Explanation of Special Election on DeKalb County Homestead Exemption, Act 264, House Bill 596
In 2015, the DeKalb Delegation passed local legislation to call a referendum this November to extend the existing Homestead Property Tax Assessment Freeze (applicable only to County taxes) until 2022.
However, the legislation went further to stipulate that, if the voters approved separate referenda to dedicate the Homestead Option Sales Tax (HOST) exclusively to tax relief (eliminating the current 20% available for capital improvements) AND to approve a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for capital projects (to replace the 20% HOST allocation to capital), THEN the Assessment Freeze would be TOLLED (suspended) while those taxes were in effect. The authors of the legislation have said that the wording was in error; instead of "tolled" they meant "extended". Nevertheless the language is plain, and therefore binding. As a consequence of this error, the Board of Commissioners withdrew plans for a referendum on the HOST amendment and the SPLOST. Legislators intend to address the error in this year's General Assembly.
All this complexity notwithstanding, voters wishing to extend the Homestead Property Tax Assessment Freeze until 2022 should vote yes to approve the legislation, or the freeze will expire at the end of 2016, exposing many homeowners to increased County property taxes
Laurel Ridge Shamrock Civic Association re: area crime
Date: Sep 7, 2016 4:13 PM
Subject: Neighborhood Crime Update
Last week there was a burglary on Willivee and also on Mount Olive. I have heard from neighbors that there were 3 other burglaries in our neighborhood, but so far none of them have provided me with a case number so I can't confirm it. I can confirm that there were 3 other burglaries in the Medlock neighborhood on the other side of North Druid Hills. There was also a break-in on Springbrook last week. Both Medlock and Springbrook have their own Neighborhood Watch programs, but since they are our close neighbors, it is good for us to be aware of activity there.
Laurel Ridge/Shamrock Neighborhood Watch
Clairmont Heights Civic Association Board Meeting Minutes
(please see attached Word document)
from Board Member Kara Rozell (Schools, Parks & Community Services)
please see attachment:
Dekalb County Secondary School Facility Planning and Feasibility Study
Emory Annexation FAQ
Dekalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader held a meeting Aug. 22 to discuss Emory University’s announcement that it would seek annexation into Atlanta. Clairmont Heights Civic Association President Peter Rumsey attended for the neighborhood.
Jeff Rader led the discussion, with input from Dekalb County School Board member Marshall Orson. Other public officials attending included state Sen. Elena Parent, state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan, and Dekalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon. Also in the audience were about 40 people from surrounding neighborhood associations. No one from Emory spoke at the meeting.
A map showing Emory University’s land is available here.
Radar also distributed a handout about annexation methods.
Here is a summary of the discussion:
How will Emory be annexed into Atlanta?
Rader said that Emory will likely petition using the 100% method of annexation, which would not require voter approval. For this method, Emory needs 50 feet of land contiguous with Atlanta’s border. Radar believes this border is around the Sage Hills apartment complex on Briarcliff.
What do county officials see as the biggest issues about the annexation?
Rader cited zoning and land use as one of the biggest issues. He said it’s an open question how well Atlanta will represent the interests of the surrounding neighborhoods. He is also concerned about the fire station on Clifton and if services to Dekalb residents will be affected.
What is included in Emory’s map?
Rader showed a map that included all Emory property. Emory has said the map will not include Druid Hills High School. Although the CDC campus is within Emory’s borders, it’s exempt because it’s federal property. It’s not clear whether private homes, the Emory Point commercial area, or the Dekalb County fire station on Clifton will be included.
What is Emory’s timeline and what is driving it?
No one could say for certain, but audience members said:
Emory wants it done by year’s end
Emory is motivated by its interest in light rail. Atlanta has a half-penny sales tax on the ballot in November that is designated to expand MARTA. If Emory joins Atlanta, it could be involved in the conversation about how to use those funds.
The annexation is likely to move quickly
In a statement, the university said it was motivated by wanting an Atlanta address.
What will be the impact on schools?
Emory claims the move will not have an impact on schools, but Orson said he is not convinced that’s true. He sees a limited impact on tax dollars from the loss of some commercial area (if included in the map). He said there might be a secondary cascading effect where streets and neighborhoods also seek annexation. Orson said the state Legislature should help create something to ensure continuity of schools in DeKalb County by creating separation between Municipal Governance and School Governance. Rep. Oliver seconded this – saying it was very possible.
What about surrounding neighborhood? Radar said surrounding neighborhoods have the same option to approach Atlanta as Emory does.
What is the impact on services?
Radar said he is very concerned about the fire station on Clifton. It’s unclear yet what the impact would be.
What are the revenue implications?
Orson said there could be some minimal loss of commercial tax revenue and the loss of sales tax collected in the Emory area.
What does Dekalb County have planned in terms of mass transit? The county doesn’t have a plan. One audience member was pointedly frustrated and said that this lack of strategy is what pushes people to get out of unincorporated DeKalb.
What are other neighborhood associations saying?
