Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Senator Dan Weber states that Chamblee annexation makes a lot of sense.
By April Hunt of the AJC
Chamblee could grow by at least a third under an annexation proposal that already has the support of residents, the city and many state lawmakers.
The state House has already approved the proposal, which calls for adding the areas north of the city, to Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. With about 850 homes in the area, Chamblee could see its population grow by 30-35 percent, to about 13,500 residents.
“Overall, this builds a large sense of community and allows us to better serve those areas,” said Mayor Eric Clarkson.
If the state Senate approves the proposal as expected, a majority of voters in the annex zone must agree to become part of Chamblee in a referendum vote in November.
More than 80 percent of the homeowners in the main neighborhood, Huntley Hills, supported annexation in a community survey. The neighborhood is now cut in half – with portions in unincorporated DeKalb and portions within the city limits.
The annexation bid has been largely a grassroots effort of those residents for the last four years, though Chamblee’s City Council has endorsed the request.
“They are the tip of a peninsula of unincorporated DeKalb, wedged between Doraville, Dunwoody and Chamblee,” said Dan Weber, the Dunwoody Republican who is handling the proposal in the state Senate. “It makes a lot of sense to be annexed.”
A similar argument for three neighborhoods to join Doraville failed last year. Residents in Cherokee Hills, Oakcliff Estates and Sequoyah Woods rejected a proposal to be annexed into Doraville, so that city's borders met the borders of the then-new city of Dunwoody.
Clarkson told the DeKalb House Delegation that the Chamblee proposal is different. For one, a city study showed the annexation would be revenue-neutral.
But since the county must drive through the city to reach that area for services, the analysis also showed the annexation would be more efficient and allow Chamblee more control over growth on main roads such as Peachtree Boulevard.
“We can just logically serve these people a lot better,” Clarkson said.
Weber said the full Senate is expected to vote on the proposal shortly after it reconvenes. Gov. Sonny Perdue must sign it before it heads to the November ballot.