Atlanta annexation bill filed, includes Druid Hills

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt March 11, 2015
Closeup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Closeup of the Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Connor Carey. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This story has been updated. 

State Rep. Pat Gardner, D-Atlanta, has filed two annexation bills for the city of Atlanta, including a bill that would call for a referendum on annexing the Druid Hills community.

Gardner filed the bills on March 10. The Atlanta annexation bill might need some more clarity. While the original annexation proposal put together by Together in Atlanta included Briar Vista and Fernbank Elementary, as well as Druid Hills High School, House Bill 586 appears to also include McLendon and Medlock Elementary Schools.


A source familiar with the negotiations tells Decaturish that the bill is essentially the TIA map plus the Medlock Park neighborhood. There are no schools beyond the elementary schools in the original TIA proposal the source said. The source said the schools are named in the bill because they voting precincts for the area in the annexation map.

The McLendon precincts will come out of the map that will be released later today, the source said.

The other bill would compass areas of South Fulton County, including Sandtown.

No map is currently available for the bill. Decaturish has reached out to Gardner for comment. This story will be updated when she responds.

The Druid Hills annexation is still up in the air as the Legislature is also considering a proposal for a city of LaVista Hills, which includes a portion of the map for the Druid Hills annexation proposal. The LaVista Hills Bill is making its way through the Legislature as well.

Here is House Bill 586:


H/T Georgia Unfiltered

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  • Russell Carleton

    Llllllllllet’s get ready to rumble!!!

    • Smarter Than You

      The annexations must be put down, and then refuse new cities.

      • RAJ

        Yes! And then try to plea bargain your way out of unincorporated DeKalb.

        • NotRaj

          @RAJ, I follow your comments on these posts. What do you think (or know?) will happen with respect to these cityhood and annexation bills? With crossover day quickly approaching, any chance for all to pass this session? I note that neither the Greenhaven cityhood bill nor the COD/Avondale annexation plans have been submitted as was reported as being imminent on this blog.

          • RAJ

            The Capitol is a ZOO right now,can’t talk to staff or reps, gave up today after a few hours. Overview as of now is that Tucker has a small issue to work out with Stone Mountain and LaVista Hills map probably stays the same. Annexation bills can pop up at any time but did not see any advertised in today’s Champion. Any annexation by Atlanta or TIA is a flyer at this point. I think all have to go thru the DeKalb Delegation at some point and the votes(9) are just not there. Will Fran make minor adjustments to Tucker and LaVista Hills maps or require Tucker to have a police Department? EP meeting tomorrow night, but think she is on a listening tour for the deaf. I will try to meet with her tomorrow. I have bigger fish to fry(it HAS been pointed out that I have a very small frying pan)in Brokenhaven with Nancy Jester tomorrow night.

          • lifeboat_director

            Raj- You seem to be in the know. Does any ATL annexation of Druid Hills and new areas have to be approved by the Dekalb Delegation before it is submitted for vote? If so…would you agree this effort is dead unless the Dekalb delegation has a change of heart? I want to see a vote…but what are the odds? Thanks

          • RAJ

            Good question! A question not needing an answer until now. Can Atlanta or Fulton Delegation do an “end run”to the House floor…I think not. Pam and I are dead set against Atlanta taking DCSS property. Relationships are built on enduring issues that people believe in and the success of public schools in DeKalb County is one of those issues. HGAC and Rules committee are both controlled by Republicans and remember this annexation overlaps LVH. I think NO WAY. I have proposals in the works for the Senate with no overlap but a vote is unlikely.

          • RAJ

            So…….HB586 goes to the house intergovernmental committee after the Atlanta delegation. This should be interesting!

  • TribePride

    I would exercise caution in assuming that McClendon Elementary is included. I’d like to see the official version of the map, but it appears to be built around census tracts and blocks, especially when voting areas are not included in full. The bill lists only one census tract/block from McClendon, and it’s pretty far west from the school building. That’s not much of the McClendon attendance zone at all.

    • So noted, which is why I didn’t lead with it. They didn’t attach any maps to this and I haven’t seen any. Stay tuned.

