Brookhaven isn’t the first city to come along here
DeKalb County resident Tom Reilly collected this map of the city of North Atlanta when he was a boy living in the village.
A municipality called North Atlanta once operated in the area that some residents now want to incorporate as a new city called Brookhaven.
North Atlanta, called variously a Village or a City, was incorporated by a DeKalb Superior Court judge in 1924 under an 1872 law that later was repealed, according to a newspaper report published in 1983.
The city, writer Richard Atkinson reported in The Atlanta Journal, got little respect. Its post office was called Brookhaven. Chamblee once moved a city limits sign into North Atlanta’s territory and took seven years to move it back, Atkinson said. A 1955 lawsuit challenged the city’s legal existence, but the residents won that round.
For the most part, North Atlanta’s elected officials seemed to concern themselves with typical matters of a small city – zoning, development, traffic. Then, in 1963, the city fathers found something new to fret about.
They asked the state Legislature to clear up concerns about North Atlanta’s ability to amend its unusual charter by holding a referendum allowing voters to either adopt a new charter or stick with the old one. The Legislature threw the City Council a curve and included a third option: Vote the town out of existence.
The voters went with option three. In 1965, after a couple of years of legal wrangling, the city of North Atlanta went out of business.