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Commissioner Jeff Rader Introduces Resolution Postponing Brookhaven Cityhood

The commissioner said the long-term impact of unincorporated DeKalb should be studied.

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader told the County Operations & Public Safety (COPS) Committee Thursday that his proposal to put a moratorium on creating new cities would give the county a chance "to look at the consequences of incorporation and annexation before they occur."

"The hope would be to stall the referendum in Brookhaven for a year and to consider potential for any of these actions," Raider said. "Whatever happens, we would end up as a county being much more sustainable and less subject to disruption."

Rader's resolution calls for four main points:

  • That a moratorium be placed on annexation and incorporation in DeKalb County until a study committee is formed to create new standards by which to evaluate annexation,
  • Develop a rubric for determining reasonable boundaries for the existing or new cities using theories of urban organization,
  • Analyze the impact of widespread annexation or incorporation on the provision of higher level services (e.g., Emergency 911 service, non-basic police services such as aerial support unit, SWAT team, bomb squad unit, intelligence and permits, K-9 division, gang task force, drug task force, etc.), and
  • Analyze alternatives to annexation and incorporation such as townships and special service districts. 

Rader, in his resolution, said a committee should be formed to include members appointed by the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, the Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, and members of the DeKalb Delegation to the Georgia General Assembly.

Rep. Mike Jacobs, the state representative who introduced the Brookhaven incorporation legislation, said that he doubts the resolution would get any traction or would be received well by members of the House.

"This resolution is a sure sign that the county is afraid of what will happen if the people get to vote on a city,  I am sure that a majority of my colleagues will see it that way, too."

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to discuss the resolution at its meeting on Oct. 25.

