Lovejoy to consider annexation

By Justin Boron

Lovejoy could bring 49 acres and a planned 160-lot development into the city if it approves an annexation and rezoning scheduled to be heard at 7:30 p.m. today at City Hall.

The added property, west of U.S. Highway 19/41 and south of Lovejoy Road, would add up to about 200 acres of annexed property in the last four years in a city that has exploded with residential and commercial development in the last two years, sometimes, to the ire of its neighbors in the unincorporated and largely rural panhandle region of Clayton County.

Mayor Joe Murphy, who also works as the county assistant director of community development, has said that annexation can make the city more powerful, broadening its tax base and becoming a more influential city among the five other municipalities within the county.

Trish Pittman and several other members of the neighborhood association in the unincorporated Summer Creek subdivision say they are concerned about the creeping city limits.

In particular, Pittman said she doubts the city's ability to provide services like garbage, law enforcement, and fire.

"Our quality of life will be so adversely affected," Pittman said.

She also questioned whether Murphy's position with the county was a conflict of interest.

"Apparently, the past Board of Commissioners had made this appointment," Pittman said. "Now, we have someone in a position who would have a much greater interest in meeting his personal needs and that of his city, rather than caring anything at all about the long range development plans of this county."

James Baune, the owner and developer of the 49 acres, said the planned commuter rail station and commercial development anchored by Wal-Mart made the property an attractive place for the subdivision.

He said the aesthetics of the homes would be stucco and brick.

Baune also has a planned 42-unit town home development in Stockbridge and a 328-unit subdivision in Albany.