Rep. Mike Jacobs is holding up his controversial Brookhaven annexation bill for the rest of this year’s legislative session.

“The bill is on the shelf until the 2012 legislative session,” Jacobs told about 40 members of the Murphey Candler Homeowners Association on March 14.

But Jacobs said the bill served its purpose by getting residents of the area between Chamblee, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs to start talking about annexation or about starting their own city of Brookhaven.

Now he plans community discussions of what he calls “the municipal option” for the area, which is in DeKalb County and takes in communities around Murphey Candler Park, West Nancy Creek Drive and Silver Lake.

Jacobs said he plans to hold a community meeting at Chamblee First United Methodist Church on March 29 to discuss options.

“If a city of Brookhaven is in the offing, we have to gauge what the interest is, which I think is pretty high,” Jacobs said.

He said he had received more than 100 responses to his e-mail report on the legislation and that respondents were 3-to-1 in favor of exploring “municipal options.”

Jacobs, who lives in the area, and Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody touched off community controversy when they introduced a bill in the state legislature that would allow the area to be annexed into Dunwoody or, in a revised second draft of the legislation, Chamblee.

Jacobs said he left Chamblee out of the first bill because the city had just annexed a large area and he didn’t think the city would want to annex any more right away. “The mayor of Chamblee corrected me,” he said.

Jacobs’ proposal also drew complaints from members of the Ashford Alliance Homeowners Association and other neighborhood groups who said they had not been consulted before the bill was introduced.

Jacobs said no annexations would occur without approval of the City Council of the city annexing the area and a majority vote of the people in the area to be annexed. Taylor also attended the gathering of Murphey Candler homeowners.

Jacobs’ legislative proposal says that when the establishment of a new city created a peninsula of unincorporated communities surrounded by cities, residents of the peninsula would have five years to seek annexation into the neighboring cities.

Taylor called the original bill a “placeholder” that would allow the subject to be discussed in future legislation.

Jacobs said he now wants to have “a community conversation about where we want to be.”

“We are boxed in,” he told the Murphey Candler homeowners group. “We have Chamblee to the east, Dunwoody to the north and Sandy Springs to the west.”

Jacobs said he believed the cities offered residents better services, for lower or equal taxes, than the county.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.