Plans for Lakeside cityhood are crossing the line, says a local resident.
By Michelle Penkava for North Druid Hills/Briarcliff Patch
You may have heard that some neighborhoods to our west are trying to form a city. This city, now designated as Lakeside City, began in Oak Grove. One of the three services they plan to provide is parks and recreation. Being in need of green space, they have included a very large portion of Tucker in their proposed city map in order to acquire Henderson Park. This would also give them access to some long-established Tucker neighborhoods and additional commercial properties.
The Lakeside City Alliance would have you believe that they are moving slowly. In fact, they were expected to “drop a bill” at the Capitol on Thursday, March 7, sponsored by Dunwoody state Sen. Fran Millar.
This bill is a “placeholder” designed to allow a public vote on the issue by the fall of 2014 even though they are just now in the beginning legal stages of forming their city. The map is not set in stone. But once it is, we outside their boundaries will have no vote on whether or not they become a city and incorporate parts of Tucker. Our local politicians and civic leaders have spoken out, asking them to use I-285 as their boundary. Instead, they are land grabbing large areas of Tucker in their initial attempt, stating that there are no obvious boundaries of Tucker.
The state of Georgia district maps, including Millar’s district map, clearly designate Tucker as a “census place,” and show our boundaries beginning at 285 with just a slight dip inside the perimeter to Henderson Mill Road.
As you know, the climate in DeKalb is tenuous at best. We are all frustrated with the state of the county school system and exhausted by the antics of the now-suspended DeKalb County Board of Education members. Many citizens are further frustrated by the DeKalb government as a whole. It is in this climate that the Lakeside city proponents are able to accelerate what should be a well thought out plan that considers long-term implications to all communities. Instead, they are considering only their needs and are dissecting Tucker with no regard and little communication with our communities.
While the Georgia constitution prevents the formation of new school districts, the City of Dunwoody is seeking an amendment to the constitution that would allow them to pull out of the DeKalb County School System. Most consider it a long shot at best as it requires support from the entire state. The Lakeside city planners state that their plan has nothing to do with schools. However, if by chance Dunwoody is successful, Lakeside city could follow. Their proposed Lakeside City map selects Midvale and Livsey (not the neighborhoods on our side of Chamblee-Tucker Road) but specifically excludes Pleasantdale Elementary, which is currently a feeder school to Lakeside High School and is north of the Tucker boundary.
Millar’s email address is listed below along with contact information for our local legislators. Please share your thoughts with all of them. It is important for Tucker residents to be “on the record.” Also below are the links to the proposed Lakeside city map and Millar’s district map.
Penkava wrote this letter to her neighbors, and it was distributed to Patch.