Voters in Chamblee on Nov. 5 decided to annex land that includes the Century Center office park into their city, but there are still legal questions about the annexation that remain unresolved.
Voters approved the annexation 61 percent to 38 percent.
It was the city’s second opportunity to annex the unincorporated portion of DeKalb County.
After the Chamblee annexation referendum failed by a slim margin in 2012, state legislators gave voters another shot by putting the measure back on the ballot in 2013.
This time around, the annexation initiative has been clouded by controversy surrounding the Century Center office park near Clairmont Road and I-85. Brookhaven City Council voted Oct. 8 to annex the property, which was already included as part of the annexation area established in the Chamblee referendum.
The cities of Chamblee and Brookhaven have been in and out of court arguing over the rights to annex the large, tax-rich commercial property.
DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie ruled Oct. 28 that Brookhaven could not annex the property unless the Chamblee referendum failed, citing Georgia code that says local governments cannot interfere with the authority of the Georgia General Assembly, which created the Chamblee annexation referendum.
Brookhaven officials appealed the ruling in Georgia Supreme Court the next day.
The high court has sided with Brookhaven once before. On Aug. 16, Barrie issued an injunction barring Brookhaven officials from voting to annex Century Center until an Oct. 24 hearing. The city appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the DeKalb judge did not have the authority to interfere with the City Council’s legislative process. The ruling allowed the City Council to vote, but upheld the rest of the injunction.
– Staff writer Melissa Weinman contributed to this report