LaVista Park Cityhood Survey Results

The LaVista Park survey results have been tabulated. The survey was delivered to all 630 homes in LaVista Park, and was sent by email to all email addresses in our database. We used address to verify residency. Fortunately, we had NO duplicate addresses to research or disqualify. We had 208 online responses via Survey Monkey and 41 paper responses for a total of 249 responses which was a 39.5% participation rate.

Click here for a summary of the replies: LVP Survey Summary 2014Nov15

As detailed below, joining a new city, Briarcliff / Lakeside (“B/L”), appears to be the preferred choice of those responding to the survey.   When asked to rank their preferences on a scale of 1-4 (1=favorite, 4=least favorite) between the three city options and remaining unincorporated DeKalb County, B/L had the best (lowest) weighted average rating at 2.13. Annexation into Atlanta had the worst (highest) rating at 2.77.   B/L received the most ratings of 1 or 2 (first or second choice) as compared with the other options.  Unincorporated did get slightly more first place votes than did B/L, 74 to 70, but received far fewer second place votes, 35 to 93.

When asked to pick a favorite between B/L, Atlanta, or Brookhaven, the new city was chosen on 46.5% of the surveys. Atlanta (32.7%) and Brookhaven (20.8%) combined for 53.5%.

When asked to choose between B/L and Atlanta, the survey participants choose B/L almost 2-1 over annexation into Atlanta: 63.7% vs 36.3%.

These results have been communicated to the Briarcliff and Lakeside organizers.

My takeaways from this survey, which include reading the comments included on the replies, include:

  1. Remaining unincorporated is a very popular choice.   More survey respondents choose unincorporated as their first choice than any of the other three (B/L, Atlanta, Brookhaven). Additionally, based on comments, many respondents appeared to discount unincorporated as unrealistic as it appears not likely to be a long term option. Without that discounting, unincorporated may well have been the most popular survey choice.
  2. Annexation into the city of Atlanta came in last on every question. But those who are concerned about our future school districts, particularly if Atlanta does annex Druid Hills, Emory and Woodland Hills, favored Atlanta annexation to keep our school cluster together.
  3. Annexation into Brookhaven was not a particularly popular choice. But it was only recently that Brookhaven was even a consideration, and then only because of the Executive Park / CHoA applications for Brookhaven annexation. The idea of Brookhaven being an option is still very new.
  4. Having a chance to vote up or down on a new Dekalb City – Briarcliff / Lakeside – received the most support on this survey. B/L was a clear choice over annexation into Atlanta, but did not pull a majority against both Atlanta and Brookhaven. It did get the best weighted average score in the rate-your-preference on a scale of 1 to 4 question, but it did not get the highest number of first place votes.

Unresolved questions that, once answered, could indicate a need for a second survey include:

  1. If the Brookhaven annexation of Executive Park, CHoA, and Brighten Park (f/k/a Loehmann’s Plaza) goes through, we may have a real opportunity – as opposed to a theoretical one – to consider annexation into Brookhaven. For some in LaVista Park it is important, even vital, to be in the same jurisdiction as these large commercial properties in our “back yard.”
  2. If Druid Hills and Emory (“DH/E”) choose annexation into Atlanta over staying unincorporated, they will take with them the schools our neighborhood is currently assigned to, including Briar Vista Elementary and Druid Hills High. Fernbank Elementary would go to Atlanta also. This is significant as there is considerable collaboration between Fernbank and Briar Vista as well as Druid Hills. The schools to which LaVista Park children would likely then be assigned are NOT considered to be some of DeKalb County’s better schools.

The LVPCA Board is working diligently to influence Brookhaven to defer annexation decisions on Executive Park, etc. until after the Briarcliff / Lakeside proposals are approved or rejected by voters.   We are also trying to confirm the direction DH/E are likely to take. Noted that the Woodland Hills survey indicated a fairly strong preference for annexation into Atlanta. Our elementary school, Briar Vista, is located in Woodland Hills.

Further developments related to all of these decisions will be posted to Leaf Talk and / or communicated via email blasts.   Thanks to those who participated in the survey. We appreciate the responses and especially the comments. I encourage you to share any additional comments on Leaf Talk, as well as with our local county and state officials, and those in the City of Brookhaven.

Steve Richards

President, LVPCA

Nov 16, 2014

Posted in Leaf Talk

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