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House DeKalb County Cityhood Subcommittee Meets 12/3/14

The House DeKalb County Cityhood Subcommittee will meet Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. At this meeting the committee will hear testimony from representatives from the Tucker and LaVista Hills cityhood organizations. Following the testimony, the committee will take public comment. We anticipate that this will be the first of several hearings regarding cityhood and annexations in the near future.

This hearing regarding the boundary issues for LaVista Hills and Tucker will be broadcast over the internet so you can watch if you cannot attend in person. Beginning at 1 PM, you can go to, click on “video broadcasts” and that will take you to a link to the live stream of the hearing.

We know that this is a very difficult time for most residents to attend the meeting. However, you can still make your voice heard. Emails to the House members on the committee expressing your desire for inclusion in the City of LaVista Hills are important.

Have you expressed your opinions? If not, we would kindly appreciate it if you would do so now.

Email addresses:

You can copy and paste this message, and personalize if you would prefer. Please include your full name and address.


Dear Representatives,

Please include my neighborhood in the City of LaVista Hills. The City of LaVista Hills will provide the local representation, fiscal responsibility, police responsiveness and other services that my neighbors and my family think most important for our future.

Thank you for listening to the citizen’s voice. Thank you also for your service to our community and our state.


Your Name and Address

Thank you for your support!

For LaVista Hills YES, Co-chairs Allen Venet and Mary Kay Woodworth

Meeting information:

WHO: House DeKalb County Cityhood Subcommittee of Governmental Affairs
Rep. Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), Chair
Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem)
Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming)
Rep. Howard Mosby (D-Atlanta)
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur)

WHAT: Public Meeting to hear from cityhood organizations

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 2014 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Room 506
18 Capitol Square
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

PARKING: Public parking is available at several nearby lots for $5-10.
Pete Hackney Parking Deck (directions provided below)
162 Jess Hill, Jr. Dr

Steve Polk Parking Plaza
65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr

MARTA “Georgia State” station on the East-West Line is located in the Floyd Building, diagonally opposite the Capitol. Exit station onto Piedmont Ave. Turn LEFT and walk two blocks to Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Continue one more block to the Coverdell Legislative Office Building at 18 Capitol Square.

CAR (directions to the Pete Hackney parking deck, two blocks from the Capitol, three blocks from Coverdell):
I-75/85 Southbound Exit #248A Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Turn RIGHT onto MLK Jr. Dr; turn RIGHT onto Jessie Hill Jr. Dr. Pete Hackney deck is 2nd garage on the right.

I-20 Westbound Exit 258A Capitol Avenue. Turn RIGHT onto Capitol Avenue and follow to MLK, Jr. Dr. Turn RIGHT and go to the first traffic light. Turn LEFT onto Jessie Hill, Jr. Drive. Pete Hackney deck is 2nd garage on the right.

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Lakeside & Briarcliff Cityhood Groups Reach Map Agreement, Announce New City Name – LaVista Hills

Lakeside & Briarcliff Cityhood Groups Reach Map Agreement,
Announce New City Name – LaVista Hills

Atlanta, GA, November 17, 2014 — The Lakeside and Briarcliff cityhood groups are proud to announce a full merger. The two groups will move forward as one cityhood effort, partnering with DeKalb County neighborhoods to create a new city in North/Central DeKalb County to be called LaVista Hills, Georgia. This city will be the largest in DeKalb County with approximately 72,000 residents.

“Cityhood is about giving communities and citizens a choice,” said Mary Kay Woodworth (formerly of Lakeside YES). “We have spoken at well over a hundred community meetings in the last two years, and we continue to listen and respond to what residents and businesses tell us and to community’s desires. We are thankful to our volunteers and appreciate the continued community support and input shaping the new city’s vision.”

“I’m happy to see that Briarcliff and Lakeside could meet the House Governmental Affairs committee imposed deadline and look forward to helping them with their bill when they get to the Senate,” State Sen. Fran Millar (SD-40).

A three-party agreement with the Tucker 2015 cityhood movement was unsuccessful by the November 15 deadline.

“We have made multiple offers to the Tucker cityhood movement and we’re still hopeful we can reach agreement on the boundaries,” said Allen Venet (formerly of the City of Briarcliff Initiative). “After merging the vision of Lakeside and Briarcliff, and presenting neighborhood survey and petition preference input to Tucker, we are disappointed that the groups were unable to reach an agreement by the November 15th deadline.”

Over one thousand people in neighborhoods outside the Perimeter have signed petitions asking to be included in the new city as their preference over Tucker. Residents in this area often expressed feedback wanting a well-staffed and dedicated city police force actively patrolling the area. Residents and businesses within the LaVista Hills city limits would receive such services.

“Make no mistake,” says Woodworth, “the November 15th deadline was handled with the utmost respect and urgency. Conversations started early and continued until the deadline, and we are disappointed that we were not able to reach agreement with Tucker, despite our best efforts. Tucker’s claim they are remaining “consistent with our borders” reflects an unwillingness on their part to compromise, and more importantly, a refusal to acknowledge the desires of both residents and the business community.

Venet adds, “Tucker 2015’s decision to include all of the Northlake commercial and industrial businesses would not allow for two thriving cities. We believe that the larger community — both inside and outside I-285 — have benefited from the Northlake business area for over 50 years, and that both LaVista Hills and Tucker should enjoy the benefit and the responsibility that comes with healthy business-community relations for the next 50 years.”

