DeKalb demands compromise before Emory can join Atlanta


DeKalb County CEO Mike Thurmond and the DeKalb Commission want to slam the brakes on Emory University’s annexation into the city of Atlanta.

County commissioners voted 5-0 to approve a resolution Tuesday that could delay the annexation, which is scheduled for a vote by the Atlanta City Council on Sept. 5. The resolution invokes a state law that requires arbitration when a county government objects to an annexation.

The county government detailed numerous objections in an 11-page letter to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council:

Emory’s incorporation would lead to more traffic, higher density, further development, increased risk for sewage spills and a potential impact on public schools, the letter says.

“The objections submitted by the county should not be seen as opposition to the proposed Emory annexation,” Thurmond said in a statement. “... Our objections are designed to ensure that all the issues associated with the proposed annexation are thoroughly vetted and that citizens have the ability to be informed regarding potential impact on their neighborhoods, communities and the county as a whole.”

Emory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Children’s Healthcare petitioned to become part of the city of Atlanta in June.  If approved, the city would add 744 acres to its borders.

The city of Atlanta will address “any meaningful concerns” from the county, said Melissa Mullinax, a senior adviser to Reed.

“We are confident that the city can serve the needs of the institutions that have requested annexation, and we look forward to continuing the public discussion with members of the impacted communities and the Atlanta City Council,” Mullinax said in a statement.

The letter to Atlanta, signed by County Attorney O.V. Brantley, asks for the appointment of an arbitration panel to negotiate the impacts of the annexation.

Under state law, an arbitration panel would include representatives from municipalities, counties and universities.

Exclusive to subscribers: Read more about the hurdles to Emory University’s annexation into Atlanta on myAJC.com.

MYAJC.COM: REAL JOURNALISM. REAL LOCAL IMPACT.

The AJC's Mark Niesse keeps you updated on the latest happenings in DeKalb County government and politics. You'll find more on myAJC.com, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in DeKalb politics. Subscribe to myAJC.com.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Alleged shooter fires at park where children were playing; 1 man hit
Alleged shooter fires at park where children were playing; 1 man hit

A 38-year-old man was arrested after allegedly shooting in a northwest Atlanta park where children were playing, according to a police report obtained Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brian Ellis pulled into a park on James Jackson Parkway, where about 100 people had gathered about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, police said. He allegedly fired...
Texts show Cobb sheriff, lawmaker pushed KSU president on cheerleaders
Texts show Cobb sheriff, lawmaker pushed KSU president on cheerleaders

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren and state Rep. Earl Ehrhart boasted in a series of text messages about pressuring the president of Kennesaw State University into keeping the school’s cheerleaders off the field during the national anthem in response to several kneeling in protest. The text messages, which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained...
10/18 Mike Luckovich: Trump or treat.
10/18 Mike Luckovich: Trump or treat.

‘I watched you both’: Driver lied to cop about street racing, report says
‘I watched you both’: Driver lied to cop about street racing, report says

When a Johns Creek officer pulled over a man for racing, he denied the allegation — until the officer told him he watched him and another driver compete on a north Fulton County road.  “I watched you both racing,” the officer could be heard saying in dashcam footage obtained by Channel 2 Action News.  Officer J.T. Tait pulled...
Woman killed in crash between school bus, car
Woman killed in crash between school bus, car

A 78-year-old woman is dead after a crash between a Henry County high school bus and a car, officials said Tuesday afternoon. The woman, whose name has not been released pending notification of next of kin, was in the car. Three students were on the bus from Luella High School when the crash occurred along Hampton-Locust Grove Road and Wyckliffe...
More Stories