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Emory University annexation into Atlanta vote delayed, likely due to politics

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The incorporation of the University into the city limits will likely happen after the mayoral election

An aerial view of the campus with forests and the skyline beyond.
An aerial view of the campus with tree-canopied neighborhoods and the skyline beyond.
Emory University

Following final negotiations between DeKalb County and the City of Atlanta last month, Emory University and the CDC were cleared to join the city as part of a massive annexation.

However, the official adoption will have to wait.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the legislation to approve the move has been held up by the Atlanta City Council until after the highly contested Atlanta mayoral election.

While the DeKalb County Commission approved a massive settlement allowing Atlanta to move forward with the acquisition of 744 acres, including the CDC campus and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta facilities, the stall is likely due to the more than 2,000 residents in the area.

With the mayor’s race coming down to razor-thin margins, every new vote could swing the outcome. And with demographics in the new district differing greatly from the city’s current voter rolls, it seems the council—which includes candidates in the race—doesn’t want to take any chances.

Still, the delay is just a tiny setback on the road to annexation.

The move has been in the works for a year, with Emory officially filing the petition this summer. DeKalb County was required to approve the move, and wasn’t prepared to let Emory go cheap. The city will reportedly pay DeKalb $10 million over the next 10 years to provide firefighting services to the area.

Once approved, the annexation could be a major boon for Atlanta, as Emory becomes the sixth major university within city limits.

Even more importantly, the move paves the way for the potential expansion of MARTA down the Clifton Road corridor.