Anne Wallace of the Druid Hills Civic Association pointed out that the the Emory annexation would remove the option for Decatur to annex commercial property along Clairmont Rd. down to the Emory Clairmont Campus. That “finger” has been on some Decatur annexation maps in the past. North Decatur Road would be the only access for Druid Hills to the rest of unincorporated DeKalb, and the law doesn’t allow for islands. Her major concern is that the annexation puts the Druid Hills neighborhood in a challenging position with their contiguity to the rest of unincorporated DeKalb.
Rader asked for input on what DeKalb County should do to preserve its interests. He said there are narrow options for a county to challenge annexation but it was not clear if that was what people wanted. He did not elaborate on those options or discuss next steps.
Rader email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clairmont Heights Civic Association
Board Meeting Minutes July 17, 2016
please see attached document
Jim Smith (Planning & Zoning): The attached is the final draft for the Medline LCI that will be voted on today (July 19, 2016). The committee gave its support after a number of modifications were made by the Planning Dept. to the map and density/height restrictions in order to protect the surrounding single family. n'hoods.
please see attached file for CHCA Board Meeting Minutes June 12, 2016
June 15, 2016
DeKalb County Recreation, Parks & Cultural Affairs
Hiring More Summer Lifeguards
DECATUR, Ga.–The DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs is continuing to hire lifeguards for the 2016 swimming season. All applicants must be age 18 or older to apply.
Those applying for county pool lifeguard positions are required to submit proof of current certification in CPR, first aid, lifeguarding and water safety instruction, provided by the Red Cross, YMCA or other nationally-recognized aquatic training programs. All applicants selected will be required to successfully complete drug and alcohol screening and criminal background check prior to employment.
To apply for a summer lifeguard position with DeKalb County, complete an online application at www.dekalbcountyga.gov and click the “job opportunities” link or contact Justin Blanton at 404-371-6270.
For more information, contact LaShanda Davis, public education specialist, at 404-371-3643.
MANA: On May 19, 2016, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved Fuqua Development’s “Decatur Crossing” Phase III to redevelop the 9.2-acre, abandoned Ford dealership (which primarily fronts Scott Boulevard with a small frontage on Church Street) into a mixed-use development. The plan was presented to the Community in January and is outlined here.
Following the community meeting, the DeKalb Cross Neighborhoods Council (DCNC)* compiled and considered all feedback received from the community and provided that feedback to Fuqua Development. This feedback was the basis of our negotiations which took place over several months. The BOC voted in favor of the rezoning request with 34 conditions negotiated by the DCNC. These conditions will become part of the permanent zoning for the property.
full article/ maps:
please see attached file for minutes to CHCA Annual Meeting May 18, 2016
Clairmont Heights Civic Association
Sunday June 12, 2016 @ 4pm
Location: Rumseys: 636 Park Lane, Decatur 404-304- 5497
1. Approval of minutes from May 18th annual meeting
Lawrenceville Highway Corridor Open House
Thur June 2 (6:30pm - 8:30pm)
Rehoboth Baptist Church
2997 Lawrenceville Hwy
Tucker, GA 30084
DeKalb County will share overall findings/recommendations about concerns along the Lawrenceville Highway Corridor from North DeKalb Mall to Interstate 285. Drop in to review and give input.
Yesterday evening (Tuesday, May 10, 2016), the City of Decatur's Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval for a Subdivision ("Lot Split") Application of a single property at 552 Willivee Drive into four individual lots (the existing house on Willivee and three additional lots on North Superior Avenue). The Decatur City Commissioners will take up this application next week (Monday, May 16, 2016, 7:30 pm).
Clairmont Heights Civic Association
Wednesday May 18
IRA B. MELTON PARK / March 2016
What’s up in the Park?
It is easy to see big things are happening at Ira B. Melton Park. DeKalb County has selected our park
for major improvements under Phase II of the Mason Mill Master Plan. Walking paths (6’ wide) are
being created; along with a stepping-stone crossing that will link the Ira B. Melton Park (IBMP) to
Mason Mill Park. The path will be constructed of a composite material ensuring the sediments in the
floodplain do not impede safety and comfort for walkers along the trail. Three sections of the trail will
be improved with wooden crossings of drainage swales, to prevent degradation of the forest floor.
Our community will have great access to 18 acres of unique wetlands.
DeKalb County is spending approximately $700,000 on Mason Mill Phase II (which includes both
IBMP and the Jamestown dog park), but there are a few improvements that this money will not cover.
We are looking to our neighbors for some support:
- Additional improvements to the park entrance along Desmond Drive
- Planting of native plants to replace invasive species
- Improvements to the “dirt” trail on the north side of the park loop
These improvements are estimated to cost $5,000. The funds will be raised through grants and the
generosity of our neighborhood.
Become a supporter of Ira B. Melton Park. Please donate to insure that IBMP can be fully
enjoyed by our community.
To donate go to www.parkpride.org
- Click on the Donations button
- Select Donate to a Friend of the Parks Group (on the right side)
- Under Choose a Park to Support – select Ira B. Melton Park
All Donations are tax deductible. Park Pride is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status in fiscal
partnership with Friends of Ira B. Melton Park.
Check out IBMP on Facebook through the Clairmont Heights Neighbors page:
Search on Ira B. Melton Park to view updates.
Want to volunteer and support ongoing efforts to improve IBMP? Email: email@example.com