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The City of Lithonia is pursing annexation for neighboring parcels that have expressed interest in becoming a part of the Great City of Lithonia.


(O.C.G.A. § 36-36-1, § 36-36-15, § 36-36-16)

___x__ 1. Notice of intention to introduce a local Act has been advertised in the newspaper in which the sheriff’s advertisements for the locality affected has been published one time before the bill is introduced, but not more than 60 days prior to the convening date of the session at which the bill is introduced. O.C.G.A. § 28-1-14.

___x__ 2. A copy of the notice to introduce local legislation has been sent by the author to the governing authority of the county and the municipality affected by the annexation within the same calendar week of the publishing or within seven days of publishing. O.C.G.A. § 36-36-6, § 28-1-14, § 28-1-14.1, § 36-36-9.

_____ 3. An affidavit made by the author of the bill stating that the notice above has been given has been attached to the legislation. O.C.G.A. § 28-1-14.

_____ 4. Upon receipt of notice from the General Assembly, the governing authority of the municipality has forwarded a copy of the proposed legislation to the county governing authority via certified mail. O.C.G.A. § 36-36-6.

_____ 5. If more than 50 percent of the area proposed to be annexed is used for residential purposes, and the area is comprised of at least 500 people or contains more than 3 percent of the population of the affected municipality, a referendum approving the annexation has been held in the area to be annexed. O.C.G.A. § 36-36-16.

_____ 6. The city has filed an identification of the annexed land with the Department of Community Affairs and the county within 30 days of the last day of the quarter during which the annexation becomes effective. O.C.G.A. § 36-36-3, § 36-36-38.

Notices of Intention

Annexation Map

Annexation Study

What is Annexation?

Annexation is the procedure for bringing unincorporated county areas into a city limit boundary.

What are the Methods of Annexation?

Methods of Annexation

There are five methods of annexation. For additional details on annexation, the full text of Georgia's annexation statutes, case summaries, checklists and other materials on annexation, please see GMA's Growing Cities, Growing Georgia: A Guide to Georgia's Annexation Law.

100% Method

The 100% method allows property owners of all the land in an area to seek to have their property annexed into an adjacent city by signing a petition (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-20 et seq.). It is up to the city council to determine whether to annex the property or not. However, counties have the power to prevent the expansion of a city into their county for the first time using the 100% method (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-23(b)).

Land can also be deannexed from a city in response to a petition signed by all of the owners of the land seeking deannexation. It is prohibited for such a deannexation to create an unincorporated island. The decision whether to deannex an area is treated the same as a decision to annex by the 100% method and left to the discretion of the municipal governing authority.

60% Method

This method allows for petitioners representing owners of at least 60% of the property in the area to be annexed plus at least 60% of the resident electors in the area to be annexed to sign a petition to have their property annexed into an adjacent city. This method is available to cities with populations over 200 persons. The municipality is required to prepare a plan for servicing an area to be annexed and to hold a public hearing before adopting an ordinance annexing the area covered by the petition (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-30 et seq.; City of Riverdale v. Clayton County, 263 Ga.App. 672, 588 S.E.2d 845 (2003)). 

Resolution and Referendum

The resolution and referendum method provides for an election to be held in an area to determine if the area should be annexed. This method requires an agreement between the city and the county providing services in the area and a referendum of voters residing in the area to be annexed (O.C.G.A. §§ 36-36-57, -58; O.C.G.A. § 36-36-54(b)(4)). Municipalities may annex contiguous areas intended to be developed for "urban purposes" as well as areas in between the existing city limits and areas to be developed for "urban purposes." The municipality must prepare a plan for servicing the area to be annexed and hold a public hearing prior to the referendum. An area intended to be developed for "urban purposes" is defined as an area with a total resident population equal to at least two persons for each acre of land and an area subdivided into lots and tracts such that at least 60% of the total acreage consists of lots and tracts five acres or less in size and such that at least 60% of the total number of lots and tracts are one acre or less in size (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-54(c)-(d)).

Island Annexation

Municipalities with a population of 200 or more may unilaterally annex contiguous "unincorporated islands" (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-90 et seq.). "Unincorporated islands" are areas completely surrounded by one or more cities. To be eligible for this type of annexation the unincorporated island must have been such an island on January 1, 1991. All or any portion of such an unincorporated island may be annexed simply by the passage of an ordinance by the city council. The intent behind this authority is to allow cities to alleviate voting and service delivery issues caused by such areas.

Local Act of General Assembly

In addition to annexation by home rule, the Georgia General Assembly may change a municipality's boundaries and annex property into the municipal limits by enacting local legislation. Where more than 50% of an area proposed for annexation by local act is "used for residential purposes" and the number of residents to be annexed exceeds 3% of the city's current population or 500 people, whichever is less, a referendum on annexation must be held in the area to be annexed. "Used for residential purposes" means that the property is a lot or tract five acres or less in size on which is constructed a habitable dwelling unit (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-16).

Land can also be deannexed from a city by the legislature. Note that introduction of a local act of the General Assembly must be preceded by notice to the municipality affected and advertisement in the newspaper (O.C.G.A. § 28-1-4).

Procedural Considerations

Once property has been annexed, the city must file an identification of the annexed land with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and the county within 30 days of the last day of the quarter during which the annexation becomes effective (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-3; O.C.G.A § 36-36-38). The city must also send to DCA and the county a letter stating the city's intent to add the annexed area to maps provided by the United States Census Bureau during the next regularly scheduled boundary and annexation survey of the municipality (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-3(a)(3); O.C.G.A. § 36-36-3(g)). Additionally, the city must send to DCA a list identifying roadways, bridges, and rights-of-way on state routes that are annexed, including total mileage annexed (O.C.G.A. § 36-36-3(a)(4)). The addition of this information to the official census map is important for a variety of purposes, including redistricting.

Will I see an increase on my tax bill?

You will experience a slight increase ( estimated around 5.9%), if you annex to the City of Lithonia. There are some new taxes you will pay as a city resident; however, there are also taxes you are currently paying that will no longer apply. In return you will become a part of a city that can offer Community Policing, local voting, Stormwater fees that are used in  your area, New State of Art Senior Center, Police presence from your own Police Department, faster response time to 911 calls and much more.

Please see the example (PDF)