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137 Comments

  1. 1

    The Cta Pt of Town

    Chamblee is going to need the largest tax base they can get. Enough to balance out the $103M they’ve given away.

    What happens when Whole Foods closes and Peachtree Crossing is left empty? Ruh Roh.

    http://www.ajc.com/business/why-whole-foods-now-struggling/aXDZgRVQWK6xj330JUyy5K/

  2. 2

    Van

    Please make sure you post the correct facts. Not sure where you have come up with the number $103M, but that is about 3 times higher than what has actually been given to spur the type of economic development that Chamblee is trying to create in their downtown corridor.

    We should always educate ourselves on the facts before we anonymously post online.

  3. 3

    Chambleeite

    We should have known this was coming because our Mayor and City Council are out of control power mongers. They can’t provide decent roads and sidewalks to the existing neighborhoods nor manage the out of control traffic yet they want to take on more problems that can mismanage.

    I for one am glad that the Mayor and Council members are bringing it up this year because it will be the very issue that will be used to get Clarkson, Mesa and their likes out of office. Both Mesa and Clarkson are nothing more than hucksters that have turned their backs on the citizens and look down their nose at anyone that disagrees with their arrogance.

    They remind me of the old saying “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered!”. Giving away tax dollars and ignoring their existing constituency will hopefully get them trounced in this year’s election! They are a disgrace!

  4. 4

    flubber

    The annexed area needs to pay Chamblee to do the annexation study.

  5. 5

    Kometenmelodie

    While this proposal seems more reasonable than last year’s ridiculous invasion, I’ll default towards skepticism. We need a thorough feasibility study and at least a few months consideration before we can decide on such a dramatic change to our small city.

    I don’t begrudge the Northlake folks for wanting more responsive policing and other city services, but annexation isn’t the only way. If they have the votes, a smaller “Northlake Mall” city should be the primary consideration here.

  6. 6

    Paul Tribble

    I’m perfectly willing to keep an open mind on this issue as long as the city of Chamblee has ample time to properly evaluate the pros & cons of the proposal. I will be closely following our Mayor & city council during their deliberations.

  7. 7

    John

    I am very disappointed with the misleading statement you made regarding the lack of a feasibility study. You write, “Almost déjà vu from last year…the City is still being asked to figure it out for those aspiring to be “Chambleeans.”

    In fact, in a letter from the Mayor Clarkson that your paper received in 2016 regarding the annexation request of the LVH footprint, he spells out, quite clearly, the rationale for the City conducting an internal feasibility study.

    “City staff is best qualified to determine the additional
    resources necessary to provide the same level of service to an annexed area as that
    already provided in Chamblee.”

    In addition, he left the door open to continuing the study. Although this is very different in size and scope, I believe it applies in this case as well.

    “Should it be decided at a later time to again consider this annexation request, the study can be continued where it left off.”

    In the spirit of fairness, this should have been incorporated in this article, and it is very unfortunate you chose not to.

    Here is the letter in its entirety, uploaded by The Brookhaven Post.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/301739611/Chamblee-LaVista-Hills-Annexation-Letter-2016

  8. 8

    John

    I am very disappointed with the misleading statement you made regarding the lack of a feasibility study. You write, “Almost déjà vu from last year…the City is still being asked to figure it out for those aspiring to be “Chambleeans.”

    In fact, in a letter from the Mayor Clarkson that your paper received in 2016 regarding the annexation request of the LVH footprint, he spells out, quite clearly, the rationale for the City conducting an internal feasibility study.

    “City staff is best qualified to determine the additional
    resources necessary to provide the same level of service to an annexed area as that
    already provided in Chamblee.”

    In addition, he left the door open to continuing the study. Although this is very different in size and scope, I believe it applies in this case as well.

    “Should it be decided at a later time to again consider this annexation request, the study can be continued where it left off.”

    In the spirit of fairness, this should have been incorporated in this article, and it is very unfortunate you chose not to.

    Full letter by Mayor Clarkson here:
    https://www.scribd.com/document/301739611/Chamblee-LaVista-Hills-Annexation-Letter-2016

  9. 9

    KDR

    First, if the city is interested in pursuing this request, there needs to be a careful examination of feasibility. Assuming feasibility can be demonstrated, the next step is for the commissioners to bring this idea to those whom they represent. They would need to fully process this request with their constituents, giving the discussion as much time as needed, in order to come to a conclusion about what the majority of the current Chamblee citizens want. If a majority are in favor, then it’s appropriate for the city to ask the legislators who represent both the city and the proposed annexation area to present the annexation to the DeKalb Delegation as local legislation. This would be a bill for a referendum, which would be voted on by the voters living in the annexation area only. It’s crucial that all these steps be done properly, since the current Chamblee residents would, by law, not be able to vote in the referendum.

  10. 10

    The Brookhaven Post

    Dear Mr. Oselette,

    Like I said to you in the email exchange you and I just had regarding this topic, this annexation request is apples and oranges. The Map is smaller, the number of people is smaller and the City Manager that was tapped to provide the “feasibility” is no longer employed by the City.

    I have asked you on repeated occasions who created the map and gave you Legislative Access to the Reapportionment Office at the Capital. I’d suggest that if you want the people of Chamblee and the people who you are trying to get to buy in to your proposal for annexation, you would be the person who would want to be the most transparent.

    So I’ll ask you again. Which Legislator gave you access to the State Reapportionment Office to create this map. You do realize it is very likely that same Legislator already represents many, if not all of the people in Chamblee as well as the proposed area.

    Additionally, in the Letter from Mayor Clarkson you cite, “Should it be decided at a later time to again consider this annexation request, the study can be continued where it left off.” He says THIS annexation request, not ANY annexation request.

