Stonecrest could become one of metro Atlanta’s newest cities after it passed the Georgia General Assembly late Thursday night.
Stonecrest, which would include about 50,000 people in southeast DeKalb, won final passage in the state Senate on a 39-12 vote.
Voters will decide whether to create the city during a referendum if Gov. Nathan Deal signs the measure, Senate Bill 208.
“Now we can take care of our own future,” said Jason Lary, president of the Stonecrest City Alliance. “Economic development — that’s the whole reason for doing this.”
Stonecrest would be located along I-20 near Lithonia, covering nearly 30 square miles of land.
An opponent of creating new municipalities, Ed Williams of the group Citizens Against Cityhood in DeKalb, said the state’s process of forming new cities should be changed to prevent further incorporations.
“More levels of government is not the answer to our problems,” Williams said. “Residents should know the facts and the truth before a referendum is placed on the ballot.”
Stonecrest would start with a small government focused on attracting businesses to the area. The city would provide three government services: parks and recreation, code enforcement, and planning and zoning.
The proposal to form a city of Stonecrest follows the cityhood trend that has swept across metro Atlanta over the past decade, with eight new city governments founded.
Most recently, the city of Tucker held its first elections this month and will start doing business this summer.