City of South DeKalb will get new name

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt January 29, 2015
Members of Concerned Citizens for Cityhood for South DeKalb met at the public library in Clarkston on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Members of Concerned Citizens for Cityhood for South DeKalb met at the public library in Clarkston on Monday, Nov. 17, 2014. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt

This story has been updated.

Organizers behind the creation of a City of South DeKalb have called a press conference for Friday, Jan. 30, to announce a new name for the proposed city: Greenhaven.

The group announced its new name via its Facebook page on Jan. 29.

“The reason for the name? In all of nature, the color GREEN is associated with sustainable life. Life that is creative, productive, inspiring and present in abundance,” the announcement says. “We chose HAVEN because it suggests a place where all life (human life in particular) is VALUED, SAFE and PROTECTED. The city of GREENHAVEN shall be a place where human creativity, accountability, productivity, economic development and responsibility lives.”

The press conference will be held at 10:30 am at the Wesley Chapel Library, 2861 Wesley Chapel Road, Decatur, GA 30034.

“The name announcement and unveiling will kick off 2015 cityhood efforts for the proposed city,” the press release says. “CCCSD will discuss its branding efforts, what they have accomplished, the DeKalb County pension plan, and next steps. In addition, Isaac Finley, Vice Chair of CCCSD, will explain the naming process that started with 20 names and was whittled down to one.”

“Rebranding is the beginning. The area once known as South DeKalb is transforming into a new city with a new vision and an exciting future.”

During a public meeting last November, the group announced it was considering several names for the city, which would encompass most of unincorporated South DeKalb County and would be the second largest in Georgia with nearly 300,000 residents. The proposed map would include everything in DeKalb south of U.S. 78 up to I-285, excluding a proposed city of Stonecrest, and everything south of Memorial Drive on the other side of 285.

Other potential city names included:

– Candler City – Named for the major thoroughfare in south DeKalb

– Panola City – Named after another major thoroughfare

– Sky City- A reference to Atlanta’s dominance in transportation by air

-Haven- A reference to South DeKalb’s cultural diversity. “The county has also become a haven for African, Iraqi, and Latino asylum seekers,” a handout on the proposed city says.

– New Haven

– New Phoenix – A nod to a potential rebirth for South DeKalb

– Creek Hills – The handout says, “Most of DeKalb County was ceded from the Creek Indians on Jan. 8, 1821.”

– New Africa City – “The population is predominantly Black and originally comes from Africa,” one of the handouts notes

– New DeKalb – Another nod to a rebirth of South DeKalb

– Freedom City – “Freedom from the shackles that bind us,” the handout says.

CCCSD President Kathryn Rice told Decaturish the group expects its feasibility study back sometime in February.

South DeKalb is one of four proposed cities in DeKalb County this year. The others are Stonecrest, Tucker and LaVista Hills. All are seeking consideration by the General Assembly this year, but at this time no cityhood bills or annexation bills have been introduced.

Cities like Decatur and Avondale Estates are pursuing their own annexation plans in response to the cityhood initiatives.

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  • HB
    • Thanks. I assumed they were waiting until the presser to announce the name. Apparently not.

    • Jim

      Aw. I was pulling for ‘McKinneyville’.

      • YouGoneLearn2Day

        Always got to throw in bullsh## to try and make yourself look/feel better. I’ll assume you’re in lil ol’ Decatur with nowhere to expand. Try this on for size: we have more available land in ‘McKinneyville’ than Decatur, Druid Hills and a lot more of you COMBINED! Before you say nobody will build in our area I would advise all of you to think again. The schools are not a game changer because what I don’t see in cars that are stuck in all the traffic on the highways are kids! Nobody’s dragging their kids all up 285 to the area they work in ahole! Sit back shut up and hope we don’t eventually move the courthouse too! lol. Do a little researcher and you’ll find that in GA not ALL courthouses are located where the law says they should be.

        • Anne

          Your “we’re taking over” attitude is precisely what alienates people who might actually be on your side. You need to tone down the hostility, and try to speak intelligently without obscenities.

          • YouGoneLearn2Day

            Really, did you read your own comments? Who are you to say what’s appropriate? How did you end throwing in the New Orleans crap? Where did that come from? And the others “McKinneyville” “Trying to be Brookhaven” “who were probably never asked to be in” (how do you know who was asked?). That is how annexation works in GA, take/claim things (see Doraville, Lavistahills, DECATUR/Medlock. If your able to give it be ready to take it! Oh, Lavista Hills can change their name to whatever they want, its no business of ours just like our name is no business of yours! You’ve written the most obscene comment of all. You all are the ones having a problem with what we’re doing.

