Lawmakers Propose Boundary between Tucker, LaVista Hills Cityhood Maps
(APN) ATLANTA – The House Governmental Affairs subcommittee of the Georgia Legislature voted on Friday, December 19, 2014, on the boundary lines between the proposed new cities of Tucker and LaVista Hills. I-285 is roughly the dividing line, with some of the neighborhoods north of Northlake in LaVista Hills, and a smaller area south of Northlake in Tucker.
Chairman Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming), voted in favor of the maps, with Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta) voting against the maps.
Hamilton clarified they were not voting on cityhood but rather voting for the two-year process to be a one-year process with a predetermined central boundary.
The communities involved should take as long as necessary to solve their boundary dispute, even if it takes years, Mosby said.
“To freeze them into a boundary is unfortunate. We are setting a dangerous precedent here, we are changing our rule to fit a certain circumstance,” Mosby said.
The boundary line between Tucker and LaVista Hills is set in stone and cannot be changed without starting over with a two year rule.
The boundary line on the western side of LaVista Hills is still changing, however, because of the Brookhaven annexation that took a piece of the proposed LaVista Hills area, in that the Executive Park area was annexed on December 08, 2014. Also Druid Hills may annex into Atlanta.
On the south side of the LaVista Hills map, the panel forgot to include the Toco Hills Shopping area and North DeKalb Mall. Rep. Brockway promised to correct this mistake.
Representatives from both cities were urged to produce new feasibility studies that reflect the current maps and to deal with annexations as quickly as possible.
The subcommittee goal was to produce a map that creates two potential cities that are both financially viable. The Northlake commercial area was split because neither city would be viable without part of Northlake.
More commercial area went to LaVista Hills because they have more people, reasoned the subcommittee members.
“I know the Northlake business community will not be happy with this division, which is to say dividing the commercial property inside the perimeter. We are disappointed there are some neighborhoods that clearly have strong support for being in LaVista Hills that were excluded. It’s still a hot mess,” Allen Venet, Co-Chair, LaVista Hills Yes, told Atlanta Progressive News.
The process is far from over: the two maps have to go before the full House Governmental Affairs Committee, work their way through the House committee process, then the House floor, get out of Rules, and then on to the Senate.
“If the Senate changes this map, the House Committee will vote it down,” Rep. Hamilton promised.
The ultimate decision will rest with a referendum vote in the two areas, if the process gets that far.