, 2014
DeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.

DeKalb County Georgia. Source: Google Maps.

A day after a missing a deadline set by the state Legislature, three groups looking to create new DeKalb County cities reported that they can’t come to a mutual agreement about their maps.

The supporters of Briarcliff and Lakeside said they will make an announcement Monday about their proposal to create a city that combines both maps. They’ll also announce what the city’s name will be. Leading up to the deadline and throughout Saturday it became clear that supporters of Tucker and Lakeside-Briarcliff were not making progress.

Speaking late Sunday, Mary Kay Woodworth, with LakesideYES and Allen Venet with the City of Briarcliff Initiative said the three groups were unable to reach a compromise.

“We are disappointed that we were not able to reach agreement with Tucker, despite our best efforts,” Woodworth said. “We look forward to the next step of the process as we strive to create a new city in North/Central DeKalb County.”

The state House Governmental Affairs Committee established the Nov. 15 deadline for the new maps after cityhood bills failed in the 2014 session. House Governmental Affairs Committee Charwoman Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, has said she will appoint a panel of five House members to draw the maps if the groups missed the deadline.

State Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, sent an email to all three groups on Friday. He said the deadline would not be extended.

“If there is a map to which at least two of the three parties have agreed, you may feel free to deliver it … for purposes of showing your progress.  This is not a requirement, however,” Jacobs wrote.

Venet said he expects Carter to appoint the panel, but said Briarcliff and Lakeside will plead their case.

“We certainly assume that the Georgia House will follow through with their plan to have a five member panel, and while we are deeply disappointed that we couldn’t reach a compromise with Tucker 2015, we look forward to making our case before the panel,” he said. “We hope to announce our map tomorrow.”

Michelle Penkava, with Tucker 2015, issued a statement late Sunday evening.

“Although it is unfortunate that all parties did not come to a mutually beneficial agreement by the Nov. 15th legislative deadline, we appreciate the opportunity given to us by the State Legislature to determine city boundaries at the local level and want to thank former Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd for the time he invested in these discussions,” Penksava said. “The Tucker community remains committed to cityhood for Tucker, and trusts that the process as determined by House Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Amy Carter will bring about a solution that is fair and respectful of our long-standing and recognized community while allowing our neighbors in other areas to achieve their own vision of local control.”

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Lacking

    The lack of any consensus really demands a moratorium on new cities and any annexations. The financial impact of these decisions is unknown and the consequences of moving forward without consensus will damage DeKalb County for generations.

  • notapunk

    There’s no way under current law to prevent all annexations. Existing cities can cherry-pick all the good commercial properties and ignore residential while the rest of us wring our hands over cityhood. It’s too bad, but that’s the way it is.

    • DecaturNotDecatur

      It’s not necessarily the way it is… legislative precedent shows that existing cities are “forced” to annex a substantial amount of residential around the commercial they are trying to cherry-pick.

      • notapunk

        That certainly isn’t happening with the planned Executive Park/CHOA annexation into Brookhaven. Residential is completely shut out.

  • HB

    It appears, based on statements made today, that Tucker leadership simply refused to negotiate. The map they lay claim to remains the same, they say this morning–which indicates they were not even willing to try a fair compromise. They may be using this as a blocking technique, but in truth it’s coming off as a Tucker land grab: because according to posts on NextDoor by Northlake businesses, the businesses in the Tucker/Northlake CID do NOT want to be forced into a municipality of Tucker, they prefer to be in the intown city. Why aren’t Tucker residents more concerned about the rights of those business owners (not to mention the ITP folks) who don’t want to be left out of local policing that the intown city would provide? Not cool.

    • HB

      Quote from Nextdoor: “I am one of the Northlake Business Owners and we have specifically joined forces with Tucker on a CID for mutual commercial development grants ONLY and clearly expressed opposition to being either split down LaVista Road or included wholly in Tucker at all.”

  • Beelzelakesidebub

    Dan, will you or someone else be covering the City of South DeKalb meeting tonight?

    • First I’ve heard of it. Do you know the details?

      • Beelzelakesidebub

        Here’s the info:


        Mon, November 17, 6pm – 8pm
        951 N Indian Creek Dr, Clarkston, GA 30021

        There is also a Facebook group for them. And thank you!

  • underscorex

    *sad trombones*

  • Tom Doolittle

    HB–pls provide a link or reference to the Nextdoor comments by Northlake businesses. Which neighborhood’s Nextdoor did you see that? That would be very unusual–and newsworthy.

    • HB

      Here is the direct quote. I will not post the person’s name here, as it’s not my post, but they are from “Sargent Hills” and you can see the post directly on that site. Quote: “I am one of the Northlake Business Owners and we have specifically joined forces with Tucker on a CID for mutual commercial development grants ONLY and clearly expressed opposition to being either split down LaVista Road or included wholly in Tucker at all.”

  • Judd

    How far south does Lakeside/Briarcliff want to come now? Still down the northern border of Decatur & Avondale? Is that much settled at least? I assume this means further delay for the whole process.

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