Members of the Dekalb House and Senate delegations, including those who have introduced legislation to create new cities or annex new areas to existing cities, will hold a Town Hall meeting on May 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Clairmont Hills Baptist Church, 1995 Clairmont Drive, Decatur 30033 at the corner of Clairmont and North Druid Hills Road.
The meeting will provide information on the costs of planning for new cities and the resulting possible tax implications. They will discuss procedures for legislative enactment, give a summary of ongoing cityhood activities, and learn about other governance options. All Dekalb citizens are encouraged to attend and learn about the options available to them for local governance, and how you may participate in the efforts that will be ongoing this summer.
House Rules of the Georgia General Assembly require that a new city may only be created over a two year term, not in one year. Legislation, listed below by primary sponsor, was filed in the 2013 Session that ended March 28, 2013, to give an opportunity procedurally to create possible new Dekalb cities of Druid Hills, LaVista Hills, Lakeside, Stonecrest, City of Dekalb, and Tucker. Also, annexation bills are pending for Chamblee and being discussed for Decatur, and legislative limitations on annexations options have also been filed. We ask neighborhood associations or groups who are reviewing current legislation, or working for or against possible new cities to describe briefly their efforts.
The following are bills that have been introduced and may be reviewed on the General Assembly website by Bill number:
HB 22-Primary Sponsor Mary Margaret Oliver. HB 22 sets out additional procedures and enhanced financial requirements for creation of new cities.
HB 619-Primary Sponsor Mary Margaret Oliver. HB 619 passed in 2013 and allows an area in unincorporated DeKalb that adjoins Chamblee to vote to be annexed into Chamblee.
HB 665-Primary Sponsor Mary Margaret Oliver. HB 665 is a placemholder bill to create new city of Briarcliff/Druid Hills.
HB 677-Primary Sponsor Billy Mitchell. HB 677 would create a new city of Tucker.
HB 687-Primary Sponsor Pam Stephenson. HB 687 limits the ability to annex new areas to existing cities by geography.
SB 270-Primary Sponsor Fran Millar. SB 270 would create city of Lakeside. For more information on Lakeside City Alliance, click here.
SB 275-Primary Sponsor Jason Carter. SB 275 would create new city of LaVista Hills.
SB 278-Primary Sponsor Ron Ramsey. SB 278 would create new city of Stonecrest.
The DeKalb County School District has undertaken a fast-paced technology plan to make 123 schools and centers wireless by the winter. With a total price tag of $4.5 million, the project is funded through the Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax. Margaret Harris and 13 other schools have been completed with an average of one access point per two classrooms. Read more about this project at…Margaret Harris Gets Wireless Internet
New Cell Tower Zoning Code Proposed for County: The county is reviewing a proposal to update its zoning code. This has been in the works for years, but part of it directly impacts the placement of cell towers. The cell industry has written its own update and this has been accepted for review in the new code. Obviously this does not help our cause. Currently, we have rights to prevent a cell towers at certain locations based on county zoning codes. This code dis-allows the tower proposed by T-mobile and gives us the right to publicly oppose any variances. The new code would greatly hinder our residential provisions! Our Commissioners are the ones that have the power to adopt these code changes. They have supported us but need to hear from you that they need to pay attention to these changes. Please write our Commissioners. Things to say….
Ask them to throw out these proposed changes from the telecommunications industry.
Tell them that the new code proposes that “monopoles located on public property shall be permitted” (i.e. school)
Tell them that industry should not be allowed to dictate the law.
Tell them that this will take away our right to public hearings for cell tower placement.
Tell them that this gives cell companies the right to appeal if denied and leaves not provision for citizen appeal.
Tell them this change would not require the cell company to seek alternate locations.
For more information, the new cell phone tower ordinance is at pp. 41-50 at the following link:
The proposed ordinance is mostly a copy of the Model Wireless Telecommunications Facility Siting Ordinance, which is a product of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, a/k/a the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA). Click below to view the Model Ordinance at:
Contracts have been signed, but no permits have been issued yet for our school.
Below is an e-mail that was sent to DeKalb BOC on March 26.
Today we had a bit of a fire drill for cell tower construction at the schools. Construction crews showed up at our neighboring school, Margaret Harris Comprehensive School. A neighbor there put out the alert and several of us put out calls to the county code compliance number and to Commissioners Rader and Boyer. It was determined that there was no permit and ultimately the work crew left. Hurray for the system! Thank you Jeff Rader and Bob Lundsten for your quick efforts!
