Monthly Archives: November 2014

COVE Report – November 25, 2014

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Druid Hills Calls for Referendum on Atlanta Annexation

The Druid Hills Civic Association is now requesting a referendum on annexation into the City of Atlanta. The DHCA board stated that while it’s not endorsing a position on annexation, a large percentage of residents have expressed an interest and should be able to vote on the issue. Click for more

Victoria Estates Neighborhood Meeting – Atlanta Annexation/Blueprint DeKalb – Thursday, December 11

Atlanta Councilmember Alex Wan has agreed to meet with Victoria Estates residents to discuss potential annexation into Atlanta. While the city has taken no official stance, Councilmember Wan, also an Emory employee, has made himself available and has already met with Druid Hills, Mason Mill and other neighborhoods.

COVE board members Martha Pacini and Pat Killingsworth will also be providing an update on efforts to reform DeKalb County government through Blueprint DeKalb.

The meeting will be held at 961 Castle Falls. Time and details will follow.

Victoria Estates/Mason Mill  – Together in Atlanta Presentation – December Date to be Announced

Proposed Atlanta Annexation of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill

Proposed Atlanta Annexation of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill

The group Together in Atlanta is composed of area residents interested in being annexed by the city of Atlanta. A proposed annexation map, based on Fernbank and BriarVista Elementary School attendance zones was recently submitted by the group to the City of Atlanta and Georgia State House Governmental Affairs committee. Victoria Estates and Mason Mill are included. Leaders from this group will be meeting with us to discuss their proposal.

These meetings are in keeping with our efforts to inform and update residents with information about all of the municipal-related possibilities our neighborhoods face in this legislative session.

Committee to Determine City Boundaries Selected

Proposed city groups for Briarcliff, Lakeside, and Tucker had until Nov. 15 to present a map to the state Legislature to resolve their differences. Briarcliff and Lakeside merged as LaVista Hills, but significant conflicts exist with Tucker boundaries. House Governmental Affairs Committee chair Rep. Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, has now appointed five members to a Cityhood Subcommittee on Governmental Affairs to draw a map. This map will then be considered during the regular legislative session.

Committee members are:

– Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), Chair

– Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem)

– Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming)

– Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta)

– Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur)


Interactive Map of Proposed DeKalb Cities and Annexations

Map created by Andrew Feury showing LaVista Hills, Tucker, Atlanta and Decatur annexations, city of South DeKalb and Stonecrest, and other proposed city changes.

Car Break-in Video

Our car was broken into on Saturday morning around 7 am. Our video camera caught the criminal in action. Normally we don’t leave the car unlocked, and our other locked vehicle was left untouched. Fortunately, he did no damage, other than taking some loose change. We have filed a police report and encourage all to do so that crime patterns can be properly tracked. The police department has committed to sending out additional patrols in the evening. Marian has noticed on CrimeMapping a rash of car break-ins and thefts in the area. Be careful, particularly during the upcoming holiday season! – Carl Lange, Mason Mill Rd.

COVE Report – November 18, 2014

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Proposed City of LaVista Hills Borders Victoria Estates and Mason Mill



City of LaVista Hills


The initiatives to form the cities of Lakeside and Briarcliff have officially merged to promote the city of LaVista Hills. A new map which excludes Victoria Estates and Mason Mill neighborhoods was delivered to the state legislature yesterday. The newly proposed city does include the Toco Hill Shopping Center.
Click for Interactive Map
Click for Press Release
Click for LaVista Yes website



Close up of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill area

Close up of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill area








Letter Concerning LaVista Hills

In a letter posted on the Civic Association Networks’ (CAN) communications site, Allen Venet, LaVista Hills organizer, stated “We have also worked very hard trying to respect the preferences expressed by surveys and petitions in neighborhoods facing two or more cityhood or annexation choices.” Allen is formerly with the Briarcliff initiative and the letter was in response to an informational notification by Patrick Noonan, former president of the Mason Mill Civic Association and drafter of our recent neighborhood survey.

Thank you, Patrick, for helping to spread the word about the City of LaVista Hills.

