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Lively debate and opposing opinions are welcome, but please behave courteously and responsibly.

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If you would like more information on incorporation issues, comment directly to the administrators, or to submit you own article for posting, use our email account at:


Tucker 2014 is the prime advocacy group for Tucker's incorporation. More information can be found at

Thank you for your interest in the City of Tucker.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ode to Joy Flash Mob

You may have seen this already on YouTube, it has over 10 million hits, but it continues to be one of my favorites. Every time I bring it up, I wind up playing it at least twice, maybe even five times, I enjoy it that much.

What does this have to do with making a City, you may ask? Perhaps the City of Tucker sponsored Arts Council might pull off the same thing outside Local 7 during Tucker Days. Now THAT would be cool!

Turn the page to find the link!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

An Informal Poll


If you've paid any attention to this poll, you would've see how crazy the counts are.  Apparently this gadget on Blogger doesn't work very well as this has been a common problem.

We'll try again soon with a third party poll gadget and see if we can do better.

My apologies.

Which of the Three Cities would you prefer?

A Tale of Three Cities

A Tale of Three Cities

As a gesture of love and reconciliation, I've assembled three maps in an effort to bring together the three competing city hood efforts.  Currently, we have groups representing Lakeside, Lavista Hills (or Briarcliff) and Tucker.  Each have developed maps that overlap the others.  As we move through this process we will have to learn, at some point, to compromise.  Let this be the start of that conversation.

A pdf version of the maps can be found here.

One potato, . . .

The City of Lavista brings everyone together, into one, big, happy family.  This city takes its name directly from Lavista Road, which spans this proposed city from one end to the other.  This City would have approximately 135,000 residents.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Zero. Nada. Not Going to Happen.

Schools and the City of Tucker, Part II

Much of the interest in forming a new city is focused on the idea that a new city, or group of cities, could form a new, independent school district, wholly separate from the DeKalb County School District (DCSD).  It has been routinely and repeatedly stated by all the new city advocates that, under current law, there is absolutely no possibility of that happening.  To rephrase that, the new cities will have absolutely no effect upon the how the schools are managed, how attendance lines are drawn or how DCSD chooses to use its resources.

Zero. Nada.  Not going to happen.

So, if anyone’s interest in supporting the formation of a new city is mainly because of their hope that this could make a major difference in the local schools, they need to look elsewhere.  This thought has surfaced so many times, and has been so thoroughly discounted at every opportunity, it is difficult to understand why this issue will simply not go away.

Cluster Charter – Autonomy and Flexibility.

That doesn’t mean there are no other options. The one option available today is the Cluster Charter. The . . .

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Q & A on Tucker Discussions

A member of Tucker Discussions, who I'll refer to as MNK, asked a set of simple questions on why we would want to become a city.  BD, who may be just a little bit biased, provided some answers.  You may or may not agree.

We need more questions like this.  The internet is proving to be incredibly effective as a real democratic process dealing with issues important to the community.  Twenty years ago, an open exchange of reasoned opinion and valid arguments, between interested and committed strangers, was almost impossible.  Now it can be everyday.  If you have questions, come here or go to Tucker Discussions and ask them.  You will be sure to get an answer.  You may not like the answer, but you are free to respond.  Become involved.  Let your voice be heard.  In the City, someone will hear you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DeKalb County Property Taxes

Will a new city force our property taxes to increase?  

The most immediate answer to that is 'Not necessarily.'  Of course this a very complicated issue because residential property taxes will always be dependent upon the level of services being offered and the revenue stream from other sources, such as commercial property, business licence fees and hotel/motel taxes.  In other words, residential property taxes will result from the balance between residential and commercial properties within the city.  Residential property taxes will necessarily be higher in a city that has a very low commercial tax base, and will be much lower in a city with a high percentage of commercial property.  This would explain why new, and even existing, cities are always looking to add commercial property to their tax base.