Inside the Perimeter, surveys and petitions from neighborhoods were the driving factor to map the southwestern and southeastern borders, areas that were part of the original City of Briarcliff map. The views expressed by neighborhoods that are considering different paths as we all work toward a brighter future for DeKalb County were reflected in LaVista Hills’ boundaries. The proponents of the City of LaVista Hills greatly appreciate the support that Briarcliff and Lakeside received from residents of areas that are not included in our combined map, and are committed to LaVista Hills agreeing to any future annexation requests from those areas.

In the coming weeks the combined group will continue work towards readying LaVista Hills for the 2015 legislative session.

City of LaVista Hills map is attached.

Interactive map with detail will be available later today:

About Lakeside YES & City of Briarcliff Initiative:
Lakeside YES and The City of Briarcliff Initiative, Inc. are non-profit corporations chartered under the laws of the state of Georgia. The cityhood groups have polled, surveyed and partnered with the local community to establish a joint map, and unified city name. LaVista Hills will bring local control to the community by overseeing police, zoning, permitting, parks and recreation, along with road and sidewalk maintenance as city-managed services. The groups seek to present LaVista Hills in the 2015 Georgia legislative session.

For more information contact:

Mary Kay Woodworth 770-395-7337

Allen Venet – 404-329-8954


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Help name our new city!


Our two city movements have joined forces and are moving forward as one. The time has come for us to choose a new name, and we are inviting the public to help us pick one. Several have been suggested, and we have set up a joint survey that can be reached at the following link.

If you want to make your own suggestions, please go to our Facebook page and comment there, or email us here through our contact page.

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GMA January 2014 Report on Annexation in Georgia added to our documents page.

We have added a copy of the January 2014 guide to Georgia’s annexation laws to our Documents page for reference. The report is available free for public download at

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Lakeside YES! and City of Briarcliff Initiative Call for Halt to Annexation of Businesses East of Interstate 85

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ATLANTA (Oct. 9, 2014) – Today, LakesideYES! and the City of Briarcliff Initiative called for a moratorium on discussions of annexing commercial property located east of Interstate 85 into the new city of Brookhaven. Lakeside YES! and COBI, grassroots advocacy groups for the incorporation of a new city in north-central DeKalb County, propose a western boundary extending to neighboring Brookhaven’s current city limits.

Today’s announcement responds to formal annexations applications filed with the Brookhaven city council earlier this week by parties representing Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Executive Park. The properties referenced in the applications are fronted by North Druid Hills Road.

“We certainly would like to see this area in the proposed city of Lakeside,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, co-chair of LakesideYES! “The CHOA properties have been in our map since 2013, and the Executive Park properties were added in 2014. We urge those businesses that are eager to become part of an incorporated city to wait just a little longer, as Lakeside will soon be up for a referendum.”

On behalf of the City of Briarcliff Initiative, which is actively collaborating with Lakeside Yes in an effort to create a new city in north central DeKalb county, President Allen Venet said “While we respect the right of every property owner to express his or her preferences, we believe strongly that city boundaries should make sense — and jumping over an eight lane highway to take commercial properties without the surrounding people does not make sense. The proposed annexation is unfair to the residents who are left out, and to everyone in our proposed city. We ask the owners, and the new city of Brookhaven, to respect their neighbors by deferring any action until after we have a chance to form our new city. The area at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road has always been included in our map, and we have always considered it and the surrounding residential areas as an important part of our community. We have been meeting with the residents of the area for over a year and would welcome an opportunity to meet with the businesses as well, at their earliest convenience.”

While Brookhaven has several commercial districts to sustain its new tax base, the proposed city of Lakeside needs the North Druid Hills/I-85 commercial corridor to help support services for the proposed new city, Woodworth said.

A proposal for a new city of Lakeside failed in the Georgia legislature in 2014 but is expected to be taken up right away by state lawmakers when they convene this January.

“We have always had a working partnership with council members and the mayor of the city of Brookhaven,” Woodworth remarked. “We believe that they support our efforts to create a new city. For this reason, we ask them to allow us to move forward with our map, which includes the area listed in the petitions, before attempting to annex anything east of the interstate.”

LakesideYes! and the City of Briarcliff Initiative, both cityhood efforts for north-central DeKalb, have been meeting in recent weeks to hammer out a compromise map for lawmakers to consider next year. Each group had separate proposals during the 2014 legislative session.
“One thing both cityhood groups agree on is the need for this area that includes Executive Park and CHOA to be incorporated into Georgia’s next new city,” Woodworth added.

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Is one of these opinions yours, or are they all from your neighbors? Make your voice heard!

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Please visit our survey page and let us know how you feel. Time is running out, and suddenly new annexation plans are coming out of the woodwork.

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Negotiations with Lakeside have commenced!

The LakesideYES and City of Briarcliff leadership conducted a very productive meeting today, moderated by Bill Floyd, DeKalb Municipal Association. Within the next week, we hope to share a collaborative map for our proposed new city, and begin meeting with the community to discuss issues such as public safety, ethics, zoning and land use, greenspace and parks and other cityhood topics. We also look forward to meeting with the leadership of a new city of Tucker and creating a two-city solution for North/Central DeKalb county.

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Please fill out our short survey!

We need to hear from everyone who will be affected by the creation of new cities in north central DeKalb County and to get your opinions. We have put together a brief survey and would appreciate your replies. We need this information by October 15 in order to finalize our border decisions.

Please use this link to our Survey to give us your opinion, and please share this link with your friends and neighbors, on your neighborhood email groups, and encourage your neighborhood and civic associations to share with their membership.

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Working maps posted to the Documents page

Per request, we have posted copies of the maps posted our Facebook page here as well, and we have include pdf versions when we have them.


Please email us if you have questions or comments.

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