Proposed DeKalb cities instructed to decide borders

Georgia representatives are giving three DeKalb cityhood movements until Nov. 15 to agree on boundaries. If they don’t, state lawmakers will do it for them.

Maps for the Briarcliff, Lakeside and Tucker communities must be decided before the end of the year, and those are the only boundaries that will be considered during the 2015 legislative session, according to instructions distributed Tuesday by the House Governmental Affairs Committee.

The current boundaries of the three areas overlap.

The guidelines are intended to resolve local border disputes before state lawmakers consider whether to authorize the creation of new cities, said Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven.

“The problem in the 2014 session was that we were locked in an intractable three-way tug of war over boundaries,” Jacobs said. “In order to avoid that same situation in the 2015 session, somebody has got to come to a decision.”

Committee Chairwoman Amy Carter, R-Valdosta, would appoint a panel of five House of Representatives members to draw city boundaries if the City of Briarcliff Initiative, Lakeside Yes and Tucker 2015 can’t agree by Nov. 15. The instructions were developed by Jacobs and Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody.

“This process … gives cityhood proponents in DeKalb County the best chance for successful passage of legislation that will allow new city proposals to go before the voters for consideration,” Carter said in a statement. “There is a need to bring order to this process, and the directions outlined to the stakeholders today will accomplish just that.”

Other potential cities in DeKalb County, such as Stonecrest and South DeKalb, could be considered during the normal legislative process, Jacobs said.

Read the DeKalb cityhood instructions.

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