As an aid to understanding taxes in DeKalb County, I have collected property tax rates from the county and each one of its cities for comparison purposes.  The tax statements are freely available from the DeKalb County Tax Commissioner's website.  They were chosen randomly from throughout the county and from nine of DeKalb's cities (Atlanta and Brookhaven being excluded) and all identifiable information has been redacted to protect the innocent.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Oliver Porter at the LCA Meeting, April 18th, 2013

Oliver Porter

The Lakeside City Alliance (LCA) held a community meeting April 18th at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation on Clairmont Road, where the featured speaker was Oliver Porter, a Sandy Springs resident and expert on the formation of new cities, who has been a critical consultant to Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and other new cities at their early formation.  He is the author of the book Creating the New City of Sandy Springs:  The 21st Century Paradigm. The website for his firm, PPP Associates, LLC, can be found here.  PPP stands for Public Private Partnership.

The meeting attracted perhaps 120 people, 40% of whom were of retirement edge.  The only elected representatives present were Rep. Michele Henson (D), Stone Mountain and Rep. Tom Taylor (R), Dunwoody.  The initial presentation was made by Mary Kay Woodworth and Kevin Levitas, which is documented in a Powerpoint presentation that can be found here.  Mr. Porter's presentation was followed by a Q&A session by the LCA Board, with some answers provided by Mr. Porter and Rep. Taylor.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The City of Lavista Hills

Update Saturday, 4/27/2013

With all the interest in looking at the Lavista Hills map, I've drawn my own version, taken directly from the original.  This one omits the tax info and council districts, which were the main concerns with the originally posted map.

The City of Lavista Hills (pdf)


Distribution of the City of Lavista Hills map was not fully authorized by the originating group, although I was led to believe otherwise.  I have chosen to remove it from this site, and from the file hosting service.  No request was made by any individual or organization to take this action.

I would ask that anyone who obtained the map in the few hours it was up to please refrain from any further distribution.

My apologies to any confusion that may have resulted from this posting.

An Uncivil Exchange on the North Druid Hills Patch

On the North Druid Hills Patch the following exchange took place in a comments section that illustrates how not to behave.  This was between myself and another regular poster named Ralph, who is an ardent supporter of the LCA and their goal to incorporate the new City of Lakeside.  A controversy has raged as to just how far the Lakeside city limits should extend into the heart of the Tucker community.

The discussion centered on a statement made by Oliver Porter during the LCA informational meeting held April 18th, where he discussed the optimal size for a city.

Although I do not apologize for my comments, or the tone that I eventually assumed, I would offer that I normally try to stay out of the gutter with the likes of Ralph.  I make every attempt for my comments to be factual, intelligent, respectful and considerate.  I cannot say the same for Ralph.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Future of DeKalb? (Stonecrest)

Attached is a map I first made available to the Tucker Patch which tried to anticipate how the existing and new cities in DeKalb might look a few years from now.  The problem was that some of the proposed new cities had no internet presence - DeKalb, Stonecrest and Prosperity.  Recently though, I had the opportunity to chat briefly with one of the leaders of the City of Stonecrest movement, who was kind enough to share with me his vision of their new city.  So, with this map, I am now including Stonecrest.  He has assured me, however, that the Stonecrest group has set their sights on an ultimate size well beyond the city I'm showing here.

The Future of DeKalb?

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Primer on Making a City

Kevin Levitas was a former state Representative representing northern DeKalb County, and is currently on the board for the Lakeside City Alliance (LCA).  He has a blog, North DeKalb Cityhood Blog, where he has been discussing cityhood for North Dekalb, started before the LCA was formally organized.  With his permission, I am replicating one of his articles here, as it serves as a very valuable and informative primer on the process of making a city.  

(With my apologies to Mr. Levitas, I have slightly edited his notes for formatting purposes, and to update or remove some inconsequential references.  His original posting can be found here.)

Cityhood Meeting Summary

On November 12, 2012, about fifty neighbors gathered to hear a presentation by Sen. Fran Millar, Rep. Tom Taylor and former Sen. Dan Weber about the ins and outs of forming a new city.

The discussion was lively and informative, and another meeting is planned for the near future for a discussion of the pro's and con's of city formation in our area.  Stay tuned for details...

Below is a summary based on my notes of both the presentation and some comments from neighbors in attendance.  The summary is merely a reiteration of the discussion.  You will have to decide issues of accuracy (both as to my notes and as to the contents of the discussion) for yourself.

Tucker's Community Improvement Districts (CID)

What is a CID?

A Community Improvement District (CID) is a geographically defined area where commercial and industrial properties increase their own tax rate to fund transportation and infrastructure improvement projects. They are comprised of private commercial properties zoned as office/industrial and retail properties. CID's partner with local governments, business professionals and surrounding residents to achieve its goals. The tax rate is set as a portion of the property tax with the rate set by the commercial property owners.