    Thank you for your prompt, Transparent Response.

    Trey Benton
    Editor

  11. 11

    The Brookhaven Post

    Dear Mr. Oselette,

    Like I said to you in the email exchange you and I just had regarding this topic, this annexation request is apples and oranges. The Map is smaller, the number of people is smaller and the City Manager that was tapped to provide the “feasibility” is no longer employed by the City.

    I have asked you on repeated occasions who created the map and gave you Legislative Access to the Reapportionment Office at the Capital. I’d suggest that if you want the people of Chamblee and the people who you are trying to get to buy in to your proposal for annexation, you would be the person who would want to be the most transparent.

    So I’ll ask you again. Which Legislator gave you access to the State Reapportionment Office to create this map. You do realize it is very likely that same Legislator already represents many, if not all of the people in Chamblee as well as the proposed area.

    Additionally, in the Letter from Mayor Clarkson you cite, “Should it be decided at a later time to again consider this annexation request, the study can be continued where it left off.” He says THIS annexation request, not ANY annexation request.

    Thank you for your prompt, Transparent Response.

    Trey Benton
    Editor

  12. 12

    Paul Tribble

    Very nice reply, Trey. Suspicions arise when transparency is less than optimal. Hopefully, Mr. Oselette will respond to your reasonable request.

  13. 13

    Russell Carleton

    Time for some math:

    Chamblee’s budget (http://www.chambleega.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/114) proposes to spend $36,688,922 to provide services to its 29,231 residents (http://www.chambleega.com/index.aspx?nid=404), for a total of $1,255 per resident. Assuming the same per-resident expenditure, 12,184 more residents would mean $15,290,920 in new expenses. That’s not going to be the exact number, but that’s the right neighborhood. Mr. Benton was kind enough to point me to a map with me that contains the figures for the tax digest for the affected area. The total assessed value is $576,880,849. (The map can be viewed here: https://www.scribd.com/document/339246281/Tax-Digest-for-proposed-Chamblee-annexation-area-as-filed-with-the-City-of-Chamblee)

    This area used to be part of the former LaVista Hills initiative. In the LaVista Hills feasibility study, the entire proposed city area had a tax base with an assessed value of $2,614,368,266 . Therefore, the proposed annexation represents about 22 percent of the total amount of assessed value, although because it takes in Northlake Mall and other commercial properties, the non-residential tax base is about 40 percent of the non-residential tax base of the former LaVista Hills and 15 percent of its residential tax base. The population of the affected area is about 18 percent of what LaVista Hills proposed.

    When LaVista Hills was assessed for revenue potential, the Carl Vinson Institute used the then-current county millage for the affected services of 7.64. Chamblee’s millage has remained steady at 6.4 for several years, meaning that commercial and industrial properties would not generate as much money under Chamblee’s current tax rate as they would have under the 7.64 rate. However, residential homesteaded properties would see higher tax bills (and more revenue generated). Because of the way the HOST tax credit system works, even with a lower millage rate, homesteaded properties would actually pay a higher total tax bill in Chamblee.

    The entirety of LaVista Hills was estimated to be able to raise about $36.6 million across all revenue sources (including both property taxes and other streams) in 2014, again on the assumption of a 7.64 millage rate. Even allowing that this area could produce 30 percent of that number, that’s $11 million. Chamblee also provides its own sanitation services (LaVista Hills had not proposed to do so), so they would collect an extra $265 from each parcel in the annexed area (according to the map, 3,439 of them) for $911,335. Call it an even $1 million, and we have $12 million in new revenue and $15 million in new expenses. If that’s the case, Chamblee would either have to raise taxes on its residents, both old and new to maintain existing service levels or cut back.

    Those are very rough estimates, and if Chamblee does produce a feasibility study, we should defer to that document, but the early returns don’t look promising.

  14. 14

    cardsfan74

    This’ll be interesting. I live in the subdivision immediately south and east of Shallowford/Briarcliff. It’d essential leave this area and Oak Grove on an unincorporated island. Wonder what strategy is behind that?

  15. 15

    Myates

    Hmmm…he represents 150-200 people of a population around 12,000. Wonder if any of them know he approached Chamblee. The bid for forming a city failed for a reason.

  16. 16

    Flubber

    Very, very good posts kdr and russell carleton. Why doesn’t this area annex itself to Doraville?

  17. 17

    Flubber

    Absolutely, Trey!

  18. 18

    Jean

    Van Please give us the real number$ on the DDA give away. Then we all will know what we are talking about. Also please discus the future impact on our schools budgets.

  19. 19

    Marjorie Snook

    The goal was to do ansolutely nothing for an entire year, and then roar back saying, “it’s an emergency! We must do this! No time to think!’ when we are already well into the legislative session. They could have done this months ago, but are trying to avoid close analysis of their proposal.

  20. 20

    RAJ

    OK…I’m in a humorous mood this morning and hope Trey will bear with me. It’s V-Day and I drew a valentine for someone special….I hope to get lucky…with the the box of crayons my mother gave me in 1946….the same crayons I use to draw my City-hood maps! So I’m not a rookie at this(not an expert either)but don’t recommend using the State Reapportionment Office for map work as the City of Stonecrest is trying to negotiate with property owners to determine if they are in fact in the City or not! Rookies are always welcome on the City-hood/ Annexation team and I am glad to know that Coach Shultz is still in the league. No one at the Capitol wants to put their name on this project because at first glance it leaves an unincorporated “island” in the NE corner of the County……a non starter from the DeKalb Delegation to the Governor. As of last week when the DeKalb Cities discussed annexation at the DeKalb Delegation luncheon a short discussion after the meeting indicated that Vernon Jones would entertain a suggestion to municipalize the remainder of the County. As I listened to the conversation it seemed as if some combination of Greenhaven, Prosperty, and LaVista Hills was being proposed with allowances of reasonable annexations by existing cities….a two year process.

