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Thursday, February 6, 2014

The LCA Rapes the Tucker Community. Again.

The LCA Embarrasses Itself Once Again

The Lakeside City Alliance, through the despicable backroom dealings of St. Francis of Dunwoody in the Georgia State Senate, has spit in the face of the Tucker community with their most recent Bill, approved today in the State and Local Government Operations committee of the Georgia Senate.  While the Bill was fully expected to be briefly reviewed and approved in this committee, the LCA revised their map, once again, to rape Tucker of many of its long-standing neighborhoods. This in spite of the strong efforts of Tucker Together and Tucker 2014, and the passionate and unremitting voices of hundreds of Tucker residents.

The new Senate Bill 270 can be found here.

The new map for the City of Lakeside can be found, here. After several months of debate within the community, the arrogant and overconfident LCA chose to expand their map to include new additional areas well beyond the area studied in the CVI feasibility study, with a new population approaching 80,000 residents.

Following are all four versions of the Lakeside proposed map.

ETA: On February 26, 2014, at the vote for SB 270 on the Senate floor, St. Francis of Dunwoody produced a FIFTH version of the proposed City of Lakeside map. Was not vetted by the Governmental Affairs Committee, was not released to the community prior to the Senate hearing, and was not even truly presented to the Senate itself as it was solely on a single printout that floated across the chamber.

ETA: Before the HGAC meeting on March 12, 2014, St. Francis of Dunwoody revealed that a new map had been agreed to between Tucker2014 and the LCA that split the contested areas between. This agreement would have supposedly led to Lakeside being approved by the General Assembly for 2014, and for Tucker to be approved in 2015. That proposal was tabled on a motion by Rep. John Meadows (R) Calhoun, who also is the powerful Chairman of the House Rules Committee. That new map is Lakeside No. 6!

ETA: St. Francis issued a new map for Lakeside and Tucker that changed the line in the Pleasantdale area. Sigh. This is getting old. Lakeside No. 7.

Are we going to see a Lakeside No. 8 during the Monday, March 17, HGAC meeting? Stay tuned for a St. Paddy's Day surprise!

Lakeside 1
Drawn without input from any of the Tucker neighborhoods

Lakeside 2
Redrawn to remove commercial areas north of I-285, in response to complaints from Chamblee and Brookhaven

Lakeside 3
Redrawn to remove some areas of traditional Tucker, in response to complaints from the Tucker business community.

Lakeside 4
Redrawn to include areas around Toco Hills, and to include, once again, valued Tucker neighborhoods. 

Lakeside 5
This map was revised to remove parts of Emory University and surrounding neighborhoods that were surreptitiously included in Lakeside 4.

Lakeside 6
This map is a result of a compromise between the LCA and Tucker.

Lakeside 7
Another adjustment, where Lakeside took back the Pleasantdale corridor from Tucker, and added the Executive Park area in the Southwest. Only the quickie map was available at this time.


  1. The monster's mouth is getting bigger.

  2. It's no secret that many, many people in that part of "Tucker" don't feel like they're a part of Tucker. They've been treated like red-headed step-children by Tucker for a very long time. The complaint has been well-publicized over the years.

  3. That's an outdated version of SB 270 in your link. The most recent version (WARNING: pdf file) is here:

    1. My first link was current when it was created, and your link was current when you looked it up. Neither address is correct after the bill is revised. So, rather than providing a link to the actual bill as of that day, it seems more appropriate to link to the web page tracking the history and process of the bill. The link provided on that Senate page will, presumably, take you to the latest and current version. My mistake.

  4. Rape? Wow! Did Cheryl hack your blog and write that?

    Let's look at the areas in the 30084 zip code that Lakeside has included in their newest map. I want to use 30084 because zip codes play a part in defining a potential city's boundaries. They are not the sole determining factor but they should have an impact upon where the lines are drawn. And, yes, I understand there is no zip code traditionally affiliated with Lakeside as theirs is with Tucker, but Tucker supporters can't cry foul at what Lakeside is doing, while at the same time openly supporting or passively allowing Tucker to incorporate several areas not only outside of 30084, but areas that have never been thought of as being part of Tucker.

