COVEReport – January 13, 2014

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Victoria Estates Cityhood Survey Responses

Carl 335 responses have been received on the poll concerning cityhood initiatives. Responses from Victoria Estates neighbors indicate:

 

First ChoiceHave a moratorium on new cities and then decide what is the best option
Second and Third Choice – TiedRemain within unincorporated DeKalb and focus on resolution of county issues, Join a city through referendum or annexation
Details
1
2
3
Have a moratorium on new cities and then decide what is the best option
40%
14
42.86%
15
17.14%
6
35
2.23
Remain within unincorporated DeKalb and focus on resolution of county issues
28.57%
10
31.43%
11
40%
14
35
1.89
Join a city through referendum or annexation
31.43%
11
25.71%
9
42.86%
15
35
1.89

Order of preference which city Victoria Estates should be included in:

FirstBriarcliff
SecondNone/Remain Unincorporated
ThirdAnnexation by Lakeside
FourthAnnexation by Atlanta
Details
1
2
3
4
City of Briarcliff
42.86%
15
40%
14
14.29%
5
2.86%
1
35
3.23
None/Remain Unincorporated
42.86%
15
28.57%
10
28.57%
10
0%
0
35
3.14
Future annexation by City of Lakeside
11.43%
4
17.14%
6
45.71%
16
25.71%
9
35
2.14
Future annexation by City of Atlanta
2.86%
1
14.29%
5
11.43%
4
71.43%
25
35
1.49

Comments:

Thanks to our officers for their hard work. – 1/11/2014 4:35 PM

I’m not sure why I’m forced to put any “preference” at all on initiatives that I do not support in any way. – 1/10/2014 7:55 PM

My response to both questions is remain as is. All other options are not my choice. The results will be misleading. Better to rate each option separately. – 1/10/2014 5:10 PM

I do not want to be in the City of Lakeside because this includes too much population that I probably have a different viewpoint for various issues. I would NEVER want to be part of the City of Atlanta. If we can’t be City of Briarcliff, then I would settle for remaining unincorporated. – 1/10/2014 10:22 AM

The city of Briarcliff makes the most sense but is unfair to the rest of the county just as is the city of Lakeside. Local control of zoning by neighborhood is most important, not in some distant remote office where money and favors may change hands. – 1/9/2014 9:59 PM

Stop Lakeside! – 1/9/2014 8:47 PM

All these new cities are efforts to re-segregate DeKalb County. In the South we don’t work it out, we Secede. – 1/9/2014 7:29 PM

I strongly feel that the City of Briarcliff is the most practicle plan for Victoria Estates. – 1/9/2014 6:05 PM

II do not want s dekalb penalized! If we go to incorporation, this needs attention to detail. – 1/9/2014 6:02 PM

I am not in favor of #2 3 or 4 and don’t really see a need to rank them, but the survey did it automatically. – 1/9/2014 5:23 PM

Cityhood Initiative Update from the Capitol

marthaMartha Pacini – January 10, 2014

Clear as Mud is a good description for yesterday’s meeting.  Ron McCauley and I attended the meeting through the Briarcliff and Lakeside presentations.

 

The DeKalb delegation representatives in attendance were primarily from the house and not the senate.  They included Howard Mosby, Ernest Williams, Michelle Henson, Scott Holcomb, Mary Margaret Oliver, Tom Taylor, Karen Bennett, Tonya Anderson, Rahn Mayo, Dar’shun Kendrick.  Fran Millar from the Senate also came in for the Lakeside presentation.  The audience included Jeff Rader, Kathie Gannon, the major of Doraville, and a number of other county/city officials and staff members.

The first presentation was from the Executive Director of the DeKalb Municipal Association, Mark Baggett.  He referenced a “task force on annexation and city hood” and said he had met with the four proposed cities and engaged in discussions about boundaries.  Every existing city in DeKalb, with the exception of Dunwoody, has plans to annex additional property.

Allan Venet presented the City of Briarcliff proposal, stressing that it was (1) a bipartisan effort, (2) inclusive, (3) had sensible borders.  He stated that schools were not part of their proposal. He also stressed that there are serious flaws in DeKalb County and that commissioners/CEO/staff are spending their time getting the county bureaucracy to do what it should have done in the first place.  He stated that he did not want to delay the public vote on the city because it would “endorse the status quo”.  He believes that cities are part of the solution for what ails DeKalb County.

Venet emphasized that Briarcliff can use the tax dollars better and achieve significant efficiencies.  He also pointed out that businesses stay away from DeKalb County because it’s a hassle to get permits/do business with the county, and that the city would be easier to deal with and therefore be better able to attract business, thus eventually growing the tax base for DeKalb County.  He underscored these numbers:  if Briarcliff becomes a city, 6% of county revenue will shift to the city, but Briarcliff will service 13% of the population.  In his words–it will be a net gain for the county.

