Property owners seek cityhood reversal

The DeKalb Commission voted Tuesday to support the de-annexation of some Doraville properties (MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM).

The DeKalb Commission voted Tuesday to support the de-annexation of some Doraville properties (MARK NIESSE / MARK.NIESSE@AJC.COM).

Business owners and residents who say they were forced into the city of Doraville now want out — a rare exception to the movement toward making more areas into cities across metro Atlanta.

The DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve a resolution calling for the area along Buford Highway to be de-annexed after it was incorporated into Doraville on Dec. 31.

The board’s action is the first step in the process to return the area to unincorporated DeKalb, and now a similar resolution may be considered by Doraville’s government.

Concerned citizens told commissioners they didn’t get any benefit from joining Doraville and they weren’t notified of the annexation until November.

“We do not need another level of taxation,” said David Howard, a real estate agent. “It doesn’t provide any level of benefit that we weren’t receiving from DeKalb County.”

Howard said the most significant change he’s seen since joining Doraville is that fees on his phone bill have increased.

Forty-four business and property owners signed de-annexation consent forms.

“The city has set a very bad precedent for what other cities can do,” said Joe Frank, who owns a Doraville shopping center. “They have misled the Georgia Legislature into believing that all of the property owners wanted to be in the city, and that was absolutely not the fact.”

The Georgia Legislature approved annexing the area into Doraville last year through House Bill 1138, which Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law April 29.


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