Decatur city commissioners voted unanimously at last night's meeting to annex the neighborhood of Parkwood Park into the city limits, effective July 1, 2014. The move will add 77 parcels with 75 homes, a 3.2-acre old-growth forest and (much to the chagrin of some existing residents) about 14 students to Decatur and the City Schools of Decatur. The Parkwood Park community petitioned the city in January, using the "60 percent method," which requires signatures from 60 percent of land owners and registered voters (54 land owners signed, 22 did not). The neighborhood sits between West Ponce de Leon Avenue and East Lake Drive, just east of Deepdene Park, behind the East Lake MARTA station, and was partially in Decatur and partially in unincorporated DeKalb. Signers of the petition said they wanted to geographically unify their tight-knit community and consolidate services such as trash pickup, police, fire and schooling.
According to the service delivery report, the annexation will add about 14 kids to the school system, costing $109,200 the first year but producing $121,850 in school taxes. The report also notes that the new homes will produce about $79,630 in city taxes the first year and $152,830 the second year but will cost the city only about $20,000 annually in services.
The math says yes. The city commission says yes (which is what counts). But a lot of residents say no, citing serious concerns about the impact that so many new residences will have on the already overcrowded school system. (There's a lively discussion happening about it over at Decatur Metro.) Is Decatur's annexation of residential parcels putting undue stress on the congested City Schools of Decatur or should Decaturites fulfill the expectation of being welcoming and inclusive to new neighbors?
· Welcome – Parkwood to join city of Decatur [Decaturish]
· Parkwood Neighborhood Seeks Annexation Into Decatur [Decatur Metro]