New city: Briarcliff + Lakeside = LaVista Hills

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 17, 2014

This story has been updated. 

The two groups behind the proposed cities of Briarcliff and Lakeside have announced a plan for a city that will combine both maps: LaVista Hills.

If approved by the General Assembly and voters, it will be DeKalb County’s largest city with 72,000 residents.

“Cityhood is about giving communities and citizens a choice,” Mary Kay Woodworth (formerly of Lakeside YES), said in a press release. “We have spoken at well over a hundred community meetings in the last two years, and we continue to listen and respond to what residents and businesses tell us and to community’s desires. We are thankful to our volunteers and appreciate the continued community support and input shaping the new city’s vision.”

The two groups tried – and failed – to reach an agreement with groups looking to form a city of Tucker. If the three could not reach an agreement, the state House Governmental Affairs Committee intended to form a five-member panel to draw up the maps ahead of the 2015 session.

The press release includes a quote from state Sen. Fran Millar that indicates he will support the LaVista Hills bill in the 2015 session.

“I’m happy to see that Briarcliff and Lakeside could meet the House Governmental Affairs committee imposed deadline and look forward to helping them with their bill when they get to the Senate,” Millar said in the release.

Woodworth and Allen Venet with the City of Briarcliff Initiative said they tried to work with Tucker to find a compromise.

“Make no mistake,” Woodworth said in the release. “The Nov. 15 deadline was handled with the utmost respect and urgency. Conversations started early and continued until the deadline, and we are disappointed that we were not able to reach agreement with Tucker, despite our best efforts.  Tucker’s claim they are remaining  ‘consistent with our borders’ reflects an unwillingness on their part to compromise, and more importantly, a refusal to acknowledge the desires of both residents and the business community.”

Venet said in the release that, “Tucker 2015’s decision to include all of the Northlake commercial and industrial businesses would not allow for two thriving cities. We believe that the larger community –  both inside and outside I-285 – have benefited from the Northlake business area for over 50 years, and that both LaVista Hills and Tucker should enjoy the benefit and the responsibility that comes with healthy business-community relations for the next 50 years.”

Here is the proposed map for LaVista Hills and the proposed map for Tucker.


A map of the proposed city of Tucker, obtained via

A map of the proposed city of Tucker, obtained via


About Dan Whisenhunt

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  • HB

    Looks to me like the original Lakeside map.
    With the school issues, and Tucker’s disregard for Northlake’s wishes to be left out of Tucker, the whole thing is going down. Just as well maybe. This city is being driven by old school luddites, conservative types who think this new quasi-suburb is a good idea, not a backward one. Way to shoot our property values in the foot.

    • DH

      Agreed. I-285 should be the border. How hard was that?

      • realityagent

        Why should I-285 be the border? People that live along I-285 are closer to Northlake than Tucker. Remember the protractors from elementary school? Stick the point in Northlake Mall then draw a circle around it approximately a mile in diameter. That’s your “community of interest”. That’s how the boundaries should be drawn IF you’re taking residents into consideration.

    • jo

      ” Tucker’s disregard for Northlake’s wishes”, I’m not sure I agree as Northlake businesses joined Tucker’s CID. Renamed it to Northlake Tucker CID. Tucker has been consistent and Lakeside has redrawn their borders a couple of times. I’m also not confident in the merger of Lakeside and Briarcliff holding as their proposals for the mechanics of governance and tax rate were very different. Very different ideologies trying to stay married until they get a city and then I think they plan on hashing out their differences; I don’t think that is smart government. I like Tucker’s plan of city-lite. It will keep cost down and the DeKalb Police do a good job. The relatively new Dunwoody police have reported 3 years of rising crime while the county has reported lower crime rates. They could divide the whole county into city-lites. I think it would let everyone in on the “local” government and not just the affluent areas. City-lite looks affordable for everyone.

      • notapunk

        Buying the Tucker spin, much?Anyone remember this Tucker map?
        Perhaps we should also go back and revisit the TCA map that magically disappeared from their web site. All OTP.
        Consistent my ever-changing weight.

