On Tuesday, January 7th, the Clarkston City Council is hearing a motion to adopt a resolution relating to the annexation of large areas of unincorporated DeKalb County into the City of Clarkston.
Time and location: Tuesday, Jan. 7th at 7pm, The Clarkston Community Center, 3701 College Ave.
The resolution only allows for public comments at the beginning of the meeting. The full agenda packet can be downloaded here.
Public comment is open to all at the top of the meeting, please carefully read the agenda items. The proposed resolution asks that the DeKalb County Legislative Delegation in the Georgia General Assembly introduce legislation that will move the annexation process forward.
The feasibility study for Areas 5-9 should have been completed, along with a more informational public meeting, before any vote on a resolution was scheduled. The “2017 Phase II Annexation Study Update” which was reviewed in a Clarkston meeting on annexation in March of 2019, only included Areas 3 and 4. The conclusion of the study was that those areas would not be fiscally beneficial to the City.
Areas 5-9 include our Scottdale Overlay District, Valley Brook and portions of neighborhoods that reach to Ray’s Rd. at Memorial Drive. The proposed annexation more than doubles the size of Clarkston, and our property taxes would probably increase significantly.
As most of you know, the City of Avondale Estates has failed to annex our neighborhood after attempting it 3 times since 2014. A majority of our community prefers to remain in unincorporated Dekalb, with its multiple tiers of homestead exemptions. No neighboring city offers as much property tax relief. Annexation almost always increases property taxes for those in the annexation areas and it is one of many reasons our community has opposed it. Dekalb County’s 3 year moratorium on annexation ends in 2020.
In 2014, Clarkston sought to annex the top portion of the Scottdale Overlay District, mostly Tier I commercially zoned properties with an industrial mix that bordered E. Ponce de Leon and Church St. See the red northern portion in the map above, which relates to Area 2 in the Clarkston map. Our local representatives sponsored the bill and that annexation passed in 2015. To avoid further loss of land in our District, please make your voices heard.
From Beverly Burks, Clarkston community activist/former Clarkston Council member: “The last time the council talked about the annexation was March 2019. There was no work session for this January Meeting so the public will not have the opportunity to discuss annexation. They can only make a public comment. You have the combination of existing Clarkston residents and future Unincorporated residents voiceless at the beginning of the process. The Carl Vinson Institute report is not finalized so the city has nothing on the financial, staffing and other impact issues before taking a vote. The Legislative session starts on January 13th but it would be prudent for the council to table this item to the February Council Meeting. If you live in the proposed areas, contact your state representative and senator to express your concerns about the annexation.”
Please send your thoughts on annexation to these representatives:
Rep. Karla Drenner (district 85), email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Michele Henson (district 86), email: email@example.com
State Senator Steve Henson, email: Henson718@bellsouth.net, ph: 770-939-5969 / 678-907-2723.
Attend Clarkston’s meetings if you can.