Two major office developments are asking to be annexed into Brookhaven, but residents of nearby neighborhoods who want to start their own town are asking city officials to wait.
Brookhaven City Council voted Oct. 14 to formally notify DeKalb County of the annexation requests from Children’s Healthcare of Georgia and Executive Park.
City Manager Marie Garrett said that the city is required by law to notify the county manager within five days once they’ve received the completed applications and the staff has verified they comply with state and county laws.
But in a statement released Oct. 9, two days after Brookhaven first announced the request, representatives of LakesideYES and the City of Briarcliff Initiative asked for a halt on the annexation.
“We certainly would like to see this area in the proposed city of Lakeside,” Mary Kay Woodworth, co-chair of LakesideYES!, said in the statement. “The CHOA properties have been in our map since 2013, and the Executive Park properties were added in 2014. We urge those businesses that are eager to become part of an incorporated city to wait just a little longer, as Lakeside will soon be up for a referendum.”
Meanwhile, Woodworth publicly has announced that backers of the proposed cities of Briarcliff and Lakeside have merged efforts and agreed to proposed boundaries to a single new city. They planned to meet with representatives of a proposed city of Tucker to try to work out an agreement on boundaries in time for the 2015 session of the Georgia Legislature.
Brookhaven City Attorney Tom Kurrie said the annexation applications were complete and would be transmitted to the county on Oct. 15. The petitions will likely go before the Brookhaven Planning Commission on Nov. 12, followed by the City Council at its final November meeting. At that time a public hearing will be held, and the council can vote to approve or deny the
Kurrie said the petition will not go before voters in the area to be annexed since the property is all commercial and no registered voters reside
But a statement from Children’s Healthcare indicated that the properties would prefer to be part of an established city.
“We felt the most prudent path for us to pursue was annexation into an already established city with a solid infrastructure,” David Tatum, vice president of government and community relations of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, said in a statement that Councilman Joe Gebbia read during the meeting.
“Change is inevitable for our office park and for other new cities forming around this part of town,” Tatum’s statement continued. “We are being proactive in attempting to become part of an established city with a proven track record. Children’s is an employer of choice and has approximately 1,200 employees onsite at the office park each day.”
On Oct. 12, Woodworth told DeKalb lawmakers at a meeting in Brookhaven that LakesideYES! and the City of Briarcliff Initative have agreed on areas that could be included in a single city. She said the group was not ready to release its map, but intended to release it
“We have agreed to some borders,” she said. “We’re not talking about specifics yet.”
Woodworth added, “One thing both cityhood groups agree on is the need for this area that includes Executive Park and CHOA to be incorporated into Georgia’s next new city.”
–Joe Earle contributed to this report.