As each of you, and your respective neighborhoods, study our map, and continue to monitor the multiple annexation and cityhood proposals, please understand that the volunteers of the LaVista Hills effort — both Lakeside supporters and Briarcliff supporters — have labored long and hard to define this map. That was true in the difficult mediation that led to our successful merger, and in the difficult mediation with our friends in the Tucker 2015 effort which unfortunately failed. We have also worked very hard trying to respect the preferences expressed by surveys and petitions in neighborhoods facing two or more cityhood or annexation choices. Those neighborhood preferences, along with the “no island” rule, largely dictated our borders. The boundaries are not as simple as any of us would like, but they do follow — as closely as we could — the desires of the neighborhoods in question.

Some have criticized a perceived lack of transparency because only “old” maps have been displayed for weeks. During this time we were engaged in mediation, while also continuing to meet with multiple neighborhood groups. We neither requested nor had any input into the design of the mediation process created by the Georgia House leadership (although we had long supported the idea of mediation as first suggested by Representative Oliver, and later championed by Representative Jacobs). We do, however, respect the legislative leadership, and we have done our best to abide by the rules and the spirit of their process. In keeping with this commitment to the process, our negotiations have been confidential. Now that the initial deadline has passed, we are pleased to present our map, and to answer any questions, as we move into the next phase of the process.

It goes without saying that some of you support our efforts, and some of you disagree. This is a political process, and differences of opinion are to be expected. I hope that we can all respect each other’s opinions as we continue to debate these critical topics.

We are excited to be moving forward with a plan that we sincerely believe will be an important part of the solution for DeKalb County, and we welcome your questions and comments, as always.


Proposed Atlanta Annexation to Include Victoria Estates and Mason Mill

Proposed Atlanta Annexation of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill

Proposed Atlanta Annexation of Victoria Estates and Mason Mill


Together in Atlanta, Inc. has delivered to the state legislature a proposed map for Atlanta annexation that includes Victoria Estates and Mason Mill neighborhoods. In a communication from Amy Power she stated “We are extremely pleased and grateful to have the support of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and will be working with his office through the legislative session and hopefully onward toward a referendum next year.” Thanks to Jen Tipping for forwarding this information.

Together In Atlanta, Inc.
P.O. Box 133255
Atlanta, Georgia 30333


November 17, 2014

The Honorable Amy Carter
House Governmental Affairs Committee
Georgia House of Representatives
218 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Re: Proposed Atlanta Annexation

Dear Chairman Carter:

On behalf of the steering committee of Together In Atlanta (“TIA”), we respectfully submit the attached map of a proposed Atlanta annexation in west central DeKalb County for your consideration. The proposed map includes Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the complete school zones for Briar Vista Elementary and Fernbank Elementary.

As an organization, TIA’s formation is an outgrowth of the anticipated further municipalization of central and north DeKalb County being handled by your committee. The attached map of a proposed Atlanta annexation helps to prevent an unincorporated island at Atlanta’s eastern boundary, allows the neighborhoods in the proposed annexation area to preserve their elementary school zones within the same local governmental jurisdiction, and creates a manageable service area for municipal services.

Thank you very much for your consideration and for your leadership on the issue of municipalization. We look forward to working with you, other legislators, and City of Atlanta officials to support a legislative resolution that incorporates this proposed Atlanta annexation map and permits it to be put to voter referendum in 2015.


Matthew S. Lewis
Steering Committee Member
Together In Atlanta, Inc.

Attachment (Proposed Atlanta Annexation Map)

cc: Representative Buzz Brockway, Vice Chairman (w/attachment)
Representative Tyrone Brooks, Member (w/attachment)
Representative Howard Mosby, Member (w/attachment)
Representative Mary Margaret Oliver, Member (w/attachment)
Matthew Lewis

A Comparison of Atlanta vs. New City vs. remaining Unincorporated

The Woodland Hills Neighborhood Association has created a comparison of the three options. Atlanta Lakeside-Briarcliff City Comparison FINAL

LaVista Park Neighborhood Cityhood Survey Results

Neighbors in LaVista Park have indicated in a survey that their top choices are remaining unincorporated and joining the proposed new city, now named LaVista Hills. Click for details

DeKalb Police Join


Chief James Conroy posted that the department will be utilizing Nextdoor to facilitate virtual neighborhood watches and to facilitate better communications, including local crime and safety updates.