Eric H October 20, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Right now it appears half of the airport is in the city of Chamblee and the other half is in unincorporated DeKalb. Since DeKalb owns the airport does it pay property taxes? I understand the planes parked at the airport pay some sort of tax or Advalorem where does that shift to if it goes into Brookhaven? Kathleen I for one reject the notion that one would form a city based on the nationality of the population - so citing Micheal's statements actually makes me want to include Plaza Fiesta to help moderate the republican tendencies of this proposed city. Though I certainly understand the desire to fairly distribute the tax base with an appropriate mix of residential and commercial property in the proposed city and in the remaining unincorporated areas. Since the City of Chamblee owns half the airport it seems that would make it prime acreage for them to annex or does the airport not generate much funds. Also DeKalb County needs to revisit their decision to build a police precinct on Bragg Street just south of the airport.
pat thomas October 20, 2011 at 05:20 PM
"cherry picking across Clairmont rd (Plaza Fiesta, PDK..) is STILL UNACCEPTABLE" To say the very least!
pat thomas October 20, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Since we, the DECA/Clairmont neighborhoods, have to put up with the noise from PDK, we should get the benefits of the taxes - not the C4ND bunch who will never be inconvenienced by operations at the airport.
Eric H October 20, 2011 at 05:42 PM
I read the Vinson study from Dunwoody and as I recall it only talks of total revenues and total costs. So things like how much the PDK airport generates in taxes will not be in the Vinson report that will be released. Though I suspect that information must be in the raw data given to the vinson institute. I'd suggest the DECA/Clairmont neighborhoods seek the raw data so you can discuss the impact of including or excluding the PDK airport or the Plaza Fiesta area.
Justin Turner October 20, 2011 at 06:05 PM
Totally agree with Eric... as I think the raw data could be useful for a couple of things: (1) evidence that C4ND might be aware that the Century Center was not neccessary as long as they still kept the other commercial properties in the boundaries (i.e. Plaza Fiesta, Airport); (2) could provide insight as to whether or not this city would or wouldn't be viable without the inclusion of Plaza Fiesta and/or PDK... the knowledge of which would be helpful for our cause either way. At minimum we could prove that this is nothing but cherry picking... and that Mike Jacobs is being hypocritical when he is quoted as saying "I am sympathetic to the 'cherry picking' issue". Given that the CVI is a government entity (UGA)... I am sure we could compel them to provide us with the data per the freedom of information act.
William October 20, 2011 at 06:06 PM
How in the world can you say that when Drew Valley and Ashford Park are directly affected by PDK and zoning/code enforcement/policing on Clairmont at the entrances to their neighborhood? I appreciate the 'comment' campaign your neighborhood is launching from your facebook and message board, but at some point, don't you have to take your own words in account. The areas you are describing as 'yours' are closer or just as close in proximity to Ashford Park and Drew Valley than DECA and Clairmont Terrace. The day-to-day activities at these areas affect their neighborhoods at least as much and probably more than yours. For example, when the club music gets too loud at the Mansion Elan or there is too much dope smoking happening at the Hooka Bar, how is that any more relevant to DECA than it is to the neighborhoods directly across the street? As a resident of Brookhaven, I've empathized with your desire to not 'want to be on an island.' However, at this point, it is beginning to look like all you ever wanted was to get your way and to monopolize those areas to yourselves...which I believe is exactly what you are accusing others of doing. I don't think the personal attacks are beneficial...I want to emphasize that I appreciate your commitment to your area...but just looking at what you are advocating, it doesn't fit the 'standards' you've set for others.
pat thomas October 20, 2011 at 06:12 PM
With so many claims made about the proposed city of Brookhaven, some statistics seem appropriate. This is the first set is for zip code 30319. 30319 http://www.zip-codes.com/zip-code/30319/zip-code-30319.asp Average House Value: $276,300 Avg. Income Per Household: $61,017 Persons Per Household: 2.10 White Population: 30,314 Black Population: 3,457 Hispanic Population: 5,442 Asian Population: 2,508 Indian Population: 524 Hawaiian Population: 66 Other Population: 2,770
pat thomas October 20, 2011 at 06:15 PM
The second set is for 30341 - a zip code within the study area. 30341 http://www.zip-codes.com/zip-code/30341/zip-code-30341.asp Average House Value: $186,000 Avg. Income Per Household: $50,349 Persons Per Household: 2.50 White Population: 16,913 Black Population: 6,148 Hispanic Population: 10,802 Asian Population: 3,142 Indian Population: 635 Hawaiian Population:38 Other Population: 6,215
pat thomas October 20, 2011 at 06:19 PM
The third set is for zip code 30345 - the zip code of the DECA/Clairmont neighborhoods. 30345 http://www.zip-codes.com/zip-code/30345/zip-code-30345.asp Average House Value: $239,900 Avg. Income Per Household: $62,628 Persons Per Household: 2.44 White Population: 14,976 Black Population: 3,829 Hispanic Population: 5,443 Asian Population: 1,723 Indian Population: 270 Hawaiian Population: 24 Other Population: 3,093