  • Steven Gregory

    A great step toward unification and helping to solve the incredibly fractured governments we have in the Atlanta metro. Cobb does one thing, unicorporated DeKalb does another, Brookhaven another… it’s like little fiefdoms that inhibit regional progress.

    • Smarter Than You

      Uhh… what? Steven you think Atlanta annexing perfectly content areas of generationally unincorporated Dekalb SOLVES fractured government? You need to get familiar with the issues. This is a response to Republican inspired sponsorship of LaVista Hills from legislators who don’t live or have one constituent in the “new city.” I agree the more governmental divisions, the harder anything is to accomplish regionally and the more inefficient government is in general – but the residents in Dekalb do not want to be part of Atlanta. The people will speak (if the nightmare even materializes.)

      • EC

        I don’t even know you, but you assume I don’t want to be part of Atlanta. Interesting…

      • DecaturNotDecatur

        Atlanta annexation of Druid Hills is a conversation that has taken place many times before the current events taking place. This is not a “response to Republican inspired sponsorship” of a new city.

        You should research the issues a bit more. Also, TIA’s role in this is in response to Thurmond’s actions with the DH charter cluster.

      • RAJ

        Check again…I think Scott Holcomb is co-sponsor on the LVH bill….this is to please people like you. LVH bill just passed the House while I was there 129 to 37. This should put TIA in the shade.

      • Guest

        I do (want to be annexed into Atlanta) smarter than you – that’s the new DeKalb county slogan isn’t it?

      • DH

        Myself and a lot of other people who live in unincorporated Dekalb are far from being perfectly content about the state of things. Embarrassed yes, but definitely not content.

  • factivist

    Thanks for keeping us updated on all the myriad of things going on with legislation that affects our part of DeKalb. It all makes the head spin!

  • BeerBanker

    Might wanna change the lead…The Atlanta annexations have always included Druid Hills…It’s Medlock that’s been in play…

    • Russell Carleton

      I think that the news here is that because their map includes DH, it will cause a boundary dispute with LaVista Hills. They could have demurred (since LVH filed first), but they decided to duke it out.

  • denkon

    Does anyone know if the annexation bills can pass with overlapping boundaries? If not, then does it mean the first bill that gets signed by the governor wins?

    • Russell Carleton

      I just pictured competing sides running toward Gov. Deal’s office, pen in hand. Thanks for that laugh.

      On the real issue, passing this bill, assuming that there are overlapping boundaries, would basically be the House (and perhaps eventually the Senate) passing bills that are in direct conflict with one another. That would be like saying yellow paint is both legal and illegal. Can that even happen?

    • RAJ

      Just for fun …may have something to do with party affiliation.

      • Russell Carleton

        I am shocked that you think such things as party affiliation might be involved. Shocked I say.

  • Jason Valentine

    “Together in Atlanta” is as bad as the DeKalb County School board. No
    map, no conversation or even notification that I get
    included without information. I’d rather be raped by Decatur than Atlanta. My neighborhood was not in question, but “Together in Atlanta” suddenly included me. Who elected the “Together in Atlanta” narcissists?

  • ZenderTranscender

    Enthusiasm for annexation apparently has waned since last fall. DeKalb Strong has gathered some steam, in the meantime. Any predictions?

  • 1gadawg

    I find it crazy that anyone in DH, or any where else nearby would want to be annexed into that horrible mess that is Atlanta. Horrible school system, horrible politics (DeKalbs problems not withstanding), and LaVista Hill may not be much better. But damn, City of Atl? smh…

  • Tom Doolittle
  • DH Resident

    My family lives in Druid Hills and I grew up in Dekalb. It has gone from fair to bad to worse. We are staunch supporters of Together in Atlanta. Dekalb is an utter embarrassment. Terrible services, mismanagement, a school system that feels median is high achieving, theft, fraud, bloat, nepotism…. We would love to join Atlanta and the positive energy and change we see taking place around us. Our property values will skyrocket, services improve, and our neighborhood schools will be controlled by and serve our community. Count us in.

