Representatives of a group that wants to create a new DeKalb County city are continuing the fight against a Brookhaven annexation request by Executive Park and Children’s Healthcare of Georgia.

Mary Kay Woodworth, who serves as co-chair of LakesideYES!, says the group has asked representatives from Executive Park to postpone or retract their request to be annexed into Brookhaven. She said that they plan to ask the same of Children’s Healthcare.

The Brookhaven City Council on Oct. 14 voted to formally notify DeKalb County of both annexation requests, as required by law.

On Oct. 9, two days after Brookhaven first announced the request, both LakesideYES! and the City of Briarcliff Initiative publicly asked for a halt on the annexation. Meanwhile, the backers of both Lakeside and Briarcliff have merged efforts and agreed to boundaries for a single new city.

Now they want the office developments to wait to become part of that city.

“We understand the property owners want to be in a city where they will have a better opportunity to develop the property, rather than being under DeKalb County’s process,” she said. “But we will have a new city that will offer the same opportunity.”

But on Oct. 14 Children’s Healthcare issued a statement indicating the properties would prefer not to be in a brand-new city.

“We felt the most prudent path for us to pursue was annexation into an already established city with a solid infrastructure,” said David Tatum, vice president of government and community relations of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “We are being proactive in attempting to become part of an established city with a proven track record.”

Woodworth said the future city would be advantageous for the businesses. She said that the office developments are within “the footprints” of the future city, on the same side of I-85.

“They will be smack dab in the center of our city,” Woodworth said. If the properties become part of Brookhaven, it “will be an outlier,” she said, explaining that service delivery would be an issue with 12 lanes of interstate highway to cross. “It’s a better fit for [our] area” with the property historically considered part of the Emory/Lavista/Briarcliff corridor.

The annexation petitions will likely go before Brookhaven’s planning commission on Nov. 12, followed by City Council at its final meeting that month, at which time a public hearing will be held and the council can vote to approve or deny the petition.

Ann Marie Quill

Ann Marie Quill is Associate Editor at Reporter Newspapers.

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