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Posted by on November 17, 2011.

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a Village or a City, was incorporated by a DeKalb Superior Court judge in 1924 under an 1872 law that later was repealed, according to a newspaper report published in 1983.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.

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