  21. 21

    RAJ

    What a joke!!

  22. 22

    Flubber

    What is a joke?

  23. 23

    Been There

    You and Coach Shultz might want to take a long hard look at Dunwoody and Brookhaven before you consider annexation by Chamblee or create your new city of Prosperity. It’s not what you think it is foisting more government upon yourselves.

  24. 24

    Rob

    They’d be better off doing this neighborhood-by-neighborhood by petition method.

  25. 25

    Dan

    Marjorie,
    Not the case at all. What was the motto of the lavista hills movement? It was all about the urgency before the land grab begins. And that has been going on by tucker and Brookhaven since the vote was questionably defeated. Seems that investigation hasn’t been completed. Nonetheless, what it happening is what was predicted. The chopping up of what I was hoping stayed a cohesive community.
    And furthermore, what is your savior Thurmond got planned for his first 100 days in office as CEO? Haven’t heard squat! Why? Because it’s just
    More of the same. This county government should be shrinking as it is providing less services
    To hundreds of thousands of residents that cities are handling now. But it’s not. You really should just focus on keeping tucker from annexing your neighborhood and fixing dekalb. . This is really none of your business. You aren’t in the footprint. Bye Felicia!

  26. 26

    Fragilista

    Ask for a Chamblee DDA financial statement. See how far you get.

  27. 27

    Billy

    So Dan, create even more government? Is that the answer?

  28. 28

    Marjorie Snook

    Actually, there’s been no ‘land-grabbing’–there have been a few small annexations all sought by the landowners. Brookhaven’s was a townhome complex; Tucker annexed a bunch of neighborhoods that had been put in the LVH map against their will and one office park.

    The biggest land grabbing proposal is the one proposed by the LVH folks themselves with this giant annexation. So I guess, kudos to them for warning us what their next scheme was going to be if their first power-grab went down in defeat.

  29. 29

    Seeker of Truth

    Very creative math! It assumes the ratio of commercial and residential property is reduced at the same rate. Anyone paying attention is seeing Brookhaven annexing commercial property almost exclusively. Compared to the last annexation efffort it looks like they kept 90% of the commercial and only 30% of the residents. Wonder how the math works using those ratios?

  30. 30

    Shameblee

    Tucker has annexed neighborhoods and properties that requested to be added to the city yet the recycled cast of LVH characters that shamelessly accuses Tucker of grabbing property lacks the integrity required to request annexation one neighborhood at a time – just as their sworn enemy Tucker has done. Shame. Shame. Shame.

  31. 31

    Herm

    Except your analysis ignores economies of scale, i.e. Chamblee has infrastructure in place that can handle additional population (eg. 911 system), and the costs per resident drop.

    Obviously, you’re aware of this–yet you continue to push the fallacy that there are no economies of scale to be gained.

  32. 32

    Enuff Govt Already

    Another attempt to increase gov’t using 3rd world scare tactics by someone who sees gov’t as his answer to self gratification. Is this the same Oselette who was on the City of Stn Mtn Development Authority? The same old LVH group of 200 trying to speak for 12,000? Why the animosity to Tucker, a city on a better footing and far more financially conservative than Chamblee? “Don’t want to be left out on an island”; Chamblee is far more of an island by itself than Tucker. Tucker at least has a working relationship with the county. He mentions a growing number of car breakings for his area when the crimetrac web site shows just the opposite is true. He says the DeKalb Police don’t show up; again the nonsense scare tatic. All progressive public service agencies now take theft reports over the phone and some even by computer. I think it makes more sense to take reports this way as it can keep the patrol police looking for theives and I don’t have to wait around for a policecar to show up for a paper report of crime from yesterday. Chamblee Police have far more serious problems: Take a look at the resurgent crime in the DECA n’hoods: a couple murders, burglars and thefts galore. Take a look at the resurgent loiting, drug dealing and prostitution on the Chamblee side of Shallowford. It’s an open air market now, I can’t even get gas without being accosted and St Pius is now out of the question for my chldren due to my safety concerns. The area was much safer prior to being annexed. Used to see DeKalb cops active in the area whether it was trafffic radar in the school zones or them breaking up the loiterers. The Chamblee cops now just sit in the shade and watch the activity. … “If we don’t do this now, we could lose the commercial property and viability,” Oselette added”…Sounds like someone auditioning for a development authority position. Northlake is not Chamblee and if it doesn’t become it own city-lite then Tucker is a far better fit. The Northlake CID has already stated they view the area as Tucker.

  33. 33

    Jordan Fox

    Don’t assume that Mayor Clarkson and the Council are in the same camp on this one.

  34. 34

    Russell Carleton

    Let’s do some better math then.

    According to the map, the non-residential digest is assessed at $274,263,000. At a millage rate of 6.4 (Chamblee’s current rate), that produces $1,755,283 of revenue.

    Residential digest is $302,617,849, with 2,417 residential parcels. Chamblee allows a $30,000 flat homestead exemption, and we’ll assume that 90 percent of the houses qualify for it (a guess on my part, although one in line with other such calculations I’ve done in the past). At a millage of 6.4, that produces $1,519,096 in property tax revenue. Total property tax revenue: $3,274,379. It might end up being lower because Chamblee also exempts senior citizens from city taxes. Great for seniors, less revenue for the bottom line.

