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09 October 2013

State Representative Preparing New City of South Fulton Bill for 2014 Legislative Session

If state Representative Roger Bruce (D - Atlanta) gets his way, residents of unincorporated south Fulton County will be voting to incorporate in 2014.

Bruce tells Georgia Unfiltered he is currently drafting legislation to allow unincorporated south Fulton voters another opportunity to form a new city; the City of South Fulton.

"The legislation is still a work in process," Bruce said. "It should be ready in a few weeks. It will be introduced in January."

With an estimated population of 87,628, unincorporated south Fulton represents about 9.5% of the total Fulton County population. A wave of municipalization between 2005 and 2007 --resulting in the new cities of Chattahoochee Hills, Johns Creek, Milton, and Sandy Springs-- left south Fulton standing alone as the only unincorporated area in Georgia's largest county.

Six years ago, unincorporated south Fulton County was asked if they wanted to become the City of South Fulton. The answer was a loud no, with 85% rejecting the proposed city.

This time, pro-city supporters hope the 2014 referendum results will be different. But first, they must get the referendum on the ballot. A legislative hurdle may prevent that, however.

Traditionally, proposed cities have been shepherded through the General Assembly on a two-year cycle. Bills to create new cities were introduced in odd-numbered years, and voted upon in even-numbered years. Georgia's newest city, Brookhaven, followed this path; being introduced in 2011, and passed in 2012. State Representative Roger Bruce hopes he can convince other lawmakers to waive the two-year requirement for the proposed City of South Fulton.

"We will be seeking an exception to the two year committee rule," Bruce says.