Chatt Hills group anxious for June vote

Mon, 01/29/2007 - 10:33am
By: Ben Nelms

Chattahoochee Hills group anxious for June vote

A new group has come into existence in Chattahoochee Hills. The group may be new but the message is not. That message calls for a June vote to form a city that will control the development and the destiny of one of the last remaining large areas of rural metro Atlanta. Nearly 225 area residents filled the gym at Georgia Baptist Children’s Home for the Jan. 20 meeting.

“The north side of Atlanta is a crowded place that used to look like Chattahoochee Hills,” said Tom Reed, president of the new city of Chattahoochee Hill Organizing Committee. “Look at it now. That’s what happens when you don’t plan for growth. And we don’t want unplanned growth here.”

As with voter’s potential for creating the city of South Fulton in June, organizers of the Chatt Hills effort said they recognize that development in south Fulton county is inevitable. They also recognize that the choice to control development is theirs because either they will manage the future or the future will manage them.

“The question is what kind of development do we want and who gets to decide what that development looks like? It’s best if we get to decide,” Reed said. “The best government is the government closest to home. The window is open for us to take control of our destiny. This may be our only chance.”

Mirrored by Reed, committee Vice President Larry Keith and others, organizers said Chattahoochee Hills is not a typical area and would not be a typical city. Overwhelmingly rural and spread out over a significantly large geographical area, Chatt Hills residents, whether in favor of incorporation or opposed to it, tend to be those that want to maintain the rural character of the area, they said.

“We want to protect our lifestyle. And this won’t happen by itself,” Reed said. “This is why we need to have a city. The organizing committee’s goal is to get you the information you need to make that happen.”

The meeting concluded with committees members stopping a tables throughout the gym to provide information and take down questions that will be answered at the next public meeting.

The city of Chattahoochee Hills Organizing Committee consists of approximately 70 members serving on 11 committees. Those committees include steering, administration, campaign, finance, fundraising, legal, public information, public safety, public works, volunteer coordination and voter registration.

Senate Bills 552 and 553 passed in 2006 provided for a vote by residents of south Fulton County to incorporate the cities of Chattahoochee Hills and South Fulton. Similar measures were adopted for the areas of Milton and John’s Creek in north Fulton following the successful incorporation efforts in Sandy Springs. Residents in Milton and John’s Creek voted overwhelmingly in June 2006 to incorporate. For South Fulton and Chatt Hills residents, the vote is five months away. Without new legislation by the General Assembly, the window of opportunity to create the new cities will be closed.

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