Rep. Mike Jacobs says he plans to introduce legislation this year allowing the creation of a city of Brookhaven.

Jacobs said he decided to introduce the proposal after a poll he commissioned found more residents of the area between Chamblee and Dunwoody wanted to be a new city than sought annexation into the existing cities.

“I was surprised by the fact that the creation of a new city of Brookhaven outpaced either of the annexation options,” said the District 80 Republican, who lives in the area. “The poll results make it clear that we should place a city of Brookhaven [option] squarely on the table.”

Jacobs said he commissioned Rosetta Stone Communications to conduct the telephone poll March 16-17. Rosetta Stone polled 227 registered voters in the Montgomery Elementary, Ashford Parkside and Ashford Dunwoody voting precincts, which covers most of the area being discussed for possible annexation or incorporation, he said.

Of those polled, he said, about 64 percent said they would favor legislation allowing residents of unincorporated areas in north DeKalb to seek annexation into an existing city or to create a new city. Eighteen percent said they would oppose legislation and 18.5 percent expressed no opinion.

When asked which option they preferred, about 31 percent said they would back a city of Brookhaven, 19 percent favored joining Dunwoody and 10 percent favored joining Chamblee, according to Jacobs. About 22 percent said they would prefer to stay out of any city.

Earlier this year, Jacobs and Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody introduced a bill allowing portions of the unincorporated north DeKalb area to be annexed into Dunwoody. After hearing some neighborhood groups and Chamblee city officials question the bill, he introduced a substitute allowing the area to be annexed into either Dunwoody or Chamblee.

Jacobs said he was not surprised the poll found support for annexation or the creation of a new city because his email was running 3-to-1 in favor of what he calls “the municipal option.”

Jacobs said he would introduce the legislation allowing creation of a city of Brookhaven so that it could be considered in the General Assembly next year. Legislative rules require that bills creating cities be introduced in the first year of a two-year term and considered in the second, he said.

“If we don’t have a city of Brookhaven charter by the end of this session, we’ve lost the opportunity to consider it until the 2013-2014 term,” he said. “It would be a three-year process instead of a one-year process.”

During the year after the bill’s introduction, he said, the proposed city would be studied by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

“Annexation is still on the table,” Jacobs said. “I think we need to be clear that annexation [into Chamblee or Dunwoody] and the city of Brookhaven are all possibilities.”

Jacobs said he would propose the options be offered to neighborhoods in the area from the Fulton County line on the west, I-85 on the south, up Clairmont Road to the city of Chamblee on the east and to I-285 on the north. f describes the area as taking in neighborhoods in the Murphey Candler, West Nancy Creek and Silver Lake communities.

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.