          • MAC

            Anne, from my viewpoint, you did a lot of overstepping in many of your comments on this blog. Your unsolicited paternalism and patronizing attitude contributed to turning what should have been a positive, joyous announcement of the naming of Greenhaven into a racial issue. And THEN, when people respond to your foolishness with anger and ire, giving you a taste of your own medicine, it becomes, for you, the racialized self-fulfilling prophesy that you apparently wanted to read into this all along. I don’t live in South DeKalb (therefore, I have ZERO voice in what and how SD chooses to name itself–and if you don’t live there, neither do you). Still, I am as supportive of the cityhood impetus behind Greenhaven as I am Tucker and LaVista Hills. The mainstream media and county at large ALREADY give more legitimacy and attention to the other cityhood movements (props to Decaturish for always being ahead of the reporting curve), so why steal their thunder? Why patronize? Why minimize? There’s something ugly, mean spirited, and downright uncivil about the jokes (McKinneyville) and the unnecessary devaluing of the importance of self governing and self determination when it comes to South DeKalb citizens. It goes to show: do nothing and you’re labled lazy and uninvolved; do something, and you’re accused of trying to be something that you’re not. A bogus no win…

  • Susan In NoMansLand

    South DeKalb is below I-20, NOT below 78. You’re going to tick off a LOT of Central DeKalb folks who have probably never been asked if they want to be included (kind of like what Lavista Hills is doing to Laurel Ridge/Shamrock) Also, you are ensuring that the existing cities of Clarkston, Stone Mountain, Pine Lake, & Lithonia can NEVER expand, even though several of them already have long-range annexation maps on the books. So RUDE! This is the lamest cityhood proposal of them all.

    • YouGoneLearn2Day

      Really? I don’t think so. See Doraville de-annexation! They have options. Legislature has no problem taking from one area to give to another. Anyone with general knowledge knows that most cities/counties need to be a certain size in order to survive.

      Doesn’t matter, all of the above that you listed are just like Decatur, Druid Hills, etc – not much wiggle room. No matter how you slice the pie we will still have the largest slice.

      Let us know when you all decide to work with rather than against us. Change is coming whether you like it or not.

      The most interesting thing we have noticed is how quick everyone is to make nasty remarks in regards to our area. Keep showing your true colors. In all these years we haven’t attacked any of you but as soon as things get tight for you it’s all the other folks fault! If it makes you feel better keep it up. We want our neighbors to feel better. That’s how WE are. We bend we don’t break. You haven’t figured that out yet?

      Try putting all this negative energy into finding solutions to help the county as a whole.

      • Invisible Man

        We are still a county called DeKalb unless someone is talking about dissolving the County. Why don’t you work with the other commissioners at the county level? You should read up on the history of DeKalb County. What if every resident in DeKalb wanted to create their own city. The state of Georgia has a lot of counties for its size. Can a city create a city within a city? WIll a community be able to remove itself from these cityhood effprts? Will communities have the choice to annex themselves to another city if they so choose.

        DeKalb was established from parts of Henry, Fayette
        and Gwinnett Counties.

    • Bernie

      Lithonia has no annexation plans.

  • MAC

    Unprovoked, unfunny, and totally unnecessary remark. I don’t live in South DeKalb, but I respect that community for being agents of the change that they want to see in the county. How about a little more taste and respect for your fellow citizens? How about build some bridges rather than erecting walls on flimsy elitist pillars?

    • Invisible Man

      It would be nice if we could work and play together at the county level. It seems that there are some factors at play. Socio economic, education, culture, values, and race issues at play. It is the elephant in the room, the story of America. I do not believe that all blacks want to be in the same city, nor do I believe all whites want to be in the same city. I do not believe that a city should only have rich people and other city have only poor people, I do not believe that some cities should only have educated people and other cities have not so educated people. DeKalb county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation. Yet it seems that we are rushing to create communities absent of diversity. I moved here in DeKalb because it was diverse and it was unincorporoated.

  • notapunk

    I like the new name and I wish them the best of luck.

