Chamblee could get a little bigger and unincorporated DeKalb County may shrink after the passage of a bill in the last days of the 2012 General Assembly.
Residents in the Dresden East Civic Association (DECA) area neighborhoods gained a chance to decide whether they want to be a part of Chamblee after House Bill 1006 was signed into law by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal March 27.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Elena Parent (D-81) allows residents in neighborhoods east of Buford Highway, south of Chamblee-Tucker, and north and west of I-85 to vote during the November presidential election on whether they want to annex into Chamblee.
For DECA residents, the annexation movement started with the proposed incorporation of Brookhaven.
“When Brookhaven [proponents] drew their boundaries, they excluded us,” said Nikki Van Der Grinten, president of DECA. “We were a little bit upset about that.
“We were just left out,” Van Der Grinten said. “We just felt ignored.”
Van Der Grinten said residents in the area were attentive to “all the information coming down about the advantages of being in a city—including local control of government.
“DeKalb County government is kind of messed up,” Van Der Grinten said.
“The rumor is that all of north DeKalb will be in a city,” Van Der Grinten said. “All around DeKalb people are frustrated with the government.”
One thing that makes being annexed into Chamblee attractive is that “Chamblee is already in place,” Van Der Grinten said. “We already see what we’re going to get.”
The city has an excellent police department, and strict permitting and code enforcement, Van Der Grinten said. Those factors will be helpful for the community, which has a “problem with late night establishments ignoring [county] rules about closing and loud music.”
Chamblee city manager Niles Ford said city department heads are performing a review of its services to determine the impact that the proposed annexation would have.
“Our people are pretty happy with the level of services we offer,” Ford said. “If that community chooses to annex, it would be our goal to maintain that level of service and improve.”
Estimates are that approximately 11,000 residents would be annexed into Chamblee if the referendum passes. The area also includes Plaza Fiesta, the Century Center office complex and Dresden Park.
Part of DeKalb Peachtree Airport, the state’s second-busiest airport, would also move into Chamblee. The other part of the airport is already in Chamblee.
Richard Stogner, the county’s chief operating officer, said the potential annexation would have “some impact” on the county.
“We will lose all the businesses along Buford Highway,” Stogner said. “I don’t think it would affect anything as far as the operation of the airport.”