Elly Yu talks with Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer on “A Closer Look” on cityhood bills that came out of this year’s state legislative session.
Georgia’s legislative session ended last week, and WABE is taking a look at what happened under the Gold Dome.
This year, a number of cityhood proposals were being floated in the legislature. While a few proposals were passed, others stalled in committees and failed to go to the public vote.
LaVista Hills and Tucker
Out of the five areas trying to become cities in DeKalb County this year, only two made it out of the state legislative session successfully: LaVista Hills and Tucker. Residents will be able to vote “yes” or “no” to the cities in a referendum this November.
The two proposed cities were in dispute over their border for more than a year, and clashed until the very last day of the state legislative session. The two were able to come to a compromise – with LaVista Hills including about 67,000 people. The city of Tucker would include about 33,000 people, and gained a QT and a Walmart.
Greenhaven and Stonecrest
Both the proposed cityhood of Greenhaven and Stonecrest in South DeKalb failed to get a final vote in the state legislature. South DeKalb’s “Greenhaven” would have been the second largest city in Georgia if incorporated. Both groups have said they will continue to push for incorporation.
The city of South Fulton’s proposal failed on the last day of the state legislative session – getting only 22 votes in favor of the bill in the Senate. The area trying to incorporate is the only part left of Fulton County that is still unincorporated. Supporters of the city say they’ll try again next year.
Senate Study Committee
Senators voted to create a Senate Annexation, Deannexation and Incorporation Study Committee to take a closer look at the effects of incorporation.
“It is my greatest wish, as someone who’s done three years consumed by cityhood issues in my home county that we do take a hard look at the process that we currently are operating under for the creation of new cities – before the movement spreads and sucks up even more of our counties,” said Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, who represents parts of DeKalb County.