    The biggest bee in Tucker's bonnet seems to be the Northlake commercial area. It's always been in Lakeside's maps so it's not part of the recent "rape". However, it is crucial for a city of Tucker to survive. People who are well-informed already know that Northlake Mall is in 30345, while 30084 covers everything south of Lavista. Also north of Briarcliff are the hotels and offices on Northlake Parkway, the Sports Authority shopping center and Briarcliff Village shopping center. There are many people that live inside 285 and around Northlake who do not consider themselves to be part of Tucker. Not when confronted with a choice between Lakeside and Tucker, nor if asked politely several years ago before the cityhood discussions. The residential areas included in Tucker's map north of the Northlake commercial area are in 30345 and 30341, while Tucker decided not to include the residential areas west of Montreal Road that are in 30084. Since many people in these ITP areas consider themselves to live in the Northlake area, Tucker supporters can only honestly lay claim to the 30084 zip code south of Lavista. They have no right to a monopoly on the entire area since they are willing to shun residential 30084 ITP while scooping up the entire Northlake commercial district. Any claim that "Lakeside started it" results in the conclusion that Tucker supporters want Lakeside to adhere to rules or standards that they themselves are unwilling to abide by.

    Tucker's previous and, once again, bone of contention is OTP between 285 on the west, Lavista to the south, Chamblee Tucker Road to the east, and the zip code boundary north of Henderson Road and Henderson Park out to Chamblee Tucker. I use the zip code boundary because not only is there that difference but the schools north of there are not zoned for Tucker Middle or High. Pleasantdale and Evansdale feed to Lakeside, and the neighborhoods around them are 30340 and 30341. People in the Embry Hills area did not consider themselves part of Tucker. They make like Tucker. They may shop in Tucker, but they never identified as living in Tucker.

    Tucker can lay a very strong claim to Henderson Park, and a strong claim to the neighborhoods between Henderson Road and Chamblee Tucker Road. You will find many people there who identify with Tucker. However, west and south of Henderson Road is where Northlake and Tucker collide. An informal count I took of the number of homes with signs shows Lakeside way ahead of Tucker in this area. Tucker supporters may desire these areas OTP, but it's the people themselves that get to choose. And based on meetings and overt displays, people in this area seem to prefer Lakeside.

  5. If Lakeside left their boundary at Henderson Road, I think that would be ideal for their supporters and Tucker. They are poking Tucker in the eye by almost drawing the line across the street from Tucker High. It's a bad move p.r. wise, but how would people between Chamblee Tucker and Henderson vote? In a 21st Century world with things like Instant Runoff Voting, I would love for everyone to be able to vote on the options available. I do think it would scare both Tucker and Lakeside organizers because areas they want may not want them back. Tucker may be sorely disappointed to find that a majority of the people who you claim are being "raped" actually prefer Lakeside. And Lakeside could be humiliated to find that most people prefer a Briarcliff/Tucker option.

    Tucker still has a valid point on any encroachment by Lakeside into 30084, but Tucker should be held to the same standard with their map. The heavily commercial (and thus lucrative) area north of 85 should be Doraville. Tucker's magical map maker supposedly felt it important to cover gaps between cities, but this area has never, ever been associated with Tucker. I've already discussed the neighborhoods that are zoned for Pleasantdale and Evansdale. Smoke Rise is 30087 and residents there seem willing to consider Stone Mountain over Tucker. Someone joked that Smoke Rise should just do their own thing like Avondale Estates. I say why not? They already shunned Stone Mountain with their own zip code recognition and Tucker organizers mainly want them for their higher property values. Tucker still has a valid point on any encroachment by Lakeside into 30084, but Tucker should be held to the same standard with their map. The heavily commercial (and thus lucrative) area north of 85 should be Doraville. Tucker's magical map maker supposedly felt it important to cover gaps between cities, but this area has never, ever been associated with Tucker. I've already discussed the neighborhoods that are zoned for Pleasantdale and Evansdale. Smoke Rise is 30087 and residents there seem willing to consider Stone Mountain over Tucker. Someone joked that Smoke Rise should just do their own thing like Avondale Estates. I say why not? They already shunned Stone Mountain with their own zip code recognition and Tucker organizers mainly want them for their higher property values.

