The lake on the rear or eastern portion of Legacy Park. A bill that would allow Decatur to annex the 77-acre property, including the lake, was introduced in the General Assembly this week. Bill Banks file photo for the AJC

Decatur Legacy Park annexation bill filed in General Assembly

On Monday DeKalb Sen. Elena Parent, D-Atlanta, introduced a bill in the General Assembly that would allow Decatur to annex Legacy Park, the former United Methodist Children’s Home. Excepting a sliver of property lining South Columbia Drive, the entire 77 acres lies in unincorporated DeKalb. The annexation would also include 15 homes on Derrydown Way, north of Legacy.

During an interview Tuesday Parent said she didn’t anticipate trouble getting the bill passed, adding that “in a perfect world” the bill could clear the Senate and House this week.

“There are folks who get nervous when there’s talk about more annexation,” she said. “But as I’ve explained to senators and county commissioners, this isn’t comparable to other situations.”

Decatur purchased the UMCH property for $40 million in August 2017, and completed the Decatur Legacy Park Master Plan last December. If the bill passes the General Assembly it still needs signing by Governor Brian Kemp but won’t require a referendum.

Much of the property is slated to remain greenspace or get set aside for active and passive recreation.

The 15 additional properties are needed to avoid creating an “island” of unincorporated land. It’s currently unknown how many school-aged children the small annexation will add to City Schools Decatur.

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