William October 20, 2011 at 06:20 PM
A large swath of 30319 falls in Fulton Co. in the Country Club area. Also, Brookhaven will include 30341, 30329, 30324, and 30345. There is no way to get a picture of the demographics of a potential Brookhaven by looking at zip codes.
Justin Turner October 20, 2011 at 06:25 PM
William, not that I speak for Pat, but would suggest that he was not referring to Drew Valley or Ashford Park... but rather, C4ND as the original board members (and particularly Mike Jacobs) who live nowhere near PDK and definitely are not in the landing path as are the DECA/Clairmont homes (or at least 10 of the original 12 that drew up the boundaries for the Study). Would also point out that Stan Segal (aka Brookhaven man) and Mike Jacobs have engaged in rude and dismissive discourse...and they are C4ND board members... and if nothing else, we are advocates for our neighborhood and have every right to vent our frustration with other people trying to gain at our expense. You will undoubtedly get the opportunity to vote "Yes" or "No"... so your voice is automatically heard... whereas our (DECA/CT) collective voices will not get that same opportunity. There are many arguments that can be made against the current boundaries, and it is our responsiblity to make them to protect our own interests... because that is exactly what Mike Jacobs/C4ND is doing (and if anyone is monopolizing, it is Jacobs, as he is in the ultimate power position...a luxury that we (DECA/CT) do not have.
Laventure Forester October 20, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Not quite sure exactly where this is going, but I wanted to make the point that I live in a DECA neighborhood, and my zip code is 30341. Not all of DECA is 30345.
Laventure Forester October 20, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Eric, I agree that nationality should not dictate the boundaries. I just wanted to make a point in regards to the comments that Michael had left because frankly, they were a little pretentious. I do appreciate your understanding in regards to the cherry-picking, and it is apparent in your comments. I believe that including Plaza Fiesta still constitutes cherry-picking by C4ND.
William October 20, 2011 at 06:43 PM
Reply to Justin Turner below... "have every right to vent our frustration with other people trying to gain at our expense" I think that is a false assumption. Your assumption has been that these people have been lying to you when they said they were not trying to gain at your expense. So you have vented at them. Now they have responded in a pretty favorable way to your concerns in a manner that makes it seem like they have been pretty genuine in listening to your issues... and you are still venting. I think that is really moot...emotions are emotions and again I empathize. Again, I've said my piece above...if your agenda is to protect your neighborhood from becoming an island and giving yourselves options for incorporation and annexation, which is what was stated in the original patch article, then I think you should be at least generally pleased. If your agenda is to 'protect your own interests', then I don't really agree with you. And if your contention is that the folks in Brookhaven are only trying to protect their own interests when they just cut out Century Plaza based upon your interests...that doesn't seem to vibe at all.
pat thomas October 20, 2011 at 07:05 PM
"There is no way to get a picture of the demographics of a potential Brookhaven by looking at zip codes." Agreed. Just going by a comment by Mike Jacobs. Mike Jacobs 11:25am on Monday, October 17, 2011 “To correct some facts: Almost all of the Murphey Candler and Silver Lake neighborhoods are in the 30319 zip code, the same as the rest of Brookhaven.”
William October 20, 2011 at 07:11 PM
I'm not sure the point you are tying to make. Almost all of B-Haven is in 30319. Almost all of Silver Lake and MC are in 30319. Those are both true. Anyway, I think I'm done with the comments. I've said my piece above.
Justin Turner October 21, 2011 at 01:54 AM
William (aka Bill) in re: "If your agenda is to 'protect your own interests', then I don't really agree with you".. Preventing our neighborhood from becoming an Island, and ensuring our future options... IS protecting OUR own interests... so not sure how you can agree and disagree simultaneously with the same exact motive/agenda. I'd also note that you have misinterpreted me, in that I DID NOT CONTEND that FOLKS IN BROOKHAVEN are only trying to protect their own interests... but I WOULD contend that Mike Jacobs/"C4ND 12" WERE looking out for only there own interests when they drew up the 2nd map, and I would contend that Mike Jacobs/C4ND ARE now looking out for primarily there own interests. If they were not looking out for primarily there own interests, then why have Jacobs/C4ND not redrawn the map to the traditional boundaries of brookhaven (or gone back to the first map boundaries)... It is absolutely, by definition, "SELF INTEREST" ... to decide to redraw the proposed boundaries to include more commercial base/revenue to offset the tax cost to the residents (which would include C4ND), and to exclude the residences that border said commercial base (despite the negative impact to the bordering residences). If you want to contend that the additional revenue was not the primary driver for the afforementioned decision, then please provide a valid reason for this boundary decision. I would also ask if you'd be willing to give your last name? (DECA/CT folks do)
