The Lakeside City Alliance says the proposed city would have 50,000 residents and its boundaries would follow neighborhoods that feed to Lakeside High, including most of the communities near Spaghetti Junction, Northlake Mall and Century Center at Clairmont Road and I-285. They have launched www.lakesidecity.org and are having studies done.
Organizers say residents have seen their influence dwindle in recent years because the area is split between two county commissioners and the new cities of Brookhaven and Dunwoody are nearby.
Mary Kay Woodsworth, alliance chairwoman, complains that the area doesn’t have a real voice at the county level.
The group is holding an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13 at Lakeside High, 801 Briarcliff Road N.E. in Atlanta.
The Lakeside cityhood effort is almost certain to face strong opposition from county leaders. The county has seen its tax revenues shrink with the creation of new cities, making it difficult to fund schools, road maintenance and other vital services.
On Jan. 28, commissioners asked DeKalb’s House delegation to amend the Official Code of Georgia to insert language that calls for the approval of the county for annexation of areas that receive county services. Commissioners argue that new cities cherry-pick prime commercial areas and put a greater tax burden on unincorporated areas.
A bill filed by state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur) would require all new cities to conduct a financial impact study on the county in which they are located. Any new bill proposing a Lakeside City would have to be introduced this year to allow for the two-year process of creating a city.