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21 June 2016

Fulton County Cowers Away From Annexation Objection After College Park Takes Them to Court

Fulton County blinked.

College Park stared down the governing authority of Georgia's largest county, and Fulton County blinked.

Fulton County Commissioners voted to withdraw their objection to College Park's proposed annexation of 184 acres along Buffington Road in unincorporated south Fulton County. Fulton County's change of heart came a day after College Park filed suit in court seeking to stop the pending City of South Fulton referendum.

State lawmakers passed House Bill 514, giving residents in unincorporated south Fulton the option of becoming a new city, earlier this year. The bill, signed into law by Governor Deal, authorizes a November referendum. The legislation also gives residents until 1 July 2016 to annex out of the proposed city.

College Park is among the cities nearby the proposed City of South Fulton that received annexation requests from property owners wanting to avoid the unknown of a new municipality.

College Park, in its lawsuit, says Fulton County objected to the 184-acre annexation in bad faith in an attempt to delay the city's vote on the annexation petitions beyond the July 1, 2016 deadline in House Bill 514.

The lawsuit is currently pending in Fulton County Superior Court.

Following Fulton County's retreat, College Park moved to quickly annex the land in question. The property, valued at $32 million, was annexed by the College Park City Council at its 20 June 2016.