  6. The most curious part of Tucker's map lies south of 78. Why did the magical map maker include all that 30021 of Clarkston and 30083 of Stone Mountain? The Idlewood neighborhoods are obviously 30084 and still zoned for Tucker schools. But that could change if the (oh, alright I'll use that term) more "affluent" Tucker residents get their way. They wonder why Tucker is overcrowded while the kids from Stone Mountain and Clarkston zip codes aren't going to the schools under capacity closer to their own homes. Why does brand new Stone Mountain Middle have several hundred open seats while Tucker Middle is packed with students from the apartments on Brockett Road?

    Ah, yes, Brockett Road. If Tucker gets it's way they'll have a strip club and another asian massage spa to add to their list of entertainment options. Not to mention two run down shopping centers and apartments with a extremely high rate of petty crime and more than a fair share of robberies and shootings. If Tucker ever did get its own PD, you can count on the Brocket Road corridor using a (oh, okay, I'll use that word too) "disproportionate" share of those resources.

    As would the apartments of Juliette Road near the city of Stone Mountain. No way, not ever, never, ever has that been considered Tucker. The kids there don't even at least go to Tucker schools like the kids off Brockett. But, again, the magical map maker felt it important to cover a gap. That would be the gap between the lucrative office and industrial property taxes of the Stone Mountain Industrial Park, in the 30083 Stone Mountain zip code, and part of the the Stone Mountain CID. Those revenues are the desert. Juliette Road are the brussel sprouts. Idlewood is the step-child. Brockett is chump change. And the homes, condos and apartments along East Ponce are just in the way, although many of the remaining colorless people do shop and frequent Tucker locales. Taken together it sounds like an altogether nonsensical reason to have Tucker's boundary go down to East Ponce.

    So will Tucker acede to Clarkston's desire to annex the Brockett Road corridor? What about Stone Mountain's wish to annex Juliette Road? Would Tucker be okay with Doraville annexing the last bits of unincorporated land nearest their city limits? Or will Tucker organizers stand firm like they did with Northlake and refuse to budge? How would Tucker supporters feel if that strategy leaves them with Lakeside on their north and west, Clarkston on their south and west, and Stone Mountain on their east and south? If you think this "rape" is bad, how would a "gang rape" by all three cities feel?

    1. Your answer can be found in the latest map issued by Tucker, although it is not available as yet on their website or via any Internet web site I am aware of. They have backed off of areas north of I-85, as I always predicted and argued when I spoke to various Tucker folks, from day one. They have also conceded the apartments and the low rent commercial area off of Brockett, including Strokers, to Clarkston, which I has also anticipated long ago, but couldn't argue for as I had no knowledge of Clarkston's intentions. I would suspect those residents would still prefer Tucker, as they attend Tucker cluster schools, and probably do their shopping in Tucker, but I have no first hand knowledge. Back in 2007, I spoke with several residents along E. Ponce de Leon, and they all expressed a strong desire to be included in Tucker, and were quite averse to being included in either Clarkston or Stone Mountain.

      I agree with you regarding the apartment complexes along Juliette Road, as those residents have little or no interest in Tucker. If anything, they probably are more closely tied with the Stone Mountain commercial areas east on US 78, in Gwinnett County. If you look at most of the maps I have drawn and placed on this site, I routinely left that area, included the Pentecostal Church north of 78, totally off.

      Smoke Rise has zero interest in Stone Mountain, and would, without question, vote down any annexation proposal from them.

      On the other hand, Tucker has every right, and strong historical precedent, to include Northlake in their city. No other effort has a better claim, and the various arguments apply equally to all sides. Lakeside cannot back off of either Northlake or Henderson Park, as that leaves them with no justification whatsoever. COBI would be fine without Northlake, at least it would have been until they walked away from Decatur and Scotdale.

      I don't believe the map makers for the original Tucker map took that job seriously. It was drawn during the heyday of Tucker Together, and was more a talking point than anything else. Unfortunately, the folks running Tucker 2014 had limited map skills (Sonja had never been to Smoke Rise!) and bought into the original map without much thought, or any serious evaluation. Personally, I don't believe they had ever made a serious play for the hearts and minds of the three areas in question, those areas close to Doraville, the apartments off Brockett, or Juliette Road. And as soon as Clarkston and Doraville objected, they acquiesced immediately. (Its possible those areas were not in the AYS study area, as Tucker as never issued a formal district map until recently.)

