Decatur mayor says county needs comprehensive plan

The proposed DeKalb County city of Greenhaven died quietly in the House last week, at least for this year. Nevertheless, Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett believes it’s imperative for the county to create a comprehensive map.

“The county government has been working with [the] Carl Vinson [Institute of Georgia] on a study that would take a broader look at annexations and cityhood,” she said. “I think this Greenhaven should force us to come together and look at the county as a whole, rather than a bunch of independent movements.”

Garrett added that Decatur needs to firm up its own annexation plans for contribution to the Vinson study.

Greenhaven, if ever successful, would municipalize much of South DeKalb thereby creating the state’s second largest city at 300,000. But Greenhaven’s current map doesn’t directly affect Decatur.

In excluding the unincorporated neighborhoods of Decatur Terrace, Midway Woods and Forrest Hills, it leaves an island south of College Avenue between Decatur and Avondale Estates. It also doesn’t include any of the unincorporated commercial centers the city’s long coveted just beyond its northern boundaries.

“From the city’s standpoint,” Garrett said, “We need to do a joint session with the [Decatur] school board this year and formulate [an annexation strategy]. The fact is any actual annexation would likely take several years.”