James Conroy, DeKalb County Police Department CITY
My name is Chief James Conroy, and I am pleased to announce that starting today, the DeKalb County Police Department will be utilizing Nextdoor to facilitate virtual neighborhood watch and foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications.
Nextdoor is a tool for us to effectively share information on crime prevention and safety, public events, and emergency notifications. You can expect to receive local crime and safety updates from the DeKalb County Police Department on Nextdoor. Please be assured that your website remains private. DeKalb County Police Department staff will NOT be able to see any of the content on your neighborhood website except for the direct replies to our posts.
Please be aware that Nextdoor is not the appropriate way to request emergency services, police services, report criminal or suspicious activity, file a report, etc. If you require emergency services, please call 911.
We look forward to connecting with you on Nextdoor to build stronger, safer neighborhoods throughout DeKalb County.
– Chief James Conroy

Atlanta Annexation Meeting – November 19

The Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association (LRSCA) is hosting an informational meeting on Atlanta annexation. All are invited to attend. Alex Wan and APS School Board Member Matt Westmoreland are scheduled to attend. The information session will be on Wednesday Nov. 19 at 7 pm at University Heights Methodist Church.

Blueprint DeKalb Meeting – November 20

Blueprint DeKalb


Members of this citizen driven movement to improve DeKalb will be coming to Druid Hills Middle School to discuss their research and recommendations. Please come out on Thursday Nov. 20 at 7pm at Druid Hills Middle School Library to learn more about this citizen driven group.

Deadline for Cityhood Maps is Today

A compromise has not been reached by the proposed city initiatives of Lakeside/Briarcliff and Tucker over disputed boundaries. Today is the final deadline imposed by the Georgia legislature for consensus, before drawing its own map(s). Government Affairs Committee Chair, Amy Carter is likely to appoint a committee, drawing concerns that five people who don’t necessarily represent DeKalb could be shaping it’s future.


COVE Report – November 11, 2014

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DeKalb Government Operations Task Force

Operations Task Force Subcommittee on Incorporation and Annexation Meeting
Wednesday, November 12
6:00 pm
Please note the location change:
DeKalb Medical at North Decatur
Keeton Auditorium – (ground floor)
2701 North Decatur Road
Decatur, GA 30033

On the agenda is: Incorporation and annexation – Financial Impact on Unincorporated DeKalb County

Public Hearings on Brookhaven’s Proposed Annexation of Executive Park

Planning Commission – November 12
City Council – November 18 & 20

Brookhaven annexation













Woodland Hills Cityhood Survey Results

Survey Says: Yes, Woodland Hills Is Interested In Joining A City

According to the Woodland Hills Neighborhood Association, a survey earlier this month indicated 79% of the participants who responded prefer to join a city, either by being annexed by the City of Atlanta or joining a new DeKalb city.

Blueprint DeKalb Continues Forward

A Blueprint DeKalb Op Ed by Pat Killingsworth and Gil Thurman appeared in the AJC posted October 22. Click here

From Blueprint DeKalb:

• Delivering our call for reform at all three of the DeKalb delegation’s pre-session public meetings,
• Bringing the Blueprints message personally and in writing to Operations Task Force members,
• Informing 2014 Neighborhood Summit attendees about Blueprints goals
• Speaking with a League of Women Voters group and scheduling other speaking engagements with local groups (see the new calendar on the Blueprints website,
• Setting up meetings with legislators and commissioners to ask for their support.
• Keeping the website updated. BTW, we apologize to AOL users who are not able to take the Blueprints survey; fixing that problem will require moving to a new system and we’re working on it.