    Opening up the LaVista Hills feasibility study, we see that most of the revenue lines are pegged to the size of the commercial or residential property digests (or both). Sometimes they used population as their scalar. We know the size of the annexation area’s digest compared to the former LaVista Hills digest. The only problem is that the old feasibility study is using county revenue data from a few years ago, so we’ll just assume a 10 percent bump upward in revenue for each source. We also have to adjust for the fact that some of those lines are also pegged to various tax rates that differ between unincorporated Dekalb and Chamblee. For example, personal property taxes are pegged to the property tax rate, which in the LVH feasibility study was 7.64, and in Chamblee would only be 6.4. Chamblee also charges business and occupation taxes on a schedule that is 60 percent that of Dekalb. Great for businesses, but less revenue for the bottom line.

    Running it all through my calculator, I’m having trouble getting up to $7 million in non-property tax revenue. Add to that the $911,335 from sanitation fees, and squint really hard, and you’re still probably short of $12 million in total revenue from the area to offset what is likely to be $15 million in new expenses.

    I’ll be happy to admit that I’m working off of old data, and that things might have changed somewhat, but they would have had to change _a lot_ for this to balance out. I’m all for newer, better data, but I’m scratching my head on this one. Maybe there are enough cost efficiencies to make it work, but if it fits, it will be just barely, rather than comfortably.

    At the very least, this is not something that I’d want to rush into without a very close reading of the numbers.

    As to Brookhaven, you are correct that most of their annexation targets (ha!) have been commercial, and those are generally more profitable to the bottom line.

  35. 35

    Bill Lowe

    This can be done in a reasonable way. Business development people from Chamblee talk to the commercial property owners along the access road to see if they would like better services for their tax dollars. If they petition to annex, then adjoining property owners can follow suit on their own. Those that own property that they would like to redevelop in the future may find that the ease of dealing with the city is far superior in time to completion with construction permitting and inspections. Time is money and delays waiting for county inspectors cost projects many thousands of dollars over the course of a project.

    It’s really a very similar kind of thing as lining up dominos. If there are no gaps, then the dominos will continue to fall. Sad for those on the other side of the gap that want to play in a better game.

  36. 36

    Dan

    Billy,
    I would settle for one , just one, that works. The one we have isn’t improving or changing or shrinking, as it should be.

  37. 37

    Unicorp

    Aside from more government, higher taxes, and aggressive policing, I see no upsides to being annexed into the city of Chamblee.

  38. 38

    Billy

    So Dan, you can vote for more government or you can work to change the government you have. The choice is yours.

  39. 39

    RAJ

    Look….it’s Valentines Day and I was lucky to have one this year, so more small government closer to home that’s fixable is better than big government that cannot be fixed.

  40. 40

    RAJ

    Doraville government!!

  41. 41

    RAJ

    Sorry….this annexation is DOA because the Big Guys down town will not create service islands…..end of story!

  42. 42

    Been Threre

    RAJ, you might want to re-read my comment above. More government, no matter how small, is more government. And it grows. Re-read my above comment.

  43. 43

    Pete

    Ugh – who in this footprint would want to be part of Chamblee? Lavista Hills or Brookhaven yes,… Chamblee?? I don’t think so.

  44. 44

    Van

    @Fragilista. Not sure what you mean. I know the DDA has honored each Open Records request that has been made. Trey of the Post can confirm that all of his requests have been honored.

    @Jean. I hate to take the conversation away from the topic of Annexation, since the DDA has nothing to do with it. But I am a big believer in being educated about the facts, so since you ask here you go. Also please note that the DDA only deals with a very narrow geographical area designated by the city as its downtown. The DDAs function and mission is “To provide a mechanism for the public sector and the private sector to jointly pursue creation of economic development benefits: the creation of new & better jobs, new investment, and an enhanced quality of life for local citizens.”

    The statement above was that the DDA has given out $103M in abatements. The real number is approximately $33.5M. Here’s the breakdown by deal. Please note that each deal is structured slightly different to accomplish a specific strategy.

    1) Olmsted – Total Estimated $14,800,000. This was the first project. It was created when there was not a single bit of development going on in Downtown Chamblee. It was on a vacant slab that was producing next to no city taxes. The strategy was to try and spark development thru out the corridor (task accomplished). The deal was no doubt benefit rich, but it was structured to provide an administrative payment (for use in other downtown endeavors) that is in excess of what the City would get in City taxes had the project been able to be built without the abatement.

    2) Whole Foods – $4,700,000. This is on the site of the old Oxford Chemical plant. The property was already in the Brownfield program due to soil issues, so there was going to be no taxes for the first 10 years. The property ran into trouble when it was determined that on top of the contamination issues, the water table was too close to the surface and over 3 feet of dirt was going to have to be trucked in to cover the entire site, plus GDOT forced the development to move a high intensity power line along Peachtree Blvd at a cost of over $1M, that neither GDOT or GA Power would pay for. Again, no taxes were being collected due to the Brownfield program. The DDA does not participate until after the Brownfield ends. Somewhere between years 11-15.

    3) Old Capital City Nissan property – $11,000,000. This was the first deal that was crafted to make sure the City, County and Schools, continued to get the same level of taxes they were getting with the existing car dealership building. To satisfy the DDA’s mission of new investment and enhanced quality of life for the local citizens, the project must maintain specific high quality items thru out the term, or they lose the abatement. The mid-city district community had been asking to get a different better use from the property than a car dealership. When Nissan left their lease, the property owner was just going to bring in a used car dealer. An incentive was needed to turn the $10M property into a $64M property. Again, the City, County and Schools, will get the same amount of taxes as if it would have stayed as a car dealership.