This event brings a good opportunity for a reminder of the issue. T-mobile is still in contract with the DeKalb BOE to erect 9 cell towers on 9 school properties. Thanks to your letter sent to the DeKalb BOE last year, I know that you are committed to keeping our school yards safe and protecting the integrity of our neighborhoods by upholding county code. It was written almost exactly one year ago on March, 27! How’s that for timing?! Here is a link to that letter for your reference:
I’d like to thank you all for your continued commitment to keep our school yards safe and our neighborhoods intact. We are working to inform the new DeKalb BOE members of the issue of the towers in hopes that they will cancel or end the contract. If you have the opportunity, we’d appreciate you passing a word to them as well.
We all know DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis is up for re-election July 31. But did you know that…
Several of the DeKalb County Commissioners are up for re-election JULY 31:
Elaine Boyer (Dist 1)
Sharon Barnes Sutton (Dist 4)
Lee May (Dist 5)
Kathie Gannon (Dis 6)
Recall, this is the Board of Commissioners — who, in a letter to DeKalb Co. CEO Burrell Ellis supported our position that the placement of cell towers in residential neighborhoods and on school grounds violates multiple zoning laws.
Several DeKalb School Board Members are also up for re-election:
Don McChesney (Dist 2)
H. Paul Womack, Jr. (Dist. 4)
Pamela Speaks (Dist. 8.)
You can read plenty about what the school board has done, including STILL refusing to stop the placement of cell towers on school grounds after vigorous public outcry, on this site here.
On Tuesday July 31, your vote will count! Let’s send a message to DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and the DeKalb County School Board.
The referendum will state:
“Should the local or independent school system of DeKalb County or a charter school in DeKalb County place or operate a telecommunications tower on any elementary, middle, or high school property?”
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. We have to win this vote. Start planning now — tell ten people a week from now until July 31. Everyone in DeKalb County can vote. Make plans to remind your contact list the Monday night before the vote! You must be registered to vote by July 2 in order to vote in the July 31 special referendum. For more information: http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/Voter/default.html
2. Get the vote out — mark you calendar. Polls are open 7am to 7pm. Download to your calendar by clicking this button –>
3. Get a yard sign AND add on top of it our new VOTE NO JULY 31 signage. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name & address and we’ll drop a sign off.
Are you curious what candidates are getting money from telecom (Sprint Nextel, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile)? Checkout federal and state spend by telecom on Georgia State and Federal candidates in this election cycle.
DONATIONS RECEIVED BY STATE CANDIDATES BY TELECOM:
MARCH 28, 2012: The Board of Commissioners noticed DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis about their position that the placement by the School Board and T-Mobile to of cell towers in residentially zoned neighborhoods violates existing zoning policy and law.
“Rather than being passive regarding DeKalb County zoning regulations and ignoring citizen complaints about cell towers in residential zones and on school property, we recommend DeKalb County take a more active role to protect the interests of citizens and uphold adopted ordinances.” The Board of Commissioners — all of whom signed this letter to Burrell Ellis — urge the Planning and Sustainability Department not to issue any building permits for the construction of cell towers on behalf of the Board of Education.
At a town hall meeting at the Eastlake Family YMCA hosted by DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, members of the Briarcliff Heights Community Action Group spoke with the CEO Burrell Ellis and the Interim Director of Planning and Sustainability, Gary Cornell.
In discussions with the Interim Director of Planning and Sustainability, Gary Cornell was specifically asked to take a stand and to deny a building permit to any entity seeking to put a cell tower on public school property. Gary Cornell is a new “interim” appointee of Burrell Ellis. More on that here and here.
Our neighbors and other DeKalb County residents at the March 6 hearing on a bill to curb cell phone towers on school properties on HB 1197, being held up by the Georgia House Intragovernmental Coordination Committee. Read full article…
February 27, 2012: DeKalb House Delegation met today at the Coverdell Legislative Office Building — where the Environmental Committee (including Rep. Drenner) presented their findings on cell phone towers. Rep. Drenner obtained the remaining signatures needed to support the introduction of the bill.
SUMMARY: A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Code Section 20-2-600 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the leasing of public school property for private purposes authorized, so as to prohibit the leasing of certain public school property for the purpose of erecting telecommunications towers; to provide an effective date; to provide for applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.