Decatur begins process of annexing properties to clean up boundaries

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt October 20, 2015
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

While Decatur’s larger plans to annex more commercial property into the city may be on the back burner for now, the city continues pick up parcels that straddle the line between the city and unincorporated DeKalb.

During the Oct. 19 City Commission meeting, commissioners accepted petitions from the owners of 12 parcels requesting annexation into Decatur.

The addresses are:

172  Willow Lane

2292 Ferndale Drive

2367 N. Decatur Road

552 Willivee Drive

543 N. Superior Avenue

417 Pensdale Road

232 Willow Lane

240 Willow Lane

111 Scott Blvd.

2203 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue

649 Kirk Road

2584 McKinnon Drive


City Manager Peggy Merriss said during the meeting she sent out about two dozen letters to property owners who had parcels that were split between the two jurisdictions. She said the impact on the school system would be negligible. Five of the property owners already have children in City Schools of Decatur, and one has a child in a private school, she said.

After the commissioners accepted the petitions, Merriss said she would begin talking to DeKalb County and other officials to officially move the parcels into Decatur.

“Our intention would be to do this process and probably not do it again any time soon, wait a couple or three years before looking at it again,” Merriss said.

Interim Commissioner Bill Bolling asked why the city hadn’t done this earlier.

Merriss explained that the city tried to do it as part of its larger annexation efforts, but those died in the state Legislature this year. Some off the affected property owners made requests to Decatur to move their entire parcel into the city. Merriss said she is unsure why the lines were split to begin with.

“If I could figure out who did this in 1940 we’d have a really long conversation,” she said.

In other business commissioners:

– Approved an alcoholic beverage license for Grindhouse Killer Burgers, which is expected to open early next year.

– Approved traffic calming measures for Sycamore Drive. The recommendations include installing a median at the entrance to the Decatur Heights neighborhood in the 900 block of Sycamore Drive. Commissioners also approved a $104,000, change order to its paving contract to help pay for the traffic calming measures and for other projects. Deanne Thomas, president of the Decatur Heights Neighborhood Association, spoke in support of the traffic calming efforts. “I’d like to thank City Staff for moving it along,” she said.

– Approved modifications to a federal grant to purchase flood prone properties. According to the memo attached to the city commission agenda, the city applied for a grant to buy properties at 115 Willow Lane and 453 Superior Avenue. But the property appraisals for the property show the combined value of both exceeds the grant amount by $122,000. The property at Willow Lane is appraised at $315,000 and the property at Superior Avenue is appraised at $370,000.


Editor’s note: Due to an illness, Decaturish was unable to send a representative to the Oct. 19 meeting and watched the meeting via the city’s live video feed. 

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

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  • Cities Are Bad

    These citie are so bad th re forcibly making people enter their city. How would ayone of their own choosing go into a city that has such high taxes. Dekalb Stron will be reacting to this injustice as soon as oher more important issues in dekalb are taken care of.

    • Crambone

      Anybody got any good data on Decatur’s tax rates compared to the rest of Atlanta areas? All I hear are people complaining about the high taxes.

    • slowcat

      If you read the article, it clearly states that the owners of the properties in question asked to be annexed entirely into the city of Decatur by petition. They were not forced.

      • Cities Are Bad

        Dekalb strong was saying tht no annexations would happen that people wer too smart to be in cities. I jus cant believe that someone would choose to be in a city like Decatur rather than be in the free land of dekalb county. The must have kids and want them to go to a good school that is close by or something like that. Definitely not for lower taxes.

  • Anna Watkins

    Why in heaven’s name are Flood Zone lots appraised at over $300k??? That’s the appraisal amount for my on-a-hill-plus-decent-house lot!

  • Walter Winn

    There are three issues that I think must be cleared up before I will feel good about our City of Decatur Taxes. One, and for my family the most important one, when will senior citizens (70 and older) be exempt from paying City of Decatur School Taxes. Under the present situation, we have to pay the full amount until we reach eighty years old. This is an undue burden on a lot of Decatur Citizens. Don’t know about the rest of you but, we could use the reduction in those school taxes that would benefit our quality of life such as traveling and having more money for vacations, and hearing better. I know you all got a chuckle out of that last one; however, it is a big quality of life issue. Two, I see new and renovated houses, $600 – $700M Townhouses being built, apartments going up everywhere and all of these new places to live are bringing in much, much more revenue than what was previously in those spots. Where is all of this extra money going and why can’t it serve to reduce the taxes alll citizens are paying. We cannot continue having increased revenues and spend them on other things rather than reducing taxes. Might I remind the Decatur City Commission that this policy is the reason our Federal Debt has grown to $19Trillion Dollars. I urge you to slow down on the spending and begin putting money away in a reserve fund. Thirdly, and you’ve heard this from me before; however, I still like saying it and maybe if I say it enouth, it will be heard and listened to. The Callaway Property which is slated to be blown to smitherens, I hope. I have been looking at that monstrosity for fifty years and it just keep getting uglier. Please tear it down soon and, THIS IS THE POINT I WANT TO MAKE…….Build a new Middle School on this property. Don’t tell me there isn’t enough acreage to make this happen. Combined with the Decatur High School Property, there is plenty of space for two school with SHARED Facilities.The CSD has the power to make this happen. Doing this will help ease the pain of not negotiating properly to acquire the DeVry Property. Please don’t make TWO really bad mistakes and make the citizens of Decatur pay for both. We will not be voting YES on the $75M Referendum for the Schools unless and until the CSD and the City of Decatur come together and start making wiser and better decisions. Our waiting period has started and is getting shorter. Nov. 3rd is not far off.

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