    4) Trackside – $3,000,000. This is the vacant Marta parking lot. Since Marta owns it, zero taxes are paid. Marta will be doing a 99yr ground lease with the development team. This will be the first ever Class A office building in Chamblee. It will bring over 300+ higher paying jobs to the area, bringing more economic activity to the Downtown. The development ran into a problem with the county, due to DeKalb’s sewer issues. They will be forced to place an expensive underground sewer detention tank that will release the sewer holdings at off hours, like 2am. Also, the FAA has placed a height restriction on the building due to the PDK flight path. Without the FAA restriction, the development could have gained the extra space needed to make the project work without an abatement. An independent economic study was completed that showed the amount of city services that would be used by the completed development and the amount of non-tax revenue the city would receive for various city fees over the abated period. The final number was a large Net Positive for the city. The structure of this deal is being finalized, but the term will end as soon as $3,000,000 is hit (probably around year 10). This will take a property worth $0 and turn it into a $24M property.

    So that is how you get to $33M not $103M. Also it should be pointed out that the DDA said no to three other projects that came asking for help. Reasons for not participating varied by property situation.

    I hope you find this as transparent as I do. You will see with a though examination that each project was fully discussed and debated by the members of the DDA. Many times, for 2-3 months before a decision was made. The DDA went forward only if there was value to the community to achieve the DDA’s stated mission.

    Downtown valuation transformation (before and after):
    Olmsted – $650,000 — $42M
    Nissan – $10M –$64M
    Whole Foods – $4.7M — $45M
    Trackside – $0 — $24M

    End result. Property worth $15,350,000 turned into property worth $175,000,000.

  45. 45

    Developers in Chamblee

    Thank you Taxpayers. We couldn’t have done it without cha! Oh, and we’d be remiss to not thank the children in DeKalb County Schools. Thank you for doing without as well. We love you!

  46. 46

    RAJ

    Just for the record, we now know that the map as posted by Scott Holcomb was created by the DeKalb GIS Department.

  47. 47

    Kelley

    This is not a giant annexation. It is much smaller than the last annexation proposal. Why is it OK for Tucker to land grab but not for us citizens to request to be annexed into an existing city? I don’t get that.

  48. 48

    Kelley

    Neighborhoods not currently on the map can request to be annexed in the same way the Westwood and Wanda Woods neighborhoods got into Tucker. Hopefully the smaller map will make the citizens of Chamblee more willing to be in favor of this annexation. It has turned out well for Huntley Hills and DECA, so I don’t understand the opposition coming from some of you.

  49. 49

    Kelley

    Personally, I don’t think most of the residents consider this area Doraville. The only thing that separates this area from Chamblee is I-85, and we now know that freeways don’t make a boundary. I have a Chamblee zip code and my mortgage papers said Chamblee, I do quite a bit of shopping and eating in Chamblee. Chamblee has a lot to offer and provides better services than Dekalb, that’s why I want to be annexed into Chamblee.

  50. 50

    YCMU

    There’s Jordan, kissing the rear ends of the chamblee electeds again. You know that they don’t control PDK, don’t you?

  51. 51

    Life Long Bearded Chamblee Man and Business Owner

    The why don’t you guys do the real work of getting 60% of the property owners in the area and request a 60% annexation method. It is absolutely insulting to ask OUR city government to do your feasibility study for you at OUR expense. Get with the program and get busy doing your OWN work. Us Chamblee folk do not take lightly someone wanting to come into our community and us having to do all of the work.

  52. 52

    flubber

    ^^^Moron who doesn’t understand that there is no such thing as “Lavista Hills” and doesn’t realize that property values in Chamblee are increasing much faster than those on the other side of 85. Go to Doraville!

  53. 53

    no islands to see here folks

    Islands RAJ? I think you need glasses. Look at the map again.

  54. 54

    David

    What do they expect to happen with the neighborhoods left outside of the cities in the NE quadrant?

  55. 55

    anyone need a shave

    Well ain’t that just a peach. Make this group pay when Chamblee already paid for studies and start ups of two previous annexations. Aren’t you special!

  56. 56

    3 or more characters

    Love, love, love how the DeKalb Strong group cares so much for South DeKalb County and Tucker that they did not utter a word or throw their considerable snowflake weight around during some cityhood campaigns. Yet a exploratory group wants to do a presentation to possibly annex into Chamblee and they are all up in arms.

    Someone should really look into DeKalb Strong and their biased opposition and desire to keep things as they are in some parts of the County, but not all parts of the County. Do they not care about Tucker and Stonecrest? There is more going on than just DeKalb County love.

  57. 57

    Marjorie Snook

    Annexing 12,000 people into a city of 28,000–which as of the last census, only had 10,000 residents–is in fact a giant annexation.

    Tucker is not land-grabbing., They are accepting 60% petitions from neighborhoods who clearly want to be part of Tucker. Meanwhile, you proposal can’t even muster 1% interest from the poor neighborhoods you are trying to seize.

    Quit forcing your ideas on other people. You want to annex, organize a petition drive to use the 60% method instead of always trying to pull a fast one on your neighbors.

  58. 58

    Marjorie Snook

    In other words, their plan is to swamp Chamblee in stages, instead of in one fell swoop, like last year’s plan.

  59. 59

    Marjorie Snook

    It’s a far cry from the way people like yourself talked about Chamblee when I was a kid growing up there! Fun to see.

  60. 60

    Marjorie Snook

    You lost them at ‘real work.’ Especially if it involves talking to regular people. They like to tell people what to do, NOT ask them what they want.

  61. 61

    Dan

    I’ll pass billy. . Marjorie can fix dekalb. That’s her job and we are all waiting to see if all the promises she made about change with our savior Thurmond come
    True.

  62. 62

    Marjorie Snook

    DeKalb Strong opposed both Stonecrest and Tucker. In fact, one of the Stonecrest leaders went ballistic on us for opposing Stonecrest. So check your facts.