A CID may be used for street and road improvements and maintenance, parks and recreational facilities, public transportation, parking facilities, water supply and storm water and seweage systems.  In broader terms the goals of the CID are to encourage economic development, enhance the community and public safety, leverage investment in transportation improvements to provide an area attractive to new businesses, and to contribute to beautification of the commercial area.  The CID is governed by a board of directors elected by the CID property owners, which has full authority over the use of these funds.

The Tucker business community has been proactive in their support of the greater Tucker community by working with DeKalb County, the state and the federal government in the creation of two CID's in Tucker.  The Stone Mountain CID came into being in September 2011, primarily located in the Stone Mountain Industrial Park, and expanded in June 2012 to include the Royal Atlanta Business Park.  The Tucker CID has recently reached a general agreement with its commercial property owners and will start operations in the Fall of 2013.

Once a CID is created through the County, it will be largely self-governing.  Should the City of Tucker be created, it will have no adverse affect on the CID's, as they will continue to operate unchanged and will continue to receive any and all property taxes set in the CID agreement with the County.  Although the CID might include any number of private or rental residential properties, they are not taxable by the CID.

The City of Tucker CID's

Tucker, Way Back When

I've put together two montages of aerial photographs of the Tucker area from 1960 and 1972.  These were found on the Digital Library of Georgia web site.  Many interesting features, if you enjoy that sort of thing.  I've highlighted known landmarks and major roads to help get you oriented.

Multiple images were stitched together so you may find a little jump in things here and there.

COTOC - The City of Tucker Organizing Committee

Please send us an email at (anonymity is OK!) if you would like to participate in, contribute to or hear about the City of Tucker Organizing Committee. We hope to have a mailing list established if and when we decide to move forward. No funds are being solicited. Only those individuals on the mailing list will be informed of the first meeting, if and when. All email addresses will be kept strictly confidential.

Thank you for your interest in the City of Tucker.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan 2005-2025

As part of a comprehensive review of DeKalb County planning & zoning, the County administration produced this document outlining policies and standards for long term future development.

The DeKalb County Comprehensive Plan 2005-2025 (Click for link)

Several sections within the document are focused on the Tucker area which include:

The Georgia Municipal Association

The Georgia Municipal Association is an organization that represents municipal governments in Georgia. GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its members.

The Georgia Municipal Association website.

Attached are two documents from the GMA covering the basics for Municipal Charters.  The final Charter for the City of Tucker will be incorporated into the enabling bill in the General Assembly.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Greenville Henderson of Henderson's Mill Fame

Following is a biography, written by Paul K. Graham, of Greenville Henderson, one of the earliest settlers in the Tucker area, and founder of the Henderson Mill.  In it you will find some very interesting details about the early history of this area. This article is being posted here at the request of one of CoTI's most valued members.  I do not know the original source.

I am also posting a fascinating early map of the Tucker area, which was first drawn (I believe) by a Union officer in 1864, around the time of the Battle of Atlanta.  You will note the map locates Henderson's Mill, Browning's Court House and Stone Mountain

Tucker Discussions (Yahoo Groups) - A Civil Exchange

Following is a series of respectful and informative messages exchanged between two members of the Yahoo Group Tucker Discussions.  All messages have been copied verbatim, save for the members names.  The two members are CL, who initiated the conversation in response to other posts at Tucker Discussions, and BD, who responded point by point.

April 16, 1:06am
From CL

Jim and Others-

For those who haven't been here for longer than 20-30 years, there are a few historical components I would like to point out regarding the area west of 285 at Northlake and heading out to Stone Mountain Village:
1. "Tucker" was considered anything east of Fellowship Rd and from folks who have been here a really, really long time, Tucker used to be P-ridge or Pea Ridge

2. Up until 1984, TCA used to be called East Tucker Civic Association because there was a delineation at Fellowship Rd.

3. The Henderson family built up the area we know as Northlake and those of us who live west of Fellowship and grew up here have known it as the Northlake area and we identified more with Henderson HS when it was around than Tucker

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Zip Codes in the City of Tucker

Attached is a map of the proposed City of Tucker which shows the zip code areas found within the city limits. We've included this in an attempt to demonstrate that there is absolutely no cause and effect relationship between zip codes and political boundaries.

