Chamblee asks residents for help choosing new district map

Chamblee is considering two redistricting options and is seeking resident input.

Credit: City of Chamblee

Credit: City of Chamblee

Chamblee is considering two redistricting options and is seeking resident input.

Chamblee has to redraw its district lines due to uneven population growth over the past decade, and city leaders are asking residents for their thoughts.

The 2020 Census found that Chamblee effectively tripled its population since 2010, which is the largest population growth of any DeKalb County city during that timespan. Only two Georgia cities — Morgan and Pendergrass — grew at faster rates over the past decade.

City leaders attribute Chamblee’s growth mostly to two annexations, which added tens of thousands of new residents. The city now has more than 30,000 residents.

Those annexations meant some local council districts had more residents than others, forcing the city to redraw its lines once the latest Census results were released. Several other DeKalb cities, including Brookhaven and Doraville, had to redraw their district lines as well. The county itself is going through its own contentious redistricting process.

During recent meetings, Chamblee leaders presented two map options to gather public input. The city named the options “Blue” and “Gold.” Both maps make minimal changes to the city’s District 4, which was established last year to provide more representation for the diverse east Buford Highway community.

The Gold scenario divides the city most equally, with only a 1% population difference between the least and most populous districts. In contrast, the Blue scenario’s population difference is within 4%.

The Gold scenario would draw Councilwoman Karen Lupton out of District 3, which she currently represents. However, she recently announced she will vacate her seat this year to run for an open Georgia House seat. The Blue scenario would not draw any sitting councilmembers out of their district.

Chamblee is a rarity in metro Atlanta, where the council districts only limit who can run for city office — not who votes. Residents vote for all council seats regardless of which district they call home.

For more information on the city’s redistricting effort or to provide feedback, visit City leaders aim to vote on one of the proposed maps by March 15 and finish the entire process by April 19.