The city of Clarkston has scrapped its recent proposal to absorb North DeKalb Mall into its city limits.
City officials scaled back their initial proposition to annex several neighborhoods, which would have doubled the size of the small DeKalb County city. Instead, Clarkston is eyeing just two neighborhoods south of the city that sit in unincorporated DeKalb, according to a statement Tuesday.
A town hall meeting on the proposed annexation is planned for 7 p.m Monday, Jan. 27 at the Clarkston Community Center, the city announced.
Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry said the decision to reduce the proposed annexation was based on feedback from the public.
“I wouldn’t say it was overwhelming opposition, but … I don’t think there’s a huge movement of those neighborhoods saying they want to join Clarkston,” Terry said Tuesday. “The sense I got is that the status quo is just fine by them.”
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For the annexation to happen, the Clarkston City Council would first have to pass a resolution supporting it. If state lawmakers then vote in support of the proposal, residents of the annexed areas would have the chance to approve or reject it through a ballot referendum.
The city’s initial proposal, made public earlier this month, suggested expanding the city to the south and east, including North DeKalb Mall and parts of the Scottdale neighborhood.
Victoria Webb, the co-chair of the Avondale Rockbridge Civic Alliance, lives in a part of Scottdale that was first eyed by Clarkston for annexation. She said the idea sparked a lot of discussion on social media platforms including NextDoor, the social network for neighborhoods.
“It was a very ambitious resolution … I think that they got the message that we’re not interested,” Webb said, adding that her neighborhood has also been approached about becoming part of Avondale Estates. “Nobody wants to be annexed. … What is the city going to do for us?”
Under the revised plan, Clarkston would annex just two neighborhoods totaling about 620 acres, according to maps released by the city. It would increase the city’s footprint by about 54%. Both neighborhoods are part of the Clarkston ZIP code 30021 and include Clarkston High School, Georgia State University Perimeter College’s Clarkston Campus and Georgia Piedmont Technical College.
Terry said he feels it is important for areas that already have a Clarkston ZIP code and Clarkston address to have access to the city’s services, including police and code enforcement.
“It’s a little bit fracturing for some people who feel like they want to have that local representation,” he said.
The City Council is set to discuss the latest plan at its next work session meeting.
Clarkston is no stranger to annexation; the city expanded its boundaries to the west and northeast in 2014 and 2015.
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