Stockbridge opposes forming new city
By Monroe Roark
Efforts by a local group to study the viability of a newly incorporated city in the Eagle’s Landing area have been ongoing for a few months, and last week Stockbridge city officials registered their opposition to the proposal.
A resolution passed Feb. 28 by the Stockbridge City Council came on the heels of a position statement issued by the city several days prior. City officials cited a lack of information to justify the viability of the proposed city as well as its direct impact on Stockbridge’s current status.
“The proposal to remove substantial portions of an existing city to place into the geographic area of an as-yet unknown city is unprecedented in the state of Georgia,” according to the city’s official statement. “Numerous residents of the area are voicing opposition to the proposal, citing concerns about the lack of information provided, not being given an opportunity to pose questions, and also speculating as to the true motives and intentions behind the proposal to create the new city.”
A sizable portion of the Eagle’s Landing Parkway corridor is already in the city limits of Stockbridge, as are a number of other residential and commercial areas commonly associated with the Eagle’s Landing community.
Stockbridge officials had already initiated plans regarding its own annexations and cleaning up existing boundary lines and was already working with the county’s legislative delegation in this regard. This came in the wake of recent activity at the proposed Jodeco South development site on the southwest corner of I-75 and Jodeco Road. Annexation of that property last year was challenged by the county and reversed in court, and since that time Stockbridge has proceeded differently with annexation of surrounding properties to make sure the process is done properly.
State Sen. Rick Jeffares introduced SB 263 to the Georgia General Assembly Feb. 27. Its stated purpose is “to incorporate the City of Eagles Landing; to provide a charter for the City of Eagles Landing; to provide for other matters relative to the foregoing; to provide for a referendum; to provide effective dates; to provide for transition of powers and duties; to provide for community improvement districts; to provide for directory nature of dates; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.”
Creating a new city would require legislative passage as well as a referendum by voters in the affected area.
County officials have not commented publicly on the issue. Reports on social media have alleged that a discussion item was initially on the agenda for the Mar. 7 meeting of the Henry County Board of Commissioners but was pulled before the meeting took place. There was no official confirmation from the county as to whether that allegation was true.
The Eagles Landing Educational Research Committee has officially formed as a “nonprofit education group to advocate for the incorporation of a new city in Henry County.” Its website (www.elerc.org) has information regarding its position as well as a map of the proposed area.
The official statements from the Stockbridge City Council can be read at the city’s website (www.cityofstockbridge.com). Archived video of the council meetings can be viewed there as well.