Greenhaven cityhood meeting planned

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt November 2, 2015

Citizens looking to create a new south DeKalb County city called Greenhaven will hold a meeting later this month to discuss what that could mean for the approximately 300,000 residents in the proposed city’s boundaries.

Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb will hold a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 6 p.m. at the DeKalb Covington Library, located at 3500 Covington Highway, Decatur, GA, 30032.

‘The Concerned Citizens for Cityhood of South DeKalb, Inc. (CCCSD) will hold a cityhood meeting to address questions from the community regarding cityhood in South DeKalb County,” a press release announcing the meeting says. “The meeting will provide information on the proposed city of Greenhaven and address questions from the community.”

Want to know if you’re in the proposed city? You can look up your address on this map:

The proposed city of Greenhaven 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. A proposal to put the city on the Nov. 3 ballot was unsuccessful in this year’s Legislative session, but it could come up again in 2016, particularly if the proposed cities of Tucker and LaVista Hills are successful. Voters will decide both proposals tomorrow, Nov. 3.

Cityhood supporters say joining Greenhaven would be a boon to residents. The group’s top five reasons for incorporation are:

1) Tax money will be spent directly on residents of the city instead of being distributed throughout the county.

2) Economic development targeted at improving south DeKalb.

3) Protecting south DeKalb from having to pay a disproportionate share of the county’s pension liabilities. The new cities that have formed, like Dunwoody and Brookhaven, aren’t required to support those pensions. The burden on unincorporated areas would likely increase with the successful incorporation of Tucker and LaVista Hills. According to a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article, the county is researching a way to make the distribution more equitable and will present its recommendations to the county’s legislative delegation.

4) Government that’s more responsive to residents by creating a city council with members representing a smaller portion of the population than county commissioners. Greenhaven estimates 1 council person would represent 49,000 residents as opposed to one county commissioner for 140,000 residents.

5) A city charter that includes term limits, an ethics board and external auditing.

Not everyone is on board with the idea. The East Lake Foundation is working to move all of its assets out of the map for a proposed city of Greenhaven and into the city of Atlanta to avoid having them split between two cities if Greenhaven is successful.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • jbgotcha

    There is no way I would vote for Greenhaven, and I live within the proposed city limits. This area of the county has extremely low voter turnout, which means anyone with a pulse has a chance at becoming a high ranking official in the new city. This is the same part of the county that elected Sharon Barnes-Sutton and Stan Watson. I wouldn’t trust anyone with running a city until voter turnout increases.

  • JC

    Not a chance in hell I’d vote for this city of Greenhaven initiative.

    I’m not against cityhood per se, but this is biting off way more than they can handle. What supporters of this initiative fail to recognize is that previously successful pushes for cityhood had a more stable tax base that truly was being bled into remainder of county; that isn’t the case for South DeKalb.

    As noted by another poster, the level of voter apathy is dangerous and I’d expect a highly corrupt city government to emerge. No thanks, at least DeKalb County is already under the microscopic and will be held accountable to some higher degree.

  • Temotu

    As another poster noted, this an abuse of the city creation process. It is ludicrous to suggest that everything in DeKalb south of U.S. 78 up to I-285 is “South DeKalb.” Clarkston, Pine Lake, and Stone Mountain are NOT South DeKalb, they are Central DeKalb, and they would be no better represented by a distant government in South DeKalb than by a distant government in Decatur.
    Central DeKalb is already saddled with the ethically-challenged Sharon
    Barnes-Sutton and race-baiting Joyce Morley, on the county commission and
    school board respectively, thanks to disenfranchising voting district boundaries. The geographic make-up of Greenhaven, as proposed, would only make this worse. And the goal of “economic development targeted at improving south DeKalb” seems to promise that the increased taxes collected will
    be flowing predominantly south of I-20.

    Hopefully the defeat of Lavista Hills will wake up some of the Greenhaven proponents to the fact that forcing communities into an artificial city is not a recipe for electoral success—particularly when some of those communities are historically and culturally much more tied to existing cities, like Clarkston,
    Pine Lake, and Stone Mountain, which they neighbor. Looking at the map, it would make a lot more sense for the Greenhaven proponents to simply drop sections 001, 002, and 003 (North, East, and North Central) from their plans (and to negotiate with Lithonia and Stonecrest on the parts that are actually in South DeKalb). It would make sense as well for the legislature to rewrite the city creation law to allow neighborhoods to opt in or out on a sectional basis: in this scenario if sections 4-6 wanted in and sections 1-3 did not, the latter sections should not be forced in (nor should they be able to vote down the whole idea for the former sections should they want it).

  • George Zhampton

    The pensions plan is still getting paid through the Cities. It is unknown how much it is but the pension plan for the County is still getting paid.

  • Temotu

    Apologies for double-posting. Disqus was problematic so I tried to post as a guest then both posts showed up. If possible, please delete the duplicate. Thank you

Receive the Daily Email DIgest

* = required field