Jordan Fox October 21, 2011 at 01:57 AM
I agree with those that are upset with the inappropriate and immature comments made by Rep. Jacobs. He is welcome to express his opinion, but he owes Julia an apology for his very rude behavior. Mike, you said earlier to Justin that, "The constant potshots are not serving your neighborhood well." Mike, it's you and the Citizens for North DeKalb group that are not serving our neighborhoods (or your own) well. First you ignore our concerns, then you show up to our meeting and lie repeatedly. Next you ignore Representative Parent's request. And I shouldn't forget to mention Stan's censorship of our comments on the C4ND Facebook page. The actions of both groups unfortunately fit a lot of the negative stereotypes that many Americans have about politicians. Elena Parent, on the other hand, has done an amazing job advocating on our behalf and is addressing this issue the right way. You could learn a lot from her. The DECA and Clairmont Road neighborhoods are not going to stop fighting for ourselves now that Century Center has been removed from the study area. We are not going to go away quietly. We are not necessarily opposed to a City of Brookhaven, but we are opposed to a Brookhaven that takes our neighboring businesses and excludes us. And we are extremely upset by the process Rep Jacobs and the C4ND are taking to rush this city through. There are a lot more people against this city than most think and unless you start working with us it will fail.
Kim Gokce October 21, 2011 at 03:40 AM
Be forewarned, long comment by old man coming ... I am so disheartened to see that the question of "cityhood" for our areas has led folks who otherwise are good neighbors to resort to political theatrics and personal attacks. I also wish we could agree to call the C4ND study area something besides "Brookhaven" - it is a very charged name. It is such an ugly and off target debate about what "is Brookhaven" and what "is not Brookhaven." I have lived in Atlanta all my forty-eight years and my entire adult life in north eastern quadrants of "ITP" metro. Because of my efforts working on the Cross Keys Foundation, I have had the great opportunity to dig deep into our recent and not so recent past via research and first person sourced information. Do you realize that the entire area in question in this debate was once known as "Cross Keys Militia District?" Did you know that even Oglethorpe University was not considered Brookhaven just a few decades back? It has been less than fifteen years since anywhere north of Windsor Parkway except Historic Brookhaven was thought of as "Brookhaven" by most. ... (cont) ...
Kim Gokce October 21, 2011 at 03:42 AM
In my dealings with alumni of Cross Keys HS from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's, I have seen over and over again how folks that grew up in communities all along Buford Hwy and Peachtree considered the entire area their community though they all had independent "neighborhood" identities - they all went to the old theater near Peachtree & N Druid, they all bowled on Buford, shared burgers at that joint on Buford (Dad's?), knew Mom'n'Pops, played sports at Dresden Park, camp and swimming at Briarwood Park, and even the child of Lynwood Park who were in separate but equal (not!) all negro Lynwood School (now Rec Center) became part of this community after integration into Jim Cherry ES and Cross Keys HS in 1968. While the kids who went to Jim Cherry ES (now Path Academy) or Brookhaven ES (now Boys & Girls Club), always thought of themselves as Brookhaven kids, kids at Skyland ES (now closed) and Ashford Park ES "went to Brookhaven's High School" at Cross Keys on North Druid Hills Rd. I guess I share these musing to encourage you all to realize that self-identification as a "Brookhaven" resident has been rapidly expanding in the past two decades, especially the past one. The fact that more folks want to think of where they live as "Brookhaven" is a tribute to the trends in our areas and we should all be happy about that. It is a shame would couldn't fixate on a different name for the study area - Cross Keys would actually be a more accurate fit than Brookhaven. ...
Kim Gokce October 21, 2011 at 03:44 AM
Then, we could keep our ever expanding, illogical identification with Brookhaven because it would have no boundaries and Realtors could have a field day :). Whatever happens in the current debates, please remember we have a community now and we will have a community afterwards. We will all share schools, grocery stores, and churches and we will remember, I hope, how to be neighborly when we meet face-to-face. The End - sry for long post
Frustrated Incorporated October 21, 2011 at 01:37 PM
For some reason Jacobs and C4ND are intent on rushing this bill. They will not wait. This is another of several maps drawn to serve there own purposes. Why would Brookhaven need an airport. They know it generates revenue. It would seem reasonable that the map was drawn up again to gain a revenue generator. Just because PDK is in North DeKalb does not mean they should be allowed to take it. Any reasonable person can see how this is just not right. Neighborhoods to the south and east will be harmed. Way to go C4ND, Love Thy Neighbor. Inconsiderate.
pat thomas October 21, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Well said, Jordan!
