Avondale calls special meeting on annexation

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt December 30, 2014
Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

Photo obtained via the city of Avondale Estates website.

This story has been updated. 

Avondale Estates City Commissioners will hold a special called meeting on Jan. 5, 2015 to discuss annexation.

According to the agenda, it’s likely commissioners will consider approving an annexation master plan.

If approved, commissioners would submit this plan to the legislative delegation. It’s not clear whether state Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale, is inclined to submit the bill on the city’s behalf, given the controversy over annexation that arose a couple of months ago.

Drenner had filed an annexation bill earlier in 2014 under the assumption that city commissioners had supported it. That turned out not to be the case, and the ensuing controversy led Drenner to say that the annexation bill was “dead.” A few weeks later, an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution indicated her views had softened a bit. Drenner told Decaturish that article left out some important context.

Avondale delayed the vote on the map until January. At the time, Mayor Terry Giager said, “We want to make sure all the stats and the numbers make sense. Unless something happens and we have to have a special called meeting to make it earlier, we’re going to spend more time with our residents and look at the numbers and talk with the different areas.”

The map would add about 2,700 people to the city’s population. It also includes the disputed commercial areas around Rio Circle and the DeKalb Farmers Market. These property owners have asked to be removed from Avondale’s plan, and the Rio Circle owners have petitioned to be in Decatur’s plan. Neither of those things happened, and Avondale Estates leaders have been trying to convince these property owners that they’re a good fit for the city.

Decatur and Avondale are pursuing annexation as part of a larger push to incorporate DeKalb County. A five-member subcommittee recently settled one of the boundary lines for the proposed cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker, dividing up the Northlake Mall area.

Avondale Estates leaders also recently reconsidered their long-held opposition to annexing a Wal-Mart on South Columbia Drive.

This is the draft master plan posted on the city’s website.


Commissioners will meet at City Hall, located at 21 North Avondale Plaza, on Jan. 5, 2015 at 5:30 pm. All meetings are open to the public.

About Dan Whisenhunt

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

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  • jo

    Why is Avondale chasing these odd appendages of land, section “A” & “C” by stating they can provide better services but not annexing the low income apartments adjacent to the city along Memorial Drive? The annexation of the apartments would make more sense if Avondale was providing improved services and that annexation would round out the city’s borders. Avondale does not currently have the police manpower to annex the Walmart. That single annexation and the demand it would put on Avondale’s 2 patrol officers would frequently leave the city without police coverage. Even the annexation of Forest Hills would stress city services and it would force a change to the services currently delivered to all of Avondale. I do not see an epic shift in the commercial health of historic Avondale or the annexed areas of a few year ago. The city should be able to show a pattern of internal redevelopment, positive returns/tax cuts and inclusiveness before seeking an expansive land grab. Is there any additional information available reference the development authority’s records? That story seemed to die after the resignation.

    • michael

      Jo, I could not agree more! Avondale sees a chance to feather their nests. That is all. They have proved that they are not development or business friendly. They say they are friendly but facts belie this! The one thing they offer commercial properties is the bill for all the other residential annexations. They offer nothing for business’s or commercial properties in spite of the public relations campaign!

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