    • ZenderTranscender

      I live in the city of Atlanta, in DeKalb County.
      Kassim Reed and his management style are nothing to praise.Many taxpayers are upset with him about the deal for the stadium when have potholes in our streets and road the size of Rhode Island. This is like the guy who drives the new Mercedes but says he can’t afford health insurance. As you know, there are many other infrastructure problems too.There is a lot about city government not to like.

  • DHH

    While I’m perfectly fine annexing into Atlanta, or simply staying the status quo provided nothing else in the county changes, it strikes me as completely unexplained why Decatur has not made a play for Druid Hills/ Clairmont Heights/ Medlock. High end residential with low density is the next best thing to pure commercial, and this area adjacent to Decatur would provide both schools and a tax base that gives more than it takes. Further such an annexation could be accomplished with the 60% method, thereby removing all the political gymnastics involved. If I were a resident in Decatur I would be concerned that my elected officials have not taken a more long term look at the trend lines in Dekalb; instead of debating how to cram in more learning cottages (trailers) they should come up with a more aspirational plan that entails a larger annexation.

    • RAJ

      I covered this with two Decatur officials at the DeKalb Delegation meeting two weeks ago and it is not politically doable….please see my previous posts.

      • DHH

        Exactly my point. I believe it could be accomplished non-legislatively, ie outside of the gold dome.

        • RAJ

          Easy answer….too many kids, no elderly deduction,have you ever tried to get 60% of a neighborhood to do ANYTHING.

          • DHH

            If Decatur says yes, then 60% is a clear-able hurdle.

            The raw data from the MANA survey indicate a level of support in the high 70 pct range. I don’t have the Clairmont Heights data, but strongly suspect it is similar. Druid Hills was roughly 50/50 for Atlanta, and anecdotally, I know of some vehement anti-Atlanta folks who are very pro-Decatur.

            The reason it hasn’t happened is because the Decatur leadership does not want to add an additional amount of land to their fairly small footprint. At the same time they now bemoan the what-ifs of having not purchased the Devry campus for their school district. Well here is another option, that they may have now, but not in the future.

          • RAJ

            Neighborhood surveys are useless as you will find out at tonight’s EP meeting. MANA survey said 70% for Decatur THEN big majority for Atlanta?? Still too many kids,residential does not pay for it’s self, no meaningful elderly deduction. Please do your homework!

          • DHH

            Oh snap! I just got RAJ’d.

            Homework? The homework is doing a formal petition.

            I’m ready to step up when Decatur is.

          • RAJ

            I’m always willing to help the mentally challenged!

          • DHH

            If that’s what floats your boat, then by all means have at it hoss.

          • an opportunity to vote

            The MANA survey was requested again after it became clear that while Decatur was the neighborhood’s choice, Decatur did not want them. The second survey reflected Atlanta as the overwhelming choice. I don’t think that will prove a useless exercise, but rather is support for their inclusion in the Atlanta Annexation map.

          • RAJ

            Your neighborhood is in the outfield of the Emory area and is populated by deranged Phd’s from the 60’s, but I still love you to death anyway! I have been cutting through your neighborhood from a more prosperous area just to the North and scattering your loose poultry since the late 60’s. The latest Atlanta annexation bill is just a last resort by a desperate TIA group with a total disregard for others.

          • an opportunity to vote

            You had me fooled from the first few posts of yours I read. I thought initially that your input was fact based. Now I see that facts are not what you use to make your arguments, but rather assumptions, emotion and a lack of thorough analysis. Good luck with that.

          • RAJ

            I’m all about facts, just like,from time to time, to have a little fun at my own and other’s expense. If the LVH bill passes, think I’ll start working on my own set of annexation maps!

  • Vince

    DeKalb is the Balkans of Georgia. I live in Cobb, where stability rules the day. I may not always like what I have, but at least I know what I have and who it’s coming from.

  • an opportunity to vote

    Thank you Pat Gardner for giving this area the opportunity to vote, just as the areas in the new cities have that same privilege!

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