Proposed Greenhaven is composed of a geographical area that covers all area south of U.S. Route 78 until it hits I-285 and then all area south of Memorial Drive until it hits the eastern border of DeKalb County excluding the areas designated as Stonecrest and all incorporated cities within these boundaries. In 2013, this Greenhaven area had a population of approximately 294,000.
Since June 2014, CCCSD has sought to establish the proposed city of Greenhaven to strategically position south DeKalb to join the rest of the metro region in effectively competing for jobs, investment and quality of life.
So, why a city?
CCCSD views this effort as a strategic positioning of you in southern DeKalb to join the rest of the region in effectively competing for assets and quality of life. Forming a city would:
- Allow you to have local governance that focuses primarily on proposed Greenhaven with economic development and jobs as a prime objective.
- Protect the commercial and more valuable assets in southern DeKalb from being annexed by smaller cities that have higher tax bases, which would, in turn, drive up your tax rate as a resident in unincorporated south DeKalb.
- Protect you, as a resident in proposed Greenhaven, from bearing the burden of pension costs that disproportionately fall on residents in unincorporated DeKalb.
- Introduce good governance measures such as 2 term limits, citizen approval for Council salary increases, citizen appointments to the Greenhaven Board of Ethics, an independent financial audit, residency requirements for key staff, and support of community participation through the Community Area Planning Units.
And, why a Large City?
Proposed Greenhaven is commercially underdeveloped compared to its neighbors. In order to address its commercial vulnerability and disparity, Greenhaven has to amend the model most cities are following.
- Small cities in southern DeKalb find it hard to be sustainable. They have significantly higher millage/tax rates than their northern counterparts in order to provide services.
- Taxes are likely to remain lower with a big city than with a smaller, struggling city due to economies of scale (costs can be spread over a larger population).
- Proposed Greenhaven’s primary weakness – its economic vulnerability – would significantly benefit from being able to leverage larger sums of revenue for bigger projects and for being able to cohesively plan over a larger territory while providing a united community to potential investors (from the federal government to international businesses).
- A big city has its challenges. CCCSD addresses local representation - a sense of place and control - by following models such as the city of Atlanta – elected officials are complemented by community led groups which we call Community Area Planning Units (CAPUs).
CCCSD submitted bills for cityhood in the 2015 legislative session. The bills were put on hold for the 2016 legislative session. Therefore, CCCSD has completed Phase 1 (Preparation), which consisted of completing a feasibility study (resulting in an estimated $27 million in excess revenue), introducing a proposal in the 2015 legislative session, and garnering public support. Two remaining phases are required. Phase 2 is gaining the Approval of the GA General Assembly to allow a referendum (vote by the people). Phase 3 is to continue the Education and Debate among the citizens and voters about the proposed Greenhaven movement leading up to the public referendum on May 24, 2016 (election day).
What's urgent now is that legislators do not deny us the right to vote!
SO FAR, IN THIS MOVEMENT WE HAVE:
- Formed an organization, CCCSD, to take responsibility for the formation of Greenhaven.
- Established boundaries and a map with help from DeKalb County, GA State Assembly and ARC.
- Introduced two bills in the GA House and Senate in 2015.
- Featured Greenhaven efforts in local and major newspapers, NPR, radio shows, Creative Loafing, Internet newspaper and so forth.
This historic movement needs resources, volunteers and funding. Your small donation will go a long way.
- Conducted a feasibility study with UGA CVI that estimated $27 million in excess revenue.
- Attended over 142 meetings with residents, businesses, churches, legislators, students and others.
- Created a Charter with good governance measures and Community Area Plannning Units.
- Developed an Economic Development Vision/Plan for Greenhaven.