      • HB

        Jo, see other threads here for quoted posts with T-NL CID business owners desire not to join Tucker. Maybe they want more police influence. Maybe it wants to respect its 30345 Atlanta identity, who knows.. (Tell you what, I grew up here, spent my teens at Northlake and Market Square, remember that, and we never considered it Tucker–that was that old town a few miles out. It was Northlake, on the border of Atlanta.) Regardless, how about the city just stop at 285. Everyone’s happy, then, right?

  • Eh…Bola

    Unrelated observation: Is Clarkston really pretty much just a circle? That’s an interesting boundry.

    • underscorex

      I’d guess they literally stuck a compass in the town hall (or whatever) and got to doodlin’…

  • blackbird13

    Tucker’s plans don’t call for a police force, at least not initially, as part of the initial 3 municipal services required for cityhood. Anyone know if that will also be the case for Lavista Hills?

  • vm

    As a new resident of Tucker off Cooledge and Lawrenceville Hwy I am very troubled by what is going on with Tucker and now LaVista Hills. Frankly, I see the need for a city to manage the area, the failure of DeKalb county to control ordinances is appauling at best and it’s police department over burdened. To protect everyones interest what if Tucker and LaVista Hills just merged into one new city, for our propery values not to suffer maybe we should just call the area North Decatur or East Decatur? Tucker and LaVista Hills are really not marketable names we should leverage the positive image of Decatur in the name of the new city. It’s clear that something needs to be done we live in a growing part of metro Atlanta that should become the next “Dunwoody” our location both ITP and OTP are convenient and there is no reason we are under served by DeKalb County and the business community.

    • blackbird13

      Interesting idea about using Decatur in the names. Not sure how they came up with Lavista Hills, but it leaves me cold. I’ve always liked the name Briarcliff, but it doesn’t mean anything to people unfamiliar with the area.

  • Tom Doolittle

    HB–and jo: You make points I agree with. I would point out that “Northlake” can mean a lot of things (whether or not includes residential areas, ie: voters)

    HB–pls show precisely the threads or any other sources that are Northlake businesses that don’t want to be in a city of Tucker. The reason I ask is that the Northlake Business Association’s only position is that they don’t want the business area SPLIT between two jurisdictions. No statement of any preference of city or even that they don’t want to be in a city–only NOT SPLIT. Therefore, the comments you refer to must be individual businesses or property owners. Pls point those out here.

    • HB

      Already did, Tom, in other thread, as a direct reply to you. The Northlake Business owner confirmed what you just said: No split down Lavista, and No to being “only Tucker” too. Again, I assume it’s because they want policing to protect their business and customers, but that’s just a guess.

      • tom doolittle

        HB–I see this on another article that you commented from a Nextdoor post–can you provide a link to the Nextdoor post and any other posted info from you on this blog? I’m not questioning you, just trying to make it easier for me to follow up for an article–it’s news.

        “”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.”

  • Tom Doolittle

    The problem with using Northlake (I assume Northlake Mall) as center point is that no one has proposed a city centered there. Northlake’s commercial area is considered a “fringe” of both city proposals–which is not logical. I would agree theat the large regional commercial area makes good sense as a community’s center.
    (It unfortunately has five zip codes within a mile of it–many problems with that–not too many zip codes exactly–too many that CONVERGE there–all separate communities).

    • notapunk

      Zip codes don’t define communities. Interests don’t change at the border between zip codes.
      Problem with the area is that all of the communities overlap, but aren’t homogenous from one end to the other.

  • Tom Doolittle

    An Alex Wan meeting at University Hts Methodist Church in Laurel Ridge (Shamrock) tonight (Nov 19) at 7:00 PM. Key here is how the “rest” of the Druid Hills HS Charter Cluster will be able to respond to possibly losing its mother ship. Will the proposed annexation area ultimately go to and beyond North Druid Hills Road?

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