City of Prosperity proposed in south DeKalb

Commissioner Larry Johnson proposed the city of Prosperity in southwest DeKalb during Tuesday’s meeting of the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

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Commissioner Larry Johnson proposed the city of Prosperity in southwest DeKalb during Tuesday’s meeting of the DeKalb Board of Commissioners. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

The new year has brought yet another proposal for creating a new city in metro Atlanta.

Meet the city of Prosperity.

Located in southwest DeKalb County, Prosperity would encompass about 156,000 residents who now live in a large unincorporated area near I-285 and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. It includes the communities of East Lake, Ellenwood, Glenwood, Gresham Park and Panthersville.

Prosperity has a long way to go before it could become a city. Organizers would have to convince state legislators, win over voters and prove the municipality’s feasibility.

DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson, who announced the Prosperity proposal Tuesday, said the city could help recruit businesses around the upcoming Valhalla movie studio, industrial areas, a Georgia State University campus and walking trails.

“This is an opportunity to look at our destiny,” said Johnson, whose district overlaps Prosperity’s proposed borders. “This allows us to really have a vision for that area. When you look at the global picture, sometimes we get left behind.”

Prosperity could become the 11th new city in the Atlanta area since Sandy Springs incorporated in 2005.

A previous effort to create the city of Greenhaven nearby failed last year after residents urged state lawmakers to vote against the idea. Kathryn Rice, a supporter of Greenhaven, said she's hoping legislation to form the city will be reconsidered.

But Prosperity is about half the size of Greenhaven, which would have stretched across south and central DeKalb, making it Georgia’s second-largest city with nearly 300,000 people.

Kevin Polite, who lives near Prosperity’s northern border along Memorial Drive, said many people don’t want to join a city.

“I don’t believe that, just because other cities are doing it, the rest of DeKalb needs to become part of another city,” Polite said. “I really don’t think we need any more cityhoods.”

Prosperity would follow the model laid by the new city of Stonecrest, whose supporters wanted a locally controlled government that could promote economic development. Voters approved creating Stonecrest, located in southeast DeKalb near I-20, in a November referendum.

Both Stonecrest and another new city, South Fulton, will begin operations after holding their first elections in March.

View a map of the proposed city of Prosperity by clicking here.