He stated numerous times that neither existing city annexation plans nor new cities should be allowed to “cherry-pick” commercial/industrial property.  He was asked about the border overlap with Tucker.  He stated that Briarcliff sees I-285 as a “natural boundary–it’s been around for 50 years” between Tucker and Briarcliff, but that he believed they could work with/collaborate with Tucker to arrive at a border both could accept.  Rep. Holcomb emphasized that he would like to see the Northlake issue resolved with Tucker–“all three cities cannot go forward at the same time” with boundaries in dispute.  Venet was also asked about the legacy costs that remain with the county when a city is formed, and he stressed that any new city should bear its fair share of past obligations.

Mary Kay Wentworth presented the Lakeside proposal.  She pointed out that (1) none of their elected representatives live in the proposed city of Lakeside area; (2) the lack of a police presence was a significant part of Lakeside’s proposed services; (3) that they had formed their city based on more than 75 meetings with neighborhoods throughout the Lakeside proposed area.  The community input was a significant grass roots effort, and she emphasized this several times.  She stated that they have 6 task forces that are meeting to work out various aspects of city hood, and that one of them is devoted to economic development.

She was asked about “assuring that the pension legacy remains strong”, i.e., would Lakeside cover its share of the legacy costs related to police pensions, including having it added as part of the city’s charter.  She stated they would seriously consider this.  She emphasized that the elected city council would have to be the group to make many of the decisions about how the city would function and what it would/would not do and that it was not the place of the formers/founders to make those decisions.

She referred to the Lakeside area as a “community of interest” that shares common things and stated that they did not view 285 as a “red line”.  She stated that they had met with Tucker several times, but that it was difficult to resolve because the groups have “different ideas”.  She also stated that in drawing their borders they had tried to avoid areas that were potential annexation targets for existing cities.

Wentworth and Kevin Levitas both emphasized that there was plenty of territory for all three cities, but that the CVI studies could not disaggregate the data to take out Northlake Mall from one or the other.

Some information that was new to me also came out in this process:

  • Representative Jacobs pointed out that the city portion of property taxes would not be eligible for the HOST tax credit that applies to county taxes.  He suggested that the cities consider how to present this accurately to the public, instead of just talking about surpluses.  If the city taxes are done at the full millage of the counties, the impact on the actual property tax bill that a homeowner receives could in fact be an increase.  What will an average homeowners property tax bill now be?
  • There must be a convention/visitors bureau in the new cities if they are to take advantage of the hotel/motel tax.  All city hood proposals do currently include this.
  • The tone from the delegation was that they want the three groups (Briarcliff, Lakeside, Tucker) to meet and work this out and not leave it to the general assembly.
  • Lee May apparently had a meeting with the three groups.  The implication from some of the comments was that Lakeside wasn’t being cooperative, but the Lakeside representatives say they are being cooperative.  They sated that they think the moratorium that is being proposed is a strategy for people who don’t want cities to stop them.

CDC Notice of Availability and Public Hearing DEIS Roybal Campus 2025 Master Plan

CDC Campus Proposed Expansion

CDC has released its draft environmental impact statement for the 2025 master plan of its campus.

…Improvements proposed under the Master Plan preferred alternative include new laboratory construction, existing building renovation, parking expansion, and infrastructure upgrades. Under the Master Plan preferred alternative, the new laboratory building would contain approximately 350,000 to 450,000 gross square feet and would be constructed on an existing surface parking lot located in the eastern portion of the Roybal Campus. In addition to a new laboratory, a new approximately 1,600 space parking deck would be constructed just south of the new laboratory building. Construction of the new parking deck, along with the new laboratory and supporting infrastructure would eliminate an existing surface parking lot and result in a net increase of approximately 1,200 parking spaces at the Roybal Campus. HHS/CDC anticipates that the construction of the new parking deck would increase the campus parking cap from 3,300 to approximately 4,500 spaces. The employee population at the Roybal Campus is projected to increase by approximately 1,485 new occupants under the Master Plan preferred alternative in 2025.The 45-day review period will end on Monday, March 3, 2014. Written comments to be accepted and addressed in the FEIS must be postmarked on or before Monday, March 3, 2014. Please submit comments identified by Docket No. CDC-2012-0013, by any of the following methods: 

•Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments, identified by Docket No. CDC-2012-0013.

•Mail: George F. Chandler, Senior Advisor, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E., Mailstop A-22, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

CDC 2025 Master Plan Letter

CDC 2025 Impact Statement

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