Voters approve city of Stonecrest, putting new focus on annexation
Voters on Nov. 8 decisively voted to incorporate a new south DeKalb County city of Stonecrest, a decision that will likely place renewed focus on annexation by existing cities.
There were 12,833 votes in favor the new city and 8,805 votes against.
Stonecrest would have a population of about 50,000 people. It will extend just north of I-20, and on the south by Panola Mountain State Park. A feasibility study for the proposed city predicted that Stonecrest would generate a $2 million tax surplus every year. The city’s annual expenses would be $7.9 million. The city will provide Zoning, Parks and Recreation, and Code Enforcement services to start. A police department was considered but the city will remain in the DeKalb County Police jurisdiction for now.
In an email, Stonecrest supporters said, “Thanks for your vote and support! The City of Stonecrest IS NOW!”
Stonecrest is surrounded by a much larger proposed city, Greenhaven, which would have an estimated population of 300,000. Efforts to move that city forward have stalled in the Legislature, but the approval of Stonecrest shows an appetite for incorporation in south DeKalb.
That could mean other cities, like Decatur and Avondale Estates, could pursue annexation as a defensive measure. The city of Decatur has not produced a new annexation map ahead of the 2017 Legislative session and has repeatedly said no new map exists. With the approval of Stonecrest, annexation could take on a new sense of urgency.