A newly installed electronic billboard in Brookhaven became the center of debate over the merits of cityhood Thursday, as members of DeKalb’s legislative delegation met with constituents in a town hall meeting.
“Here you have people living in an LCI, who want to have a say in what comes into their community, and DeKalb County just decides to allow that billboard to be installed,” (R-80, Atlanta) said. “I guarantee you the county gave no other thought to that billboard other than simply as a revenue generator.”
The billboard, installed less than a month ago, sits high above the intersection of Peachtree and North Druid Hills roads. The intersection is part of the Brookhaven-Peachtree Hills Livable Centers Initiative, which the county approved in 2007 to guide zoning and development in the area.
Thursday evening’s public hearing – the first of three the delegation will hold before the beginning of the 2012 legislative session – was held at Chamblee Middle School. Jacobs, the only Republican lawmaker who was present, is that would incorporate Brookhaven into a city.
However, (D-81, Atlanta), who, like Jacobs, also represents portions of Brookhaven, said the legal process to incorporate cities in Georgia “is flawed.”
“When you create a new city you absolutely impact a lot of people,” she said. “A lot of my constituents who live in the area between I-85 and Clairmont Road are being left out of the process. I respect and appreciate the concept of local control, but the process by which the General Assembly approves cityhood is flawed.”
Also at the meeting was , who has proposed to give the county a chance to study its effects.
“With all due respect to Commissioner Rader, I doubt his proposal will gain very much traction in the General Assembly,” Jacobs said.
Another DeKalb lawmaker present, (D-83, Decatur) said she is pre-filing a bill next week that would require communities wanting to incorporate themselves to follow two-year process, including a study to determine the impact on surrounding areas.
“We are definitely in a trend of municipalization,” she said. “But the economic viability of Brookhaven has to be analyzed on some level, and with some participation from its neighbors.
"But just for the record, I hate billboards as much as anyone."