Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Decatur annexation is off the table for 2016

City of Decatur has released a statement indicating that it will not be pursuing annexation during the current legislative session, Decaturish reported this morning.

Because an updated Senate agenda was not released confirming this announcement (and the last available agenda showed the annexation bill being discussed on February 4), MANA and CHCA representatives headed to the state capitol for answers. Senator Butler's assistant (Senator Butler chairs the DeKalb Senate Delegation) was able to confirm that the item was being pulled from the agenda, and Senator Parent followed up by email with an updated agenda that no longer included House Bill 663:
-Homestead Exemptions for Seniors
-City of Decatur & City Schools of Decatur Homestead Exemptions
-DeKalb County Charter Review Commission
-DeKalb County Legislative Agenda
*The Chairwoman reserves the right to change the agenda at her discretion at any time.
DecaturMetro has City of Decatur's press release here, which ends with "It is anticipated that the City Commission and the Board of Education will revisit annexation later in 2016 to determine what options should be pursued in the future."  Decaturish also recently reported that Decatur is updating its comprehensive plan which, per City Manager Peggy Merris, relates to infrastructure and issues like zoning and land use:
Here’s where we think the land use might change in the next 10 years, or here are the big developments we think might happen, or it could be a new road system or a new transit system. It’s really dealing with the physical placement of development and infrastructure.” 
One way or another, it's safe to say we will be hearing about annexation again.

We want to acknowledge our MANA and CHCA neighbors and volunteers and DeKalb County residents everywhere for seeing the bigger picture (impact on DeKalb's public schools), signing this year's anti-annexation petition, and contacting our elected officials.