  • Anne

    Trying to be Brookhaven

    • MAC

      New Haven, South Haven, Haven City, Winter Haven, Grand Haven, West Haven, etc….the country is filled with cities that play on the use of “haven” as a symbol of safe and secure dwelling in city naming. Logical. There’s no more confusing Greenhaven with Brookhaven than LaVista Hills with Chattahoochee Hills, Druid Hills, or Richmond Hill. In addition, MANY U.S. cities have “political” or cultural-oriented names: Washington, Jackson, Jefferson, Glasgow (Kentucky), Arab (Alabama), Pensacola (named after Peniscola, Spain), Santa Fe, Chicago (checaugou from Potawami Indians)–how many U.S. state names come from Native American groups: Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Kansas, etc., etc., etc. Africa makes it “political.” Why? Jeez. How petty…

      • Anne

        I do think it could cause confusion to have two “haven” cities in the very same county. And sorry, but any name that even remotely suggests race or racial causes is NOT an appropriate name.

        • underscorex

          Anne, have you ever listened to Parliament-Funkadelic?

          Go give “Chocolate City” a spin and get back to me on “inappropriate and offensive” because that track is the JAM.

      • RAJ


  • Anne

    I have no problem with south DeKalb incorporating, but they need to have their own identity, not confusing themselves with Brookhaven. What is wrong with Stonecrest, that’s a nice name. I was shocked to read some of their own suggested names … Africa City?? Freedom City?? REALLY?? Tell me those aren’t political.

  • DHH

    Very nice name typographically. No decenders, no tittle marks. Most characters are round and the two n’s look nice together. They need a good font that takes advantage of the roundness. Incidentally greenhaven is what I call our grow room in the subbasement.

  • I’m going to say it again to those of you who are not familiar with our decorum: be nice. Be civil. Do not use personal attacks or use racist words/or stereotypes. Do not engage in childish name calling. This forum is a place to discuss issues in an intelligent way, not a place to belittle the feelings and values of others. You can be passionate, but you should also be respectful and understanding that some people may not see things the way you do. That’s OK. It’s called life.

    If your sole purpose in coming here is to take pot shots at people behind a username because you’re too afraid to say it to their faces, then your participation in this discussion and any public discussions about these important issues is a waste of everybody’s time. If you don’t like that concept and decide to comment elsewhere, that suits me fine. I want to cultivate an audience of thoughtful, civic-minded readers who are interested in having an honest conversation about these topics. If that interests you too, then you’ll always be welcome here. If not, take it outside.

  • DHH

    I dont understand the ire directed against Driud Hills. My guess is that most folks here support Greenhaven. Stay classy, stay positive and ignore the haters.

    If i personally felt that Buckhead were more of a gem than Druid Hills, i would be living in Buckhead. Both are great with their own pros and cons.

  • DH

    The movement for annexation is about finding a better home. Dekalb county is not well run – to put it mildly – and worse yet resistant to reform. Buckhead has nothing to do with anything.

  • Invisible Man

    Why does the Greenhaven skyline logo look like the New York skyline. The
    new city of South DeKalb want ever look like New York. There are no skyscrapers in South DeKalb. Whoever came up with that logo was
    hallucinating or psychotic. The logos for Dunwoody, Brookhaven and the
    other cities are more realistic.

  • Invisible Man

    New municipalities can impact taxes, school districts, land-use, growth
    control, environmental regulations, elected representation and public utility
    services. New municipalities can lead to fragmentation and competition for
    financial resources between local governments.

    What are the options in south DeKalb. Create a city, maintain the status quo, or
    create multiple small cities.

    The annexation laws should be made more stricter,
    alternative forms of quasi-governmental communities should be considered,
    private residential associations communities and special districts could also
    be alternatives to cityhood.

    The elephant in the room that some people want
    to ignore is that business investments tend not to be significant in areas that
    have a population of color over 65 percent.

  • Invisible Man

    The name “Greenhaven” is not a good name it sounds like a church, or rest home, or funeral home. The name sounds like a country town; it might have selected the name
    Green Acres, just like the TV show from the sixties and early seventies. There
    is a city called West Green, Georgia, Greenwood South Carolina, Greenwood
    Mississippi, and Greensboro North Carolina. I do not want to live in either one of these cities. This was an opportunity for the organization to show and
    demonstrate some creativity and talent and leadership and it failed.

  • Invisible Man

    The effort lead by the CCCSD does not seem to be supported by the business community. I do not believe that the name “Greenhaven” will transform the community and provide sustainability and abundance for the residents in south DeKalb.
    The name has no historical and no link to a vision of the future of the
    commonality of the various communities.

    This group does not represent the citizens and did not represent the citizens in picking the name. This group is pushing an idea without any study or consensus from the citizens. Some reason the group thinks that it is making a gumbo soup. They are proposing to just take a lot of neighborhoods and lump them together and call it a city. The citizens of south DeKalb should say “No Thanks”.

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