Four Things You Can Do in 1-2 Minutes:
• Send an email or call your state senator and state representative asking them to support the Blueprint reform recommendations. Please CC or BCC on that email, so that we can track who is hearing this message. Find emails for DeKalb legislative delegation members here. Not sure which district you’re in? Login on the Secretary of State’s “My Voter Page” to find your districts.
• Send an email or call your county commissioners (regular & super-district) to emphasize the need for bold reform, not weak tweaks of existing conditions.
• Send an email or call the Operations Task Force to encourage bold reform recommendations, not weak tweaks of existing conditions. Need a list? Click here.
• If your name isn’t already listed on the Blueprints Supporters List, send an email to containing the message “I support Blueprint DeKalb”, with your name and your home zipcode.
Four Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes:
• Send an article on Blueprint reform recommendations to your neighborhood association newsletter/email list.
• Talk to a neighbor about the Blueprint reform recommendations and ask them to endorse the Blueprint.
• Make an appointment to speak with your commissioner/legislator to discuss your support for Blueprint reform recommendations in person.
• Distribute the op-ed on Blueprint reform recommendations to your immediate neighbors.
Got More Time? We Need Your Help!
• Are you experienced in crafting political messages, coordinating volunteer lobbyists, or working with the media? Bringing your managerial expertise and leadership in these areas would be great! eMail
• We need to get our supporter list to 10,000 names—help us do that and prove to elected officials that the public believes in the Blueprint reform recommendations. We need your strategic support in achieving this objective! Ask your friends and coworkers to send an email to containing the message “I support Blueprint DeKalb”, with their name and their home zipcode.

Emory’s Position on the Current Cityhood and Annexation Initiatives


Following is an excerpt from a letter by Emory’s Charlie Harmon, VP of Government and Community Affairs at Emory University addressed to Dawn Forman of the Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association .

“In sum, Emory continues to monitor the efforts by engaged citizens on all aspects of the cityhood process. We support complete and timely transparency of all efforts. And we are sensitive to our neighbors and their wishes.”

He also stated that Emory was sensitive to neighborhoods surrounding them and not pushing anyone in any direction, the cityhood movements should have maps that are transparent, along with a transparent process, so that all are able to see what is taking place, and that Emory wants to keep all aspects of its campus together in one municipality and not in several municipalities.

Video of Executive Park Hotel Demolition

Sat Nov 8, 2014 – Brookhaven Post

executive park hotel









COVE Report – November 5, 2014

Mason Mill Civic Association
Citizens of Victoria Estates

For Immediate Release November 5, 2014

Survey Indicates Residents in Two Central DeKalb Neighborhoods Wish to Remain Unincorporated

DeKalb County, GA – A survey of the residents of Mason Mill and Victoria Estates neighborhoods, located adjacent to Emory University, indicates an overwhelming preference to remain unincorporated. Residents of these longstanding established neighborhoods include many Emory and CDC employees, members of the neighboring Jewish Orthodox temples, and many younger families, among others. Both neighborhoods were included in previously proposed maps for the cities of Lakeside and Briarcliff.

58% of survey respondents ranked remaining unincorporated as their top choice, over annexation by Atlanta or becoming part of a new DeKalb city. Further, remaining unincorporated was favored by more than 2 to 1 over each of the cityhood options when considered separately. The survey also revealed that a potential decision by Emory University (1) to be annexed by Atlanta, (2) become part of a new city or (3) remain unincorporated would not have a major impact on the survey participants’ decisions.

The neighborhoods conducted the survey in order to provide local leaders with a better understanding of residents’ perspectives on annexation and new city initiatives. The Mason Mill Civic Association in coordination with the Citizens of Victoria Estates developed the survey.


The survey was distributed by email through the neighborhood association email lists. In addition, every home received a flyer and/or an opportunity to complete a paper survey to have those views included in the results. Almost 200 respondents from the approximately 400 homes in the two neighborhoods completed the survey.

For a copy of the survey: Neighborhood Survey

For complete survey results and analysis: Survey Analysis

For a spreadsheet of original data: MM-VE data for release

For all comments in the surveys: MM-VE Positives-Negatives by Pref Group [link added on 11/6/2014]

The results also have been distributed to the Lakeside and Briarcliff cityhood initiatives, city of Atlanta, Emory University, members of the DeKalb legislative delegation, the Georgia House of Representative’s Governmental Affairs committee, other local elected officials and all survey participants.


Mary Hinkel, President, Mason Mill Civic Association
Phone: 404-235-5117

Martha Pacini, President, Citizens of Victoria Estates
Phone: 404-285-7042