Annexation petition withdrawn in Chamblee – The Champion Newspaper | 404-373-7779

Chamblee officials have announced that a proposed annexation application that would have added approximately 3,500 people to the city has been withdrawn.
The announcement of the withdrawal of the application came on Dec. 12.

In a statement released by Chamblee officials, “a review of the contents in the proposed annexation application [led to the] discovery of technical deficiencies.”

“The city has done its due diligence in examining the application and has informed the applicant,” the statement continues. “The applicant has requested to withdraw its application. The public hearing on the proposed annexation and the public hearing on the rezoning of the proposed annexation, which were scheduled for Dec. 14, were then canceled.”

Officials announced that the city accepted the original proposal on Oct. 31. The proposal included annexing Mercer University’s Atlanta campus and surrounding office park, along with the Embry Hills neighborhood and Belaire Circle into Chamblee.

“The residents of Embry Hills have approached the city numerous times over the past 10 years. In the past, we’ve held many town halls and community meetings to discuss the possibilities, but other city-hood movements always popped up and residents waited to see what might happen,” said Chamblee Mayor Brian Mock after the proposal was accepted.

Similar to the scrapped annexation proposal in Brookhaven earlier this year, Chamblee officials stated they contracted services with Rosetta Stone Communications in October of 2022 to “assist with the gathering of petition signatures for the proposed annexation.” Like Brookhaven’s proposal, the annexation process was done using the 60 percent method, a Georgia law that requires 60 percent of registered voters and 60 percent of landowners in the area to sign the petition requesting annexation.

At a public meeting hosted by DeKalb County Commissioner Robert Patrick and attended by CEO Michael Thurmond and Chief of Police Mirtha Ramos on Nov. 30, some in attendance vocally supported the annexation efforts while others accused petitioners of being aggressive and knocking on doors multiple times to try to gain signatures.

“We’ve had an opportunity to hear from a lot of the residents about the condition of our community and in many places, it’s very blighted,” said Bill Blumberg, president of the Embry Hills Civic Association. “Our roads are not taken care of, and I can’t tell you the last time I saw a DeKalb County police officer sitting on Chamblee Tucker Road where drivers constantly speed.”

Other speakers, however, stated the petition had the same errors and inconsistencies, including an inaccurate count on vetted signatures, that ultimately ended Brookhaven’s annexation efforts.

“You spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this ill-advised effort and caused further neighborhood strife by not bothering to so much as count the signatures before accepting the petition,” said Marjorie Hall after Chamblee officials announced the withdrawal of the annexation petition. “It was glaringly obvious after a half hour review that there were not the number of signatures the cover page claimed. This exact same thing just happened to Brookhaven by the same consultants, yet you didn’t bother with the most cursory of checks. This is real incompetence from the city.”

Had the annexation been approved, it would have been the largest annexation by the 60 percent method in Georgia’s history.

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