Another new DeKalb city being considered

Another group of DeKalb residents are contemplating the formation of a new city.

The residents have formed Lakeside City Alliance, a nonprofit group created to study the possibility and feasibility of establishing a new city in northern DeKalb County.

The alliance released a draft map of the proposed parameters of the new city, which would be bounded by I-85 to the west, Clairmont Road to the south, Chamblee-Tucker Road to the east and Pleasantdale Road to the north.

Included in the borders of the proposed city of Lakeside, would be Lakeside High School, Mercer University, Northlake Mall, UPS-Pleasantdale, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital, Federal Bureau of Investigation, half of Spaghetti Junction and part of Tucker.

The boundaries are roughly the Lakeside High School attendance zone and contain “a good mix of commercial and residential areas,” said Mary Kay Woodworth, chairwoman of the alliance.

The proposed city would also have the “right mix of demographics,” she said. “We don’t want this to be a racial issue.”

Lakeside City Alliance is composed of a group of neighbors in north DeKalb County who have been talking for years about cityhood, Woodworth said. They represent a community of people who shop together and send their children to the same schools.

“This is not an advocacy group,” said Woodworth, who is the executive director at Georgia Urban Agriculture Council. “We are gathering data.”

“After years of being 50,000 citizens without a voice, we are excited about the prospect of examining a form a government that is both closer and more responsive to the people it represents,” Woodworth said.

Woodworth said the community is currently represented by three county commissioners “who” don’t live in our community.”

A city government would allow people who live in the community to make “better decisions” about the community, Woodworth said.

“The county has done a great job,” said Woodworth, who has lived in DeKalb for 27 years. “It was at one time very well managed. There is concern that, moving forward, services will decline.

“It’s more of a concern for the future,” Woodworth said about the cityhood talks. “I’m not real confident in DeKalb County government.”

Major concerns of the Lakeside City Alliance are public safety, parks and recreation, and zoning.

Woodworth was quick to say that the alliance’s concerns about public safety are “no reflection on the DeKalb County Police Department.”

“We think there are not enough officers per person in the area,” Woodworth said.

As for parks, Woodworth said there are several parks in the boundary of the proposed city, but they are “underutilized.” When asked whose fault that is, she said, “If the government owns the parks, it’s the government’s fault.”

Woodworth said that if the city of Lakeside does not become a reality, things will be status quo.

“We would be disappointed if there was not support and it was determined not to be economically feasible,” Woodworth said. “We think it’s a good possibility.

“We are all DeKalb County residents who have all lived in the county for many years,” Woodworth said. “We just felt that the time is right to move this forward.”

The Lakeside City Alliance is the second group that has announced its interest in forming a city. Residents in the Druid Hills, Sagamore Hills and North Briarcliff communities–near Shallowford and Briarcliff roads–have held meetings recently to discuss the possibility of creating a north central DeKalb city. The city would include areas north of Decatur, east of highway I-85 and west of I-285.



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