Local

City of Lakeside Closer to Reality After Senate Vote

Sen. Fran Millar speaks about the Lakeside cityhood bill on the Senate floor.
Credit Michelle Wirth/WABE News
Audio version of this story here.

The Georgia Senate approved a bill paving the way for the creation of the city of Lakeside. The proposed city currently sits in unincorporated DeKalb County.

Currently, the proposed city would border I- 85 on the west, Gwinnett County on the north, Chamblee-Tucker on the East and the Emory area in the South. Republican Senator Fran Millar spoke in favor of Lakeside.

“All I’m trying to do is give people a right to vote. This is a self-determination bill.”

Millar also sought to address an ongoing dispute over overlapping boundaries between Lakeside and several other cities that are currently proposed in the House. He says he’s in talks with those who favor the proposed city of Tucker to potentially combine the two cities.

“The Tucker people who are considering this…We’ve got a city sitting out here, the city of Lakeside, with about 70,000 people. We could possibly have a city with 90,000 people, the size of Sandy Springs.”

Meanwhile, DeKalb Democrats urged Republicans to vote against the bill and said they had no input on something that should be a local issue. Senator and Gubernatorial Candidate Jason Carter said Millar, who is the lone Republican member in the Senate’s DeKalb delegation is determining the fate of residents who don’t even reside in his district.

“More than half of the precincts of the map are in my district. And all of the people who live in unincorporated DeKalb between this proposed map and the cities that are there now are in my district. At the end of the day, the pen that has drawn this map belongs to one person, who does not represent my district and who does not represent the people who live there.”

Senate minority leader Steve Henson said voters need more time to be educated on the proposed city, particularly if the Lakeside is combined with the proposed city of Tucker.

“It’s not like Dunwoody where we beat this around for years before it got on the floor, or Sandy Springs for 20 years the community fought for it. We’re talking we’re having an election in three months.”

Before passing the legislation, Senators removed the Emory area from the proposed city. The bill now heads to the House.  If approved, it would go before voters who live in the proposed city during the May 20 primary.

A lobbyist for the proposed city of Tucker says he’s hopeful the House will still approve the proposed city of Tucker and boundary disputes can be resolved. However, if the city of Tucker does not move forward, the lobbyist told WABE he would embrace combining Tucker and Lakeside.