Brookhaven City Council is set to vote July 23 on whether to annex Century Center, an office complex that is also slated for possible inclusion into the neighboring city of Chamblee.
Brookhaven’s Community Development Director Susan Canon sent a letter to DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis on July 1, informing him that “the mayor and the council of the city of Brookhaven, Georgia, intend to annex the property known as Century Center.”
The Brookhaven Planning Commission will make a recommendation to rezone Century Center July 18. City Council will vote five days later on annexing the property.
Brookhaven City Manager Marie Garrett said July 9 that the county’s Geographic Information Systems Department reviewed the approximately 100-acre property and had no objections.
The property owners of Century Center, located south of Brookhaven’s borders, applied to join the city June 21.
But residents of the Dresden East neighborhoods are begging Brookhaven officials to turn down Century Center’s application.
The neighborhoods are hoping to be annexed, along with Century Center, into the city of Chamblee. An annexation referendum is scheduled to be on the ballot in November. Residents worry that without commercial taxes from the office complex, Chamblee would not be able to provide services to the more than 11,000 residents living in the area.
In a news release, Citizens for Chamblee wrote, “Without Century Center, the residents of the Dresden East/Clairmont area and surrounding neighborhoods will be unable to join or annex into any city without placing an undue burden on the area through higher property taxes or reduced levels of service.”
Citizens for Chamblee also believes that if Century Center joins Brookhaven, it could disrupt other cityhood efforts underway in north DeKalb.
“Chamblee, Brookhaven, Doraville and all surrounding neighborhoods and communities will feel the negative effects if Century Center annexes into Brookhaven. Additionally, residents within the boundaries of any proposed new north DeKalb city will also be affected, as the 11,000-plus residents in the Dresden East/Clairmont area will need to be included in the new cities, so as to not create difficult-to-serve islands of unincorporated areas.”
The Dresden East Civic Association penned a resolution that was sent to Brookhaven’s elected officials July 3, according to DECA president Jordan Fox.
In the resolution, the DECA Board told Brookhaven officials they have asked for the assistance of the city of Chamblee and state representatives Scott Holcomb and Mary Margaret Oliver “to join us publicly in asking Brookhaven’s elected officials not to annex Century Center into their city.”
On July 9, Mayor J. Max Davis said he’d like to reach out to the city of Chamblee to talk about the annexation before the City Council vote. “It shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing approach,” Davis said. “There’s a lot of different interests, and more information is better.”
Councilman Joe Gebbia encouraged the mayor to communicate with Chamblee officials. “They’re our neighbors and we need to respect that,” Gebbia said.
Garrett said the property, a mix of uses including office and hotel, will also need to be rezoned as part of an annexation.
She said the current DeKalb County zoning has been problematic for property owners in the past. Brookhaven staff will recommend zoning the property as a Pedestrian Community District, a mixed-use designation.