Clairmont Heights: Decatur annexation would ‘destroy’ our ability to stay together

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt March 30, 2015
Map provided by the Clairmont Heights Civic Association

Map provided by the Clairmont Heights Civic Association

The Clairmont Heights Civic Association is making an appeal to the Georgia Legislature to block the Decatur annexation proposal unless an Atlanta annexation proposal also moves forward.

CHCA released a statement Monday morning regarding the plans that are being considered in the state Legislature.

“The Clairmont Heights Civic Association (CHCA) Board urges the legislature to allow Atlanta annexation bill, HB6 29, especially if any action is taken on Decatur’s plan during this session,” a statement from CHCA says. “If Decatur’s annexation is allowed to move forward by itself, we fear it will destroy the ability of our neighborhood and others to remain together with our existing school community. Decatur’s attempt to annex the four corners at Clairmont and North Decatur (Area A) is particularly troublesome because it removes the contiguity that would be needed to pursue future annexation plans. By cutting us off at major intersections, the Decatur annexation map prevents Clairmont Heights, Medlock, McLendon, and others from pursuing a mechanism to remain together.”

CHCA says the Atlanta map, which has expanded to include the McLendon area, would keep 67 percent of the student body at Druid Hills High School. The neighborhood says the proposal would take $7.6 million in annual commercial tax money away from the city, while taking in 300 students.

State Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates, has introduced annexation bills on behalf of Decatur for the portions of its annexation map that fall in her district along the eastern border. There aren’t any bills yet that concern annexation area A according to the the General Assembly website.

That bill has passed the House and is being considered in the state Senate. Atlanta’s annexation bill has not passed the House.

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  • DHH

    I don’t live in Clairmont Heights, but agree with them 100% on this one. If the Dekalb delegation picks one annexation proposal, but blocks another, then it will be proof positive that the game is totally rigged. If that’s the case, I would support TIA in going Don Quixote on the process and trying for non-legislative annexation prior to the November referendum.

    • RAJ

      Non-legislative won’t work and most likely all annexations in this area are dead for the year. None of the bills are on the calendar for tomorrow as of this morning.

      • NotRaj

        Raj, does that include the Atlanta annexation of Druid Hills/Emory or is that also dead – in which case, is it still your understanding that LH, and Tucker will pass tomorrow? And finally, any word on Stonecrest and Greenhaven? Thanks

        • RAJ

          DeKalb Delegation meeting for noon today was canceled suddenly this morning; Think that no city hood or annexation bills were on the Tuesday calendar this morning but guess that could change before the session starts tomorrow. If a rules committee meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning I will be present. Also keep in mind that bills can be brought up on the floor during the session that are not on the calendar.

  • Thisten

    I read their statement, but as Decaturish points out, and as I understand it, there haven’t been any bills introduced this year that concern Area A. So why is Clairmont Heights specifically concerned with the Decatur annexation bill, as introduced by Drenner, that in its current form doesn’t directly seem to impact that area? Clairmont Heights specifically notes concern that “Decatur’s annexation… will destroy the ability of [their] neighborhood and others to remain together with [their] existing school community.” I understand the more general “siphoning tax money” argument, but how will Drenner’s bill, which focuses on the east side, impact their neighborhood? Is there some connection with the east side of Decatur’s annexation plan and the west side (Area A) in question? They also note that “Decatur plans to take only tax base and almost no students”, which isn’t the case with the current annexation bill (28% residential) as noted by the Decatur City Manager. This statement released yesterday, 3/29, by Clairmont Heights Civic Association just seems odd to me, ill-timed and ill-informed.

    • kdhith

      I agree. This seems uninformed – they clearly were not working from the current annexation map.

    • CH Resident

      As a CH resident, i agree – ill-timed.

  • Someone else

    “CHCA says the Atlanta map, which has expanded to include the McLendon area, would keep 67 percent of the student body at Druid Hills High School.”
    Wow, so that’s only what, maybe 300 students left out? Guess that’s okay with CHCA as long as it’s, you know, someone else’s kids

  • Rob

    How will adding a handful of streets destroy Clairmont Heights?
    Sounds like they just don’t want Decatur to fix their puzzle piece. Does everyone realize Decatur stops at the YMCA then turn right on N. Decatur Rd and just after the Holiday Inn Express it is Decatur again. Seems odd to me

  • An American Patriot

    This didn’t work the last time it was proposed by a former mayor and it won’t work this time. Folks, like last time, it’s just not reasonable from a financial standpoint. If you’ll remember, there was only $75,000 in increased revenue from the annexation and that’s just not enough to be attractive. Plus, look at all of the major increases in taxes the businesses and home owners will have to pay for the “privilege” of now being a real part of Decatur, not just a postal address. To me, this one doesn’t make sense.

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