Vehicles travel through the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Fulton Industrial Boulevard. Johnny Crawford / AJC FILE PHOTO

Fulton County objects to Atlanta’s plan to annex Fulton Industrial land

Fulton County commissioners on Wednesday agreed to object to Atlanta’s planned annexation of land the city owns on Fulton Industrial Boulevard, saying the move is in violation of state law.

The county objection is based on the fact that any annexation of land in the Fulton Industrial district has been “prohibited” since 1979 because of a “local constitutional amendment,” Fulton County Vice Chairman Bob Ellis said. Commissioners voted 4-0 to send Atlanta a letter detailing their objections.

In 2015, Atlanta filed paperwork to annex the half-acre piece of land, which it owns. The city then sued Fulton County in an attempt to overturn the 1979 law.

The case went all the way to the state supreme court, where it was dismissed.

The court said Atlanta filed suit too soon, since members of city council had never voted to approve the annexation. The suit was dismissed because there was no legal case to resolve.

“My opinion is that there’s certainly the potential for litigation, certainly,” said Jerolyn Ferrari, a county attorney. “I believe litigation is anticipated.”

A spokesperson for Atlanta said previously that she had no comment on the city’s annexation attempt.

The 7.5-square-mile Fulton Industrial area is the last remaining unincorporated piece of Fulton County, and both Atlanta and the new city of South Fulton would like the area within their boundaries.

Gil Prado, executive director of the Fulton Industrial Community Improvement District, said the area has a payroll of more than $1 billion and brings in about $18 million to $19 million in property taxes to Fulton County.

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