Zip code 30084 includes much of Tucker, but not all of it.  It also includes part of the Northlake area and significant areas within Gwinnett County.  Northlake Mall itself is located in 30345.

Zip code 30087 covers much of Smoke Rise, but no part of the City of Stone Mountain in DeKalb County. Its post office is located in unincorporated Gwinnett County, which is also referred to as Stone Mountain.  The SRCA has worked with the USPS to allow Smoke Rise residents to use Smoke Rise, Georgia as their mailing address.

Zip code 30040 is commonly referred to as Doraville, even though that zip stretches way down into the north side of Tucker.  No one in that area truly believes they are a part of Doraville.

Zip codes are service areas established by the US Postal Service for their convenience only.  It has everything to do with delivery routes and mail volume, and NOTHING to do with political boundaries, county lines, cities, or neighborhood concerns.  There is no relationship whatsoever.

Zip codes should not be used as some sort of validation or argument for the inclusion or exclusion of any particular area within any of the new proposed cities.

Georgia General Assembly - New City Placeholder Bills

During the final few days of the Georgia General Assembly, seven new placeholder bills were filed on behalf of six proposed and possible new cities in DeKalb County.  These include:

The City of Lakeside, SB 270, filed by Sen. Fran Millar (R), Dunwoody

The City of Lavista Hills, SB 275, filed by Sen. Jason Carter (D) Decatur

The City of DeKalb, SB 277, filed by Sen. Ronald B. Ramsey (D), Decatur

The City of Stonecrest, SB 278, filed by Sen. Ronald B. Ramsey (D), Decatur

The City of Briarcliff (unnamed), HB 665, filed by Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D) Decatur

The City of Tucker (unnamed), HB 677, filed by Rep. Billy Mitchell (D), Stone Mountain

The City of DeKalb or Prosperity (unnamed), HB 687, filed by Rep. Pam Stephenson (D) Atlanta

(Click on the bill number to be taken to a pdf file of the bill.)

The proposed cities of Lakeside, Briarcliff and Lavista Hills are all located in the same general area of north DeKalb County, generally inside I-285 and north of Decatur.

The proposed border for the cities of Lakeside and Tucker both include several small portions of DeKalb County on either side of I-285.

There is no other information currently available (as of 4/15/13) regarding the cities of DeKalb, Stonecrest and Prosperity.  They may all be referring to the same areas of south DeKalb County.  At one point the City of DeKalb was proposed to include all unincorporated areas within DeKalb County, which would have also included the areas now claimed by Lakeside, Lavista Hills, Briarcliff and Tucker.

Georgia General Assembly - New Laws Proposed Affecting New Cities

During the 2013 session of the Georgia General Assembly, two bills were filed that would directly affect the prospect of forming new cities in Georgia, both of which were targeted directly against the new city movement in DeKalb County.

A third bill, or resolution, was filed calling for a new amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that would allow the formation of new school districts within the state.  The amendment, as proposed, would only allow the formation of new school districts in cities formed after 2005 and would also allow these cities, and other cities immediately adjacent to the new cities, to join together to form a unified school district.  This amendment is directly tied to the dissatisfaction of residents in north Fulton County and north DeKalb County with their respective county school districts.

Georgia General Assembly - Bills Creating Dunwoody and Brookhaven

Cities in Georgia are an extension of state government and are thereby created and ultimately controlled by the General Assembly.  Current law requires a two year process for any bill enacting a new municipal corporation (city) where a bill for incorporation is introduced in the first year of a two year session, after which the organizing committee will develop the feasibility study and the policies and regulations to be incorporated into the final city charter.  Assuming the bill passes in the 2nd year of the session, only the community within the proposed city boundaries will vote for approval.

Attached are the final bills passed by the General Assembly creating the City of Dunwoody and the City of Brookhaven.

The Carl Vinson Institute

State law requires that any proposed new city first have a financial feasibility study conducted by either the Carl Vinson Institute: The University of Georgia or by The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies: Georgia State University.  These studies will cost each organizing committee approximately $30,000, and must be completed before any municipal incorporation bill moves forward in the Georgia General Assembly.

