Stonecrest cityhood bill introduced

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt March 3, 2015


Stonecrest has become the third proposed DeKalb County city to be introduced in the General Assembly this week.

State Rep. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, D-Lithonia, sponsored the Stonecrest cityhood bill a day after the introduction of bills for Tucker and LaVista Hills. If the bill passes this year, it would have to be approved by voters in a referendum.

A subcommittee approved the Tucker and LaVista Hills bills this afternoon and they will be heard by the full Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday morning, March 4.

A copy of the Stonecrest bill was not immediately available. The City of Stonecrest legislation is House Bill No. 539.

The city will have about 50,000 people and would be surrounded by the proposed city of Greenhaven. There has been no bill introduced on behalf of Greenhaven.

“It’s step No. 2. This is what we’ve been waiting on for two years,” Stonecrest City Alliance President Jason Lary said. “We’re proud that Dee Dawkins filed for us. ”

Keep checking for the latest cityhood and annexation news.

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  • Ed Williams

    Reasons why the new city of Greenhaven (South DeKalb) should not be created. Need more Details. Alternatives Missing from Discussion.


    The roof on fire fear tactic approach is not a good way to make public policy.
    At the very least, citizens should be given time to consider the options and
    evaluate what another layer government would mean for the region. The rationale
    that proponents use for the justification for a new city in south DeKalb to
    leverage resources, avoid pension and bond costs, avoid annexation and focus
    efforts on economic development are not the only factors to be considered when
    creating a new city. There are many other factors that residents should
    consider in order to evaluate rather forming a city would be a good idea.

    Alternatives have not been presented to residents in the affected area. For
    example, smaller cities, opting out of the city, change the annexation laws,
    court action. Alternative forms of quasi-governmental communities should
    be considered, private residential associations or communities and special
    districts could also be alternatives to cityhood. In addition, the impact on
    the County has not been evaluated and presented as to what would likely happen
    if all the unincorporated areas became cities. The objectives, goals, and
    benefits have not been explained in any detail that could be evaluated.
    The Citizens Against Cityhood in south DeKalb believe that we can leverage
    resources and assets at the County level, particularly since the majority of
    the County commissioners and interim CEO are from south DeKalb.

    Annexation is being used as a scare tactic. Annexation is not a simple
    process. The community or property owner has to agree to be
    annexed. Property cannot just be taken or seized.

    There is no historical evidence that forming a city will provide significant
    private investment in a community that has 65% or greater African American

    The latest two cities Dunwoody and Brookhaven taxes are expected to increase.

    The proposed new city of Greenhaven (south DeKalb) will only provide the
    following services initially parks and recreation, zoning, and code
    enforcement. The County will continue to provide Water, Sanitation,
    Police and Fire, Library, 911, Ambulance, Marta, Hospital, Court services,
    Road, and many others.

    The name of the new city Greenhaven should be changed. The reason given
    for the name is suspect. The name will not change the region’s image, and
    the name has no relevance to the historical legacy or the future of the region.
    The name lacks appeal, it sounds like a funeral home or cemetery name.
    Need information on how to change the name from Greenhaven.

    The creation of a new city will likely create the condition for the formation
    of a new school district. This would likely split the DeKalb school
    district along North and South boundaries. This will impact property
    taxes, and will likely cause property taxes to dramatically increase.
    Ninety percent of the students in the DeKalb School System are African American
    and less than 10% are White.

    The proposed new city of Greenhaven (south DeKalb) will likely create the need
    to generate more revenue through code enforcement and ordinance. This
    would likely result in increase citations from the county and the new city.

    The proposed new city of Greenhaven (south DeKalb) should probably be smaller
    and residents should consider the formation of more than one city if there is a
    real need. Instead of a mega city.

    The residents in the affected areas have not been made aware of the issues of
    cityhood and its impact on their community and the county. Many residents would
    likely want to remain living in unincorporated DeKalb.

    The rationale for the new city is not valid. A new city being created in
    another part of DeKalb County is not a valid reason for south DeKalb citizens
    to do the same. The demographics are different. The majority of the
    DeKalb commissioners are citizens from south DeKalb, including the interim
    CEO. Central and south DeKalb already control the county
    legislative and executive body of DeKalb government. South DeKalb already
    is in the position to set the agenda. South DeKalb has to elect the right

    Cities cannot create private jobs. A city can create a friendly business
    climate, if the right people are elected. The new jobs that the new
    proposed city would create will likely come at the expense of lost revenue
    from DeKalb County. The County would likely experience a work force
    reduction, as a consequence of the formation of new cities.

    The Carl Vinson Institute report was a feasibility study and it only evaluated
    the financial viability of the proposed new city. The report was based on
    minimum city services: Parks and recreation, zoning, and code
    enforcement. The report did not include and qualitative data or resident
    interviews. The study did not use similar city demographics to compare
    costs, and the report did not consider the impact of the new city impact on the
    DeKalb County as a government. The report does not validate the necessity
    or efficacy of forming a new city. The report did not consider the views
    of the residents of the affected area.

    There is no information on time table for adding other services like police to
    the proposed new city services. Need more information on the process to
    amend the charter to add other services, and how long will it take to amend the
    charter. .

    There is no information on how each of the communities within the boundary of
    the new proposed city will have to choose either to become part of the new city
    or opt out and remain unincorporated. It appears that the CCCSD has
    already included all the unincorporated communities in south DeKalb in its new
    city. Information is needed in regards to the referendum process and how
    and when each community will have the opportunity to vote rather to be part of
    the new city or opt out. The way the CCCSD has conducted the cityhood process
    and drawn up the map it assumes that all the communities and neighborhoods
    within the borders want to be in the new city.

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