      Regarding Stone Mountain, Tucker was never inclined to concede the Stone Mountain CID, which was the main prize in Stone Mountains annexation plan, and which was only developed at the request of the SMCID president, Emory Morsberger. To get the CID Stone Mountain was obligated to include Smoke Rise, which killed their prospect for success almost immediately.

      So, to the main point of your comment, Tucker never 'raped' those areas and included them in their city with many good reasons. And once the target of their affection said 'NO!', like any good suitor, Tucker backed off. If Stone Mt. had focused their interest just on Juliette Road, Tucker would have backed off their as well. Counter that by the LCA's take on the north side of Tucker. They took them in without asking, and when the Tucker community said 'NO!' they were ignored. Yes, they backed off a little bit, but like any good rapist, it wasn't quite good enough and they came back for more. So, your comparison fails on every level.

    2. It's good that Tucker dropped the Doraville and Clarkston areas. Of course that will leave them with less revenue, something that seems to be a big deal to you when it involved Briarcliff and the areas they recently dropped. Even though the retail in the Brockett corridor is as you like to say "low rent", it still paid a total of over $200,000 in property taxes last year. I don't think anyone from "core" Tucker has the slightest interest in that area, so it is better for Clarkston to annex them. I don't think most of those apartment residents are aware of the cityhood debate at all. Since the apartments are about 90% black and hardly any black people show up at the Tucker meetings, I can assume that there is no real strong interest there one way or another. Many don't own cars and shop at the nearby stores or along the bus lines on East Ponce.

      I imagine there is support among homeowners on East Ponce to be part of Tucker. That is where you will find the small perecentage of white people in that area. I've seen one Tucker sign there at the home of a white couple. Many white people there do shop in Tucker, while many black people shop on Memorial Drive.

      I agree that Smoke Rise residents would probably vote against annexation by Stone Mountain. I don't think they were too excited about Tucker either, but most currently feel it is Tucker or nothing (or even worse...Stone Mountain). It's interesting to note that one of the two speakers against Tucker cityhood at the House hearing last week was a Smoke Rise resident.

      I don't know how much influence Frank Auman has in that community but he certainly can't hurt Tucker's cause there. However, if Tucker fails I wouldn't be surprised to see Smoke Rise residents consider Stone Mountain. The city's annexation map would have Smoke Rise make up about 30% of the city's population. They could gain an effective foothold on things depending on if Stone Mountain had council districts or not. I also imagine Smoke Rise residents would be far more active in local politics than say those in the apartments off Juliette.

      And don't forget Elaine Boyer. She loves Tucker so much she sent her daughters to Lakeside High School. She also pushed Fran Millar for the Lakeside/Tucker mega-city. I don't think Tucker cityhood supporters should trust her.

      I think Tucker has only slightly more of a right than Lakeside or Briarcliff to part of Northlake. Tucker resident Steve Henson said 285 was a good boundary. With friends like that who needs an enemy like Lakeside. Northlake inside 285 is not "core" Tucker. All three potential cities want the tax revenue. Lakeside and especially now Briarcliff would hurt without it because they proposed more services. Tucker's three services would curretly be okay with Northlake OTP and the Stone Mountain CID.

      If Tucker's plan gets the go-ahead, I still think Stone Mountain has a strong claim to everything south of 78 except the Idlewood corridor. The rest is all 30083. Tucker should be smart and concede the Juliette Road apartments along with the southern part of the CID to Stone Mountain for annexation if the city wants it. Stone Mountain certainly wouldn't want just Juliette Road, so that part of the CID could help them.

      It's funny you keep the rape analogy alive. So it's not rape if there was no good reason behind it. "Oops, I didn't mean to put that in there." I will give credit for Tucker2014 for dropping Doraville and Clarkston though. However, I never accused Tucker of raping anyone; I did say that they, too, enlarged their boundaries beyond what has traditionally been considered "core" Tucker. They did this for financial reasons. At the same time their supporters are mad at Lakeside for making grabs into "core" Tucker (and not-so-"core") Tucker seemingly for votes and a park.