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Cityhood bill for Dunwoody gets the ax

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County won't be getting a new neighbor just yet.

A bill that would have let Dunwoody decide if it wants to become a city has been withdrawn until next year.

The community is in north DeKalb County, and its city limits would border Gwinnett County if people there choose to incorporate.

State Sen. Dan Weber, R-Dunwoody, said he will introduce the legislation again next year.

Weber said he nixed the bill Monday so the 39,000 residents in the area can learn more about cityhood.

"We just want to make sure everybody is educated on the issues," said Weber, who supports incorporation.

"We have accomplished a tremendous amount over the last four or five months, and this is just an effort to make sure everybody is on the same page - to slow things down a little bit.

"I think," Weber added, "there is clearly majority support for incorporation."

The bill would have let voters decide in 2007 if they want to form a city with a mayor and city council that would assume duties now handled by DeKalb County commissioners. Weber said pushing back the bill does not delay that timeframe.

The city would have almost 40,000 residents, and its boundaries would follow the Fulton and Gwinnett County lines to the west and north. To the east it would rub against the city of Doraville, and Interstate 285 would generally form its southern border.

Proponents say a city government would let area residents have greater control over zoning and how land is developed, and it would get government services equal to the taxes it pays - something they say is not happening with DeKalb County.

In October, a homeowners network in Peachtree Corners polled its members about turning the community between Norcross and the Chattahoochee River into a city of roughly 15,000.

Those in the United Peachtree Corners Civic Association overwhelmingly said they had no interest in making a municipality.

A feasibility study that analyzed three cities, including Duluth, reported Dunwoody residents would have to pay more in property taxes if they want city services comparable to those municipalities.

Weber said keeping the same level of services provided by DeKalb County would not require residents to pay more in property taxes than they do now.