Momentum building to create city of Briarcliff

by: Rachel Stockman Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. —

Momentum is building for the creation of a new city in DeKalb County, especially after controversy surrounding suspended CEO Burrell Ellis.

The city of Briarcliff would be the largest city in DeKalb County and would include most of central unincorporated Dekalb County, south of Interstate 85, and north of Decatur. This area would encompass about 92,000 residents .

"We are not jumping on anyone but there is sadly a history of corruption in DeKalb County that has not gone away, and yes we think there has got be a better way to provide these services," explained Allen Venet, who is heading up the City of Briarcliff Initiative.

Another movement gaining momentum is for the creation of the City of Lakeside, which covers much of the proposed City of Briarcliff, but omits the Druid Hills area.

"We don't have a whole lot of time," said Justin Critz, president of the Druid Hills Civic Association. The two proposals for cityhood in Dekalb County could be taken up by the state legislature as soon as January.

Critz says his community, Druid Hills, which includes about 15,000 residents, is weighing three options moving forward.

"Being part of the city of Briarcliff, annexation into the city of Atlanta and doing nothing, and staying in unincorporated Dekalb," Critz said.

During a community meeting on Tuesday, representatives from all three options, including two from Mayor Kasim Reed's office presented the Druid Hills neighborhood with presentations.

"The exploration of Atlanta annexing Druid Hills is an initiative led by the Druid Hills community. We have been asked to provide fact-based information to help the community make the most informed decision possible in the best interests of their community," Melissa Mullinax, a spokeswoman for Reed said in an emailed statement.

"We think that cities would do a better job of providing city services, and the county would continue to provide the services that make sense for them to provide to the very large county," Venet said.