  63. 63

    Marjorie Snook

    It is true we ended up spending more resources on the LaVista Hills fight. Why? Because the bulk of our donors were in the LaVista Hills footprint and were fired up to defeat LaVista Hills. And a lot of that was motivated by the behavior of the LaVista Hills group, which was deeply alienating to the people in that area.

    The fact that you are throwing around the right-wing Internet troll term ‘snowflake’may be an indication of why people don’t like you very much…and apparently, you STILL haven’t learned that behaving like jerks isn’t successful in getting you what you want.

  64. 64

    Dan

    Hallelujah Pete!
    I liked the idea of cityhood, ideally our own, but not interested to be the nicest part of chamblee. Real estate values don’t lie! Drive down shallowford and head over the highway… Night and day! Sorry chamblee people, Brookhaven and dunwoody you are NOT! Not even close!

  65. 65

    Dan

    Totally agree.,for
    Most of us it’s
    About better services. And always has been. Dekalb strong seems
    To be politically motivated as they are VERY selective
    About what they CHOOSE to fight and speak out against. . Guess if
    It happens south of I-20,,they don’t care about it. This isn’t a political
    Issue for most of us so stop forcing your views on US!

  66. 66

    Dan

    Hey flubber,
    You mean from your value went from 100k to 150k ?? Woo hoo. You’re rich!
    I’ll take my 300k home thats now worth 500k++ on the Good side of 85 Any day ! And no trains waking me up at night or small planes flying over all the time. And doraville is closer to chamblee than we ever will be .

  67. 67

    Black helo warning

    Marge, do you see UFO’s as well? You are a joke. No one in our area is looking to swamp Chamblee. Just go on lovin on your corrupt and inept DeKalb County. Drain the swamp baby.

  68. 68

    Flubber

    You do not live in Chamblee. You live in Tucker.

  69. 69

    Flubber

    We agree. Chamblee residents don’t see any upsides either.

  70. 70

    Three Peas in a Pod

    Jones, Ellis and now Thurmond. Good luck with that.

  71. 71

    Flubber

    One needs to look into lvh (aka Tucker) motivations for trying to annex into Chamblee. Are you trying to make Chamblee pay to repair the private neighborhood lake dams, to build your parks, to subsidize your road maintenance, to build new police stations, to buy new police cars for you, etc. You will cost $3 million more per year than you will generate in taxes. Now you are trying to shove this down Chamblee residents’ throats again. It didn’t fly last year and it won’t now.

  72. 72

    Dan

    I think you should rename your organization democrats for north and central dekalb strong . You seem to care
    Less about south dekalb and only fought so hard against LVH because of where your donors and money were coming from. Your words.
    .Your motivation seems political and always has and our desire for cityhood or anythjing else has nothing to do with politics.. You can sugarcoat you and your organization’s Intentions all you want. Only fight for Causes close to the money and the donors? Is that it? Thought it was called DEKALB STRONG . I’m calling a spade a spade

  73. 73

    Dan

    Flubber is now the voice of all chamblee residents now. NOT!

  74. 74

    Eric Robert

    Hope this doesn’t distract Chamblee officials from fixing the median proposal on Chamblee Tucker at the Olmstead and Walmart properties by adding the omitted midblock pedestrian crossing.

  75. 75

    Marjorie Snook

    If you want to start dictating our name, you need to make a donation.

    And yes, We spent our donors money on the fight that most directly affected them. We didn’t have a lot of out-of-area contractor money to play with like LVH did, so we had to be more selective.

  76. 76

    Marjorie Snook

    And yes, we spend money on what our donors want us to spend it on. That’s called being responsive to the community. I know that must seem like a foreign concept to LVH people, who always just try to browbeat everyone around them to do what they want, without ever listening or seeking input.

  77. 77

    Marjorie Snook

    I may be a joke, but I beat you, didn’t I Kelley? How does that make you feel?

  78. 78

    No crosswalk for you

    Go back to Brookhaven and leave Chamblee officials alone or else. Jordan is following you.

  79. 79

    Flubber lite

    Don’t get out much, do ya Dan.

  80. 80

    Martin

    Why is this so complicated? The folks who want to live in Chamblee should move to Chamblee. It’s a simple solution.

  81. 81

    Ted Gordon

    This does look like a repeat of last years LVH movement which was more like a hostile takeover. This year it looks more like a divide and conquer approach. If successful with this piecemeal annexation then there will be more votes to annex in the rest of LVH. I agree that it will cost Chamblee more than what Chamblee can benefit from. Dekalb should service the area better.

  82. 82

    Straight from the Horses Mouth

    Chamblee residents would be well advised to take heed in regards to Kelley’s comments above as this could be their ultimate end game. Steve Schultz lives just outside this smaller annexation map on the left. Ben Shakleford, last year’s large annexation request co-leader, lives just three streets away from this smaller map’s border to the south.

    Do you really think these two major players in the Lakeside/LVH movement suddenly gave up their quest? I don’t.

  83. 83

    Straight from the Horses Mouth

    I agree completely Marjorie. This smaller map is just step one.

  84. 84

    tom doolittle

    Residential (or neighborhood) annexations in urbanizing areas have typically been accomplished on the street-by-street level. Even Roswell and Alpha’s dealt with pop increases on the order of 10% per occasion, however large the areas involved. This is a PEOPLE issue folks and the best way to handle it is neighbor-with-neighbor.
    Only one caveat to that: I assume DeKalb will fully “municipalize” within 15 to 20 years if done in dominos or can happen sooner and more orderly with a Legislative planning effort (an annexation map).

    If we get into a legislated process, that would be the only time where large annexation maps should be considered legitimate. The question of “do you want to be in a city” becomes moot–and in fact, its quite possible a constitutional amendment could take away the right to vote at all.