William October 21, 2011 at 04:41 PM
Here are the facts...they are indisputable. They are all out there in the public domain on the internet. 3/8, Mike Jacobs introduced HB 428. 3/27, after polling and receiving feedback (overwhelmingly positive in both regards), Mike Jacobs announced he would introduce a city charter that would allow for incorporation in 2012.. The city charter included the original map. May-At least two separate town halls were held at Oglethorpe University on the issue with participants from Ashford Park, Drew Valley, and Pine Hills. 6/5, C4ND formed and the original members had their picture taken. 6/20, C4ND announced its mission statement. 7/11, C4ND announced its fundraising campaign and released the new map that was created.
Frustrated Incorporated October 21, 2011 at 04:43 PM
When I think about this I get a mental picture, sort of like a Luckovich cartoon. You see the C4ND and Jacobs sitting at a table with a big cake in front of them and it is labeled North DeKalb. Jacobs cuts a normal sized slice and then takes the huge cake, leaving the normal sized slice. A member of the group chimes in "Think anyone will notice?" Jacobs responds, "I don't think so, I hope not." Words like selfishness and greed come to mind.
William October 21, 2011 at 04:43 PM
9/12, 5 members of C4ND, including one from Pine Hills, one from Drew Valley, and one from Ashford Park, meet with DECA and Clairmont Terrace. At the meeting, it was emphasized by C4ND that this was just a study area, nothing was set in stone, and that no one was trying to 'exclude' DECA or take away its options. 9/30- DECA vows to oppose Brookhaven. A quote from Mike Jacobs in response to this opposition... "Now is a time to be patient because we are talking about something that is going to run its course within approximately one months time," he said referring to the study. “The Citizens group ultimately may roll that study area back and I ultimately may decide to go with a smaller set of boundaries.” 10/20- C4ND releases a final set of boundaries for the study that do not include Century Plaza. In the press release it states, "After listening to the concerns of residents in the neighborhoods adjacent to Century Center, the Board of C4ND decided to make this change to better preserve the ability of those residents to explore their own municipal options in the future." Those are facts. I can't possibly understand your emotions or agendas or why you continually want to paint conspiracy theories, but I can understand the facts. And those facts just don't fit the picture of your fellow citizens and neighbors that you and your group are attempting to demonize. I wish you guys good luck in the future.
Eric H October 21, 2011 at 05:10 PM
Michael what conspiracy theory were they promoting? Regarding your time line, is the 3/8 introduction of 428 the date it was introduced in its original format as a streamlined annexation for Dunwoody for an undefined area.? If so you missed a couple steps. Not relevant directly to this specific issue except that those who asked questions got skewered. True some people sometimes may be more blunt or aggressive than necessary but we shouldn't attack people for raising legitimate concerns. I don't have enough information right now to weigh in on including Half of PDK and Plaza Fiesta (I didn't think they were huge revenue generators.
Eric H October 21, 2011 at 05:17 PM
As I said above, I don't have enough information to form an opinion about the appropriateness of including half of PDK Airport and Plaza Fiesta. But I have a more general question are the remaining neighborhoods between the proposed city of Brookhaven and 85 interested in being included in the City of Brookhaven? Has that interest been expressed? I may be off on my assumptions about tax revenues in DeKalb but it seemed to me that the Century Center and its hotel and high rise offices would be significant revenue generators that would more than cover the inclusion of another 1000 or 1500 homes. Or am I wrong about that? Are there specific police or other cost issues in this area? Or has anyone looked at voting trends? would inclusion of these 1000 or 1500 homes tip the city's population from leaning Republican to leaning Democratic?
Laventure Forester October 21, 2011 at 05:28 PM
I, personally, would be fine with joining. It would be a better scenario than being left as a sliver of unincorporated DeKalb. I do not think that C4ND wants to include us, however. At least that is the impression that I got from our meeting with their representatives. In addition, Elena Parent told C4ND to either include our neighborhoods or exclude the adjacent businesses, and C4ND did not make any attempt to include us. I cannot speak for the feelings of the rest of DECA. I do not think that DECA and Clairmont neighborhoods would tip the scale Republican or Democratic.
Tom Reilly October 21, 2011 at 10:35 PM
There soon will be an article by me in the Brookhaven Reporter on the historical predecessor to any "City of Brookhaven." I'm referring, of course, to an actual "City of North Atlanta," which existed in the Brookhaven area between 1957 and 1965. The "Brookhaven area" of that time was bounded by such streets as Lake Hearn Drive in the northwest, East Nancy Creek Drive in the northeast [there was no I-285!!], The Dekalb]Fulton County line in the west, Clairmont Road in the southwest, and Dresden Drive in the southeast. Times have changed.--Tom Reilly

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