LaVista Hills cityhood map divides neighborhoods

Two DeKalb County neighborhoods are divided by the map for the proposed city of LaVista Hills, with some residents included in the new city’s borders and others remaining unincorporated.

In some cases, neighbors on opposite sites of the same street could end up living under different local governments if voters approve the city of LaVista Hills in a November referendum.

Residents of the Medlock and Mason Mill neighborhoods, which are located on the south end of LaVista Hills near North Druid Hills Road, said state lawmakers should have done a better job in defining city boundaries.

Borders were drawn based on census blocks, which are locations defined by the U.S. Census Bureau that don’t always follow neighborhood lines.

“This is indeed a confusing situation for those of us directly involved,” said Lynn Ganim, president of the Medlock Area Neighborhood Association. “… The state insists on continuing with this archaic and illogical method of drawing city borders, which completely disregards the human beings involved.”

Communities that may be split could later try to reunify if the city of LaVista Hills becomes a reality. Residents included in LaVista Hills could seek to be de-annexed, and those living in unincorporated DeKalb could pursue annexation into LaVista Hills or another existing city like Atlanta.

The Georgia General Assembly did remove parts of Medlock and Mason Mill from LaVista Hills during the legislative process, but they didn’t succeed in keeping those neighborhoods unified, said Mary Hinkel, president of the Mason Mill Civic Association.

“We do remain a split community,” Hinkel said. “The process of map-making for new cities is still a problem.”

The split areas in the Medlock neighborhood are located along parts of Hunting Valley and North Hills Drive. In the Mason Mill community, the affected areas are along Mason Woods Drive, Mason Mill Road and Houston Mill Road.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.