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Residents Say Late Night Establishments Are Against Chamblee Annexation

In The Forum, these residents argue that several businesses opposing annexation are spreading falsehoods about next week's ballot referendum.


The Dresden East neighborhoods will be voting next week to decide whether or not they want to annex into the city of Chamblee.

This is a very important decision that will have a major impact on the quality of life and future of our neighborhoods. But recent false propaganda disseminated by anonymous agents against annexation via flyers and illegally posted signs creates a more compelling story. 

We suspect the inaccurate flyers and signs were created and distributed by local late night establishments (bar and nightclub owners) and not by an individual or other group against annexation. They certainly have a motive to do this. 

Background:

The Steering Committee regarding Chamblee Annexation (Chamblee Annexation Vote, Yes or No), held two public informational meetings to help residents make an informed, non-biased decision on Chamblee annexation.

DeKalb County officials spoke at the first meeting in September and Chamblee officials spoke at the second meeting this past Thursday. The committee has also established a Facebook page to disseminate information on this issue, which includes facts about the city of Chamblee, and interviews with Chamblee officials. One local resident also created a Chamblee Info blog

Over the past few weeks residents in many Dresden East neighborhoods have put signs in their yards encouraging neighbors to vote Yes for annexation. This weekend the attached Chamblee No flier with incorrect information was mailed to residents in our neighborhoods. 

Julia Sellers of the Chamblee Annexation Steering Committee had this to say about the flier:

“Many people in many neighborhoods are receiving an unfactual flier from a No Chamblee group. Much of the information in this flier is untrue.” Arguably the most inaccurate statements from the flier are:

  1. Chamblee has a “Shortage of Police Officers.” Chamblee actually has more police officers per person than unincorporated DeKalb County. They have about 1 officer for approximately every 500 people. They have planned to hire more officers to keep that ratio if the annexation passes. DeKalb County has about 1 officer per 1000 people and that number will likely decrease if the North Precinct closes.
  2. Chamblee’s property taxes will be “16% higher than DeKalb County.”  Some residents in the area to be annexed will have a small increase in their property taxes, but some will see a small decrease in their tax bill.  Seniors will experience the most savings as Chamblee does not charge city tax if the homeowner is 65 or older.  See the attached doc for an accurate Chamblee vs. DeKalb tax comparison.
  3. “When your address changes to Chamblee, your property value will drop at least 10%.”  There is no factual basis for this statement as there are many factors that influence property values.  Several local Real Estate Agents we have spoken with feel that Chamblee Police, Code Enforcement and Public Works will “clean-up” the area and lead to an increase of property values in a short period of time.

In addition to the inaccurate fliers, over 50 green Chamblee No signs were placed in and around our neighborhoods. Many signs were illegally placed in private yards without permission from homeowners. Other signs were also placed in right-of-ways and in front of subdivisions.

We suspect the inaccurate flyers and signs were created and distributed by local late night establishments (bar and nightclub owners) and not by an individual or other group against annexation. 

This is due in part to the illegal placement of the green Chamblee No signs.  Also, if an individual or group against annexation were responsible for this material, they would have signed their name and/or created a website or some other method of saying, "For more information, please contact so and so with a phone number or email address." Individuals take pride in their work, especially if they are financing it.  Anonymity usually means fear of retribution or something to hide.  

Also, there are very few residents that are vocally against annexation and we don't think they would be willing to spend the funds needed to create and distribute this propaganda. 

Why are local late night establishments against Chamblee annexation? 

Currently many late night establishments serve alcohol and stay open later than they are supposed to and DeKalb Police do not do enough to stop them. These late night establishments know that if annexation passes, although they will still be able to stay open late, they will be required to stop serving alcohol sooner. 

Chamblee recently passed an ordinance that says that businesses must cease serving alcohol at 1:55 a.m., alcohol must be off all tables by 2:30 a.m. and all customers must be out by 3 a.m.  The only exception is 24 hour restaurants like Waffle House, which can stay open, but not serve alcohol. 

The bars/clubs know Chamblee will enforce these ordinances just like they did when they made late night establishments on Savoy Drive adhere to the law after the Huntley Hills neighborhood annexed into Chamblee.  Business owners do not get to vote on our area annexing into Chamblee. These bars/clubs will lose lots of revenue if our area is annexed because of the new Chamblee ordinances and stronger enforcement, which is why they want the Chamblee annexation referendum to fail.

Our neighbors have the right to make an educated decision concerning the annexation referendum based on facts, and not on false propaganda and illegally posted signs disseminated by anonymous agents against annexation.  

Jordan Fox, Wakefield Forest
Anthony Crotser, Appling Heights
Justin Childers, Appling Heights
Donna Dravis, Wakefield Forest
Leslie Freymann, Beverly Hills
Julia Sellers, Clairmont Terrace
Pat Thomas, Wakefield Forest
Nikki VanDerGrinten, Appling Heights
Stephanie Walters, Whispering Hills
Justin Walters, Whispering Hills
Carol Piper, Surrey Place
Bill Lowe, Beverly Hills

Roger That November 07, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Stephanie, would you be so kind as to remind Sandy Murray about the placement of signs on right of ways. I think everyone saw her jamming signs in the ground at Blackburn election day afternoon. Some Patcher even snapped a pic.
Stephanie Melnik Walters November 07, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I don't know what "unsavory tactics and accusations" you are referring to. The informational meetings and hand-delivered flyers by the neighbors? And I'm curious what questions you were unable to get answered in 4 meetings, and with a website solely devoted to answering questions...
Booyah November 07, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Now that the area bordering Brookhaven remains unincorporated does it mean that the new City can annex the commercial property that is adjacent to it's boundaries? It's my understanding that cities can annex properties without a vote if 100% of the property owners agree. Century Center has one owner and might decide to join Brookhaven. Wow that would be something.
Stephanie Melnik Walters November 07, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Yes, now that the vote lost, the DECA area is susceptible again to losing all of its commercial property. We will also now be included in the boundaries of the proposed City of Dekalb.
hmm November 07, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Yes. They can annex individual properities as long as the owner asks and there is a physical connection - which can run through several properties if they exist.

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