    Regarding Chamblee–clearly the first area that should be considered should be limited to its own zip code. Chamblee-Tucker/Embry Hills and (POSSIBLY) parts of the Henderson Corridor would be an excellent test election for interest in the city. If that annexation passed, that would add weight to other attempts in subsequent years.

  85. 85

    tom doolittle

    David–there will not be any areas left unincorporated once the issue becomes one of “municipalization in DeKalb”. Soon. We will be forced to deal with a comprehensive Annexation Plan. The entire former LaVista Hills map will be divided up into five areas, each forced to go into a different city.

  86. 86

    Marjorie Snook

    I actually don’t live in Tucker. My address says ‘Decatur’, but I am outside the city limits. I did grow up in Chamblee, though. I was the Bulldog mascot for years.

  87. 87

    Dan

    I get out a lot. Just not to chamblee. Don’t really need a my car fixed and don’t really go to flea markets or need any used hotel furniture and I don’t take Marta. Oh wait. I went to lowes’once

  88. 88

    Dan

    Margie,
    Your slant is just way to political for me. It’s good of you to follow the money.,oops. I mean ” be responsive
    To your donors”. You are a waste of time. I’m not into politics and conspiracy theories nearly as much as you seem to be. Just want better services. Pretty much all there is to it. . Will you still be able to be the honorary dekalb spokesperson and dekalb strong warrior if you live
    In tucker city limits or that new city that’s brewin?? Doubtful! Bye Felicia! NEXT!

  89. 89

    Flubber lite

    Sucks for you. But glad that you admit that you are clueless. Next.

  90. 90

    Flubber lite

    That sure explains a lot. Have you considered therapy?

  91. 91

    Flubber lite

    Marge, please don’t call yourself a horses mouth. You are a bulldog dammit.

  92. 92

    Dan

    Thanks tom.
    That about sums it up in a nutshell! Well said.,it’s the future. It’s coming., love it or hate it. If dekalb was doing a good job,, we wouldn’t be having this conversation or any other. There would be no Brookhaven or dunwoody or people begging atlanta to take em in.

  93. 93

    just watching

    With “enuff govt” above complaining that CPD doesn’t do enough and you finding them too aggressive, I would say they must have found the perfect spot right in the middle.

  94. 94

    Pete

    No , not a moron, just someone who voted yes for Lavista Hills but would vote no to be associated with Chamblee

  95. 95

    Pete

    As far as property values, yes your side of 85 has appreciated well in the last year or 2, but you still have a long way to go..look up average prices of 30341 vs 30345.

  96. 96

    Pete

    Don’t forget Walmart

  97. 97

    Kelley

    No, Marjie, that was not the goal. Yes, we should have started gathering support earlier, but since the GA is in session, this was the time. NOT trying to avoid close analysis, we had close analysis last time and we’ll have it this time. We have been working for self-determination for years, so this is not a new idea.

  98. 98

    Kelley

    Accepting petitions while putting pressure on businesses in the area to be annexed. Not forcing ideas on other people. “Other people” are in favor of annexation, too.

  99. 99

    Kelley

    Marjie, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me, so that comment makes no sense. I didn’t grow up here so why don’t you school me on how people like me talked about Chamblee when you were growing up.

  100. 100

    Kelley

    You hit the proverbial nail on the head.

  101. 101

    Kelley

    No, there is not a To-Do list for Chamblee, no shady back room dry-erase board scheming going on. Come on, folks. Just asking for better services than we currently get from DC. It’s that simple. Just out of curiosity, where did you get the $3M figure?

  102. 102

    Kelley

    Naturally, if other neighborhoods want to be annexed in later, they are free to do so.

  103. 103

    Billy

    Plus the elected big spenders in your new city.

  104. 104

    Marge the DeKalb apologist

    Go Kelley, go Kelley, go Kelley

  105. 105

    Marge the DeKalb apologist

    RC, I truly hope that no one in your life relies on your math skills.

  106. 106

    Marge the DeKalb apologist

    Go Kelly, go Kelly, go Kelly

  107. 107

    Marge the DeKalb apologist

    Oh the poor children. PLEASE, maybe the parents of these poor children ought to demand better leadership on the school board. Starting with the Super!

  108. 108

    Flubber lite

    And Whole Foods, and chef driven restaurants, and new trails, and breweries, and mid sized cluster and infill houses starting in the high $700’s, and one of the states highest ranked high schools, and……

  109. 109

    Flubber lite

    So cute Martin, so cute.

  110. 110

    RAJ

    Unincorporated service “island” North of Tucker and East of the annexation area. I have been wearing glasses since High School, but I will have them checked! Where’s Waldo….anyone else see this island?

  111. 111

    RAJ

    Lowes is in North Buckhead! Anyone care to get serious about the future of this county?

  112. 112

    RAJ

    It’s VERY profitable to keep things as they are when you are financed by Kathie and Jeff, the Czars of the Peoples Socialist Party……with luxury section 8 apartments for everyone while they and relatives are on the take from developers and shell companies doing business with organizations of property owners!

  113. 113

    RAJ

    Correct. The area of proposed annexation, for the most part is a money pit. Having worked on more than a few LVH, Lakeside ,and Briarcliff zoning(the money)maps I can say this without question!

  114. 114

    Ellen

    Dan, please take your meds.

  115. 115

    Ellen

    The value of my property has DOUBLED since 2013 while yours has been relatively flat. Your jealousy is showing. Go join Doraville or Tucker, Dan. You only want to be part of Chamblee because a good portion of it is gentrifying as we speak. We are close to Buckhead, Perimeter Area Downtown, Midtown….all major employment centers that take longer to get to from your area than ours. Brookhaven is less than a block away from my house. Tucker is immediately adjacent to yours.

  116. 116

    Ellen

    Pete, I’ll take a great investment that is quickly appreciating over a so-so investment that is not.

