The Loch Lomond neighborhood in south Fulton County was improperly annexed into the city of Atlanta in 2016, the Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled.
Loch Lomond, which has about 700 residents, is located in the southwest part of the county, between I-285 and Camp Creek Parkway. The three-judge panel on Wednesday invalidated its annexation because it wasn't completed before the new city of South Fulton set its proposed boundaries, which originally included Loch Lomond. The city was formed in a vote later that year. Five other annexations that took place around the same time were invalidated by the state supreme court for the same reason.
The court’s ruling essentially means that Loch Lomond is now part of the city of South Fulton.
Atlanta is still trying to annex land on Fulton Industrial Boulevard, and the state supreme court has yet to rule in that case.
Jewel Johnson, one of the residents who fought the Loch Lomond annexation, said she was “just elated” with the victory. The 67-year-old said she lived in Atlanta when she was younger and wasn’t interested in doing it again. She has lived in Loch Lomond for 30 years.
“I screamed, I actually screamed,” she said. “It made me feel good. The law is the law, and it doesn’t matter who you are.”
Not all of her neighbors were happy with the ruling.
“I haven’t heard any good things about being in South Fulton,” said Sharon Blandburg, who said she’d always considered herself an Atlantan.
It’s unclear what the ruling means in terms of voting in the upcoming elections. Richard Barron, the director of elections and registration for Fulton County, said his staff plans to meet with attorneys Monday to determine if people who are currently registered in Atlanta will be placed in South Fulton instead.
Johnson said the fight has been difficult, but she’s hoping the neighborhood can put the annexation rift in its rear view mirror.
“I just want my community to heal,” she said. “We’ve been so fractured over here.”
Atlanta still has the opportunity to appeal the ruling. A spokesperson for the city did not respond to requests for comment about the case.