Attached are three recent studies conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute for the newest cities in DeKalb County, Dunwoody and Brookhaven, and for the newest city in Gwinnett County, Peachtree Corners.

These are being made available to those who would like to understand exactly what the studies do, what they may contain, and how they reach their conclusions.

Monday, April 15, 2013

DeKalb County Suburban Development 1945-1971

Here is a link to a fascinating map which illustrates suburban development in DeKalb County between the years 1945-1971.  This map is on a website maintained by Paul K. Graham, a genealogist.  The map was developed by students in a Georgia State University class on Historic Preservation.

DeKalb County 1945-1971 (pdf)

State Government in the City of Tucker

Following are maps indicating state legislators and the areas they represent within the proposed City of Tucker.

The Georgia House of Representatives in Tucker

The Georgia Senate in Tucker

Schools in the City of Tucker

Schools in the City of Tucker

The City of Tucker public schools are all part of the DeKalb County School District (DCSD).  There is one high school within the City, Tucker High School, while the proposed city boundaries also include areas assigned to both Lakeside and Stone Mountain High Schools.

Tucker High School's feeder schools includes Tucker Middle School and Livsey, Midvale, Smoke Rise Charter, Brockett and Idlewood Elementary Schools.

Lakeside High School's feeder schools with students living inside the City include Henderson Middle School, and Pleasantdale, Evansdale, Henderson Mill and Briarlake Elementary Schools.

Stone Mountain High School's feeder schools include Stone Mountain Middle School and Stone Mill Elementary School, although there will be no students actually living within the City, as the included areas are 100% commercial.

A common question regarding forming a new City is whether or not this would also allow the City to form an independent school district, wholly separate from DCSD.  The answer is a definite NO, as the Georgia State Constitution specifically disallows the creation of new school districts within the state.  A constitutional amendment will be required to allow the creation of a new independent school system.  Some state legislators have begun the process of enacting a bill to allow a statewide vote on such a constitutional amendment which, if it ever happens, will be several years in the making.

Commercial Areas in the City of Tucker

City of Tucker Commercial Areas

This map delineates commercial areas found in the City of Tucker.  By area, these areas constitute approximately 30% of the total area of Tucker.  Major commercial areas include downtown Tucker, Stone Mountain Industrial Park, the Royal Atlanta Industrial Park, Northlake Mall and the Lawrenceville Highway / Hugh Howell Road corridor.

Review of the Population of the City of Tucker

City of Tucker Population

This map reviews the current population data for the proposed City of Tucker through the use of information from the US Census, 2010.

For the proposed City of Tucker, as shown:
 - Total Population 49,831   White 54% / African American  29% / Other  17%

For the Tucker CDP:
 - Total Population 27,581   White 63% / African American  22% / Other  15%

For DeKalb County:
 - Total Population  691,893   White  33% / African American  54% / Other  13%

The City of Tucker would constitute 7% of the total population of DeKalb County.
The Tucker CDP would constitute 4% of the total population of DeKalb County.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Voting Districts in the City of Tucker

Voting Districts in the City of Tucker

On February 27, 2014, Tucker 2014 developed a new map for Tucker, showing 3 Voting Districts. According to Tucker 2014, there will be a total of 6 City Councilmen where 3 are elected from just from within each district, and 3 are elected city wide, but the candidates for each of the 3 large districts must come from just one district. For example, for the District 4 seat, all candidates must reside in District 1, but are elected by a city wide vote.

(This paragraph and map are now VOID.)
The City of Tucker shall have a 5 member City Council, each Councilman to represent approximately 10,000 residents.  The proposed city government will use the Strong Mayor / City Council / City Manager format.  The Mayor will chair the City Council, but will only vote in the case of a tie.  The Mayor will have the power to appoint the City Manager, with the approval of the Board, set the Board meeting agenda, and have the power of veto.  The Board can override the Mayor's veto with a super-majority of 4 to 1.

The Proposed New City of Tucker, Georgia

The Proposed City of Tucker

Added March 3, 2014 - A new map for the proposed City of Tucker, as developed by Tucker 2014 for filing with the city charter bill in the General Assembly.

The proposed new City of Tucker would be located in northeast DeKalb County, Georgia.  The map illustrates central core area based on a longstanding CDP designation from the US Census Bureau.  Around it are found four adjacent areas, each with their own identity, which may be included within the new city boundaries.