  117. 117

    Ellen

    Dan, you are a moron. Shallowford/DECA area is not at all indicative of Chamblee as a whole. I invite your to drive through the area of Chamblee that is west of Peachtree Boulevard and bordered by Chamblee Dunwoody. This is hot, hot real estate right now due to our location/proximity to major employment centers. Sorry you are so misinformed. Get our of your unincorporated, crappy police service bubble.

  118. 118

    Ellen

    Not as long as the existing Chamblee residents FIGHT this with our government. We did it successfully last year and will continue to do it going forward.

  119. 119

    Ellen

    Yes, they should form their own city or move here. The fact that they can’t form their own city speaks volumes.

  120. 120

    Marjorie Snook

    I can continue speaking out on whatever I want, Kelley, no matter how crazy it makes you. Your crew has tried every way to silence opposition, make them shut up, tell them they are not legitimate, but it did not work, and you lost. And amazingly, you STILL haven’t learned.

    If you want to win on these issues, you need to be a big tent. You need to listen and to persuade. Your attempts to simply flex your power, without having to be responsive to the community’s interests, have failed, again and again and again. Your attempts to delegitimize anyone who disagrees with you have failed.

    When are you going to learn and try a different tactic?

  121. 121

    Flubber lite

    Nope, no island on this map. Time for a trip to the opthomologist, JAR.

  122. 122

    Flubber lite

    Ellen is so high on herself while stomping on DECA/Shollowrord area. Sad. Did someone say something about forgetting to take their meds?

  123. 123

    MichaeL

    Oh Marjorie how I have missed your witless banter. I have no horse in this race (nor do you), but once again your posting whatever random idea comes to your mind and supporting a broken DeKalb government. Why oh why must you insinuate yourself into these situations? Oh now I recall you want to stay unincorporated with poor government services and force the same on everyone else.

  124. 124

    MichaeL

    Again with the snarky comments that I have come to love from you Marjorie. Keep that DeKalb Strong classiness going…

  125. 125

    Guest

    Unfortunately the ranking of the high school is going to go in the crapper once it is completely redistricted in 2 years. If the magnet program moves, it will fall even further.

  126. 126

    Russell Carleton

    If there’s a mistake in my math, let me know. I am happy to take a look.

  127. 127

    Russell Carleton

    The historical record disagrees with you. In the DECA annexation, the city’s population increased by 75 percent. Two years later, the city’s budget had increased by 74 percent. The annexation took effect at the end of 2013. Chamblee’s 2013 budget was for $14,543,124, and by 2015 it was $25,011,945.

    There are going to be cost efficiencies in some areas, but there will be cost multipliers in others. For example, Chamblee would likely need to establish a police substation in the annexed area. If they build it, that’s a capital outlay. If they lease, they’ll have to pay whatever the going rate is (probably over by Northlake Mall) for office space. They currently own the police station, so this is a new expense that they haven’t previously had to worry about. On top of that, the biggest line item in Chamblee’s (and any city’s) budget is the police department, which they have specifically pegged the size of to the population (1 officer per 500 residents). Road maintenance is going to be a function of road miles, rather than population, but I’m guessing the two track each other fairly well.

    If there are cost-efficiencies, they’re going to have to be at a discounting rate that’s pretty heavy to make it all fit.

  128. 128

    Jean

    Thank you Van for the DDA information. The DDA was just formed a couple of years ago, and in this short time the DDA has abated $33.5 million. My understanding is many more projects will be considered in the future — so how much money will be given away? Is there a cap? Couldn’t the future amounts be considerable, even – say – exceeding $100,000,000?

    The DeKalb County taxes we abate largely fund our schools. Since Chamblee is not the only city in DeKalb County abating taxes, shouldn’t we be worried about the cumulative effect all these abatements have on funding our schools?

    A resource for these questions (including local problems which have surfaced) is Chad Boles study, https://brookhavenpost.co/2014/10/13/letter-to-the-editor-something-expensive-this-way-comes/“

  129. 129

    tom doolittle

    I see advantages to having legislators either limiting annexations to an “opt-in” petition, limiting the size of elections to several streets or starting a municipalization land use process (maps) for the entire county. The latter takes away much of trust issue that is a legacy of the cityhood era and would hopefully have common sense public interaction and study steps. Ironically, it could even be the best way to make sure county governance issues are considered.

  130. 130

    Good Old Al

    We know there is no popular support for annexation precisely because this “group” cannot even raise the money for a feasibility study. Even Lavista Hills was able to pay for their own. Save everyone some headaches and just say NO annexation. Don’t want or need you in our city.

  131. 131

    21 Years in DeKalb

    The justification for this annexation, “more responsive policing” is total rubbish. I live a few doors away from Mr. Oselette and he does NOT speak for me or anyone I know. They have been trying to talk this up since the last Chamblexation failure and NO ONE WANTS IT. DeKalb is not perfect but this effort is racially based, plain and simple.

  132. 132

    Jordan Fox

    Related: The Vista Grove initiative: http://www.vistagrove.org/

  133. 133

    Ellen

    I-85 is all that separates you from Doraville.

  134. 134

    Shameblee

    Can you imagine how you would react Kelley if Tucker submitted a map to annex 12K that included your street? Your head would pop off.

  135. 135

    Rob

    30345 is on both sides of I-85

  136. 136

    Rob

    Point of fact, here, the neighborhood lake dams are solely the responsibility of the private citizens who own them. The dams and lakes are private property. Government is not responsible for their upkeep or repair. DeKalb isn’t responsible now. Chamblee would not be responsible either.

  137. 137

    Dan

    Keep your nasty railroad town Ellen. This side of 85 is way nicer and always will be. . Enough said.

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