Wednesday, May 30, 2001
Fairburn to Fayette: We want in
South Fulton city seeks to annex piece of Fayette; Commission will hear arguments for 22-acre plan
By DAVE HAMRICK
Fairburn wants to be a Fayette County city, but at least one county commissioner is having none of it.
"I don't even care to dignify that kind of request with my time and effort," Commissioner Linda Wells said during last week's meeting.
Wells voted against a motion to invite Fairburn City Council to a joint meeting to present its request to annex 22 acres off Milam Road.
The other three commissioners voted in favor of asking Fairburn officials to the commission's June 6 work session to discuss the matter.
"I have serious concerns about whether we ought to vote for such a thing [as the annexation], but I do think we should invite them down here and hear what they have to say with an open mind," said commission Chairman Greg Dunn.
"It's a ploy," Wells said, for Fairburn to avoid being sued by Fayette County if it moves forward with its plans to provide sewer service to parts of Tyrone. If the annexation were to go through, Fairburn would no longer need Fayette's permission to provide the service across county lines, she said.
The city might also then be entitled to a portion of Fayette County's sales tax revenue, and would be able to accomplish future annexations without the county's permission.
Owners of the property, the estate of Nannie C. Gladin, petitioned the city for annexation of their entire tract, which includes 20.3 acres in Fulton County along with the 22-acre Fayette portion, according to a letter to the commissioners from Fairburn City Attorney Bradford Sears.
The property is next to the Landmark Mobile Home Park.
County Attorney Bill McNally said state law requires that, when such a request is presented, the county has the option of setting a joint meeting within 15 days, or rejecting the request without a hearing.
He said in deciding how to act on the request, the county and city must consider four factors:
Whether the annexation is reasonable for the long-range economic and overall well-being of the county, school district and municipality;
Whether the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the county will be negatively affected;
Whether the annexation will cause negative fiscal impact on the county, schools or the city if that impact is not mitigated by some kind of agreement, and
The interests of the property owner seeking the annexation.
Sears' letter says that Fairburn intends to put the property into an AG-2 zoning district, an agricultural designation, but Wells expressed concern the city might later rezone it for high-density residential use.
Fairburn, whose 2000 Census population is 5,464, has no fire service, so Fayette would have to provide that service, she said.
An annexation request across county lines is rare in Georgia. There are a few instances of city limits extending across county lines, but most of those situations came about when the counties were formed, rather than through annexation.
Palmetto, just to the southwest of Fairburn, lies in both Fulton and Coweta counties. Part of Atlanta lies within DeKalb County.
If Fayette rejects the request, the only appeal for the property owner or the city would be through Superior Court.