New Buckhead cityhood legislation filed in Georgia Senate

Another push is underway to make one of Atlanta’s most prosperous communities its own city.
Senate Bill 114, sponsored by nine GOP state senators, is the latest effort to incorporate the community.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 8:22 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:20 AM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Yet another movement to turn Atlanta’s prosperous Buckhead community into its own city has been introduced in the Georgia General Assembly.

Senate Bill 114, sponsored by nine GOP state senators, is the latest effort to incorporate the community.

The group behind the push vowed last year to not give up despite the issue not moving forward during the last legislative session.

Julie Loppacher called Atlanta home for a number of years. She’s not surprised by the proposed legislation.

“I think I always viewed and some of the circles, my community, we thought of Buckhead has its own city. So this doesn’t surprise me at all that they’re thinking about it now,” said Loppacher.

RELATED: Buckhead cityhood supporters vow to keep fighting

Last year, then-Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and then-Speaker David Ralston signaled they would not support a Buckhead cityhood measure.

This year, however, both the House and Senate are under new leadership. Lt. Gov. Burt Jones won the lieutenant governorship last year when Duncan chose not to run for re-election. Ralston passed away last year, and state Rep. Jon Burns is the new speaker.

RELATED: More than 30 Buckhead businesses write letter to lawmakers to stop Buckhead City legislation

Read the Buckhead cityhood legislation below.

Crime continues to be a driving force behind the cityhood movement. However, last year, the Atlanta police department opened a new Buckhead precinct in the heart of the community’s business district.

“The efforts around communication with Buckhead, and working on our public safety, making sure that we’re available for garbage pick up, for paving the roads, all the nuts and bolts of government is led to Buckhead, being more satisfied,” said Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens during a roundtable discussion last week.

In a statement on Wednesday to Atlanta News First, Bill White of the Buckhead City Committee thanked donors and volunteers for helping to get the new bill off the ground.

“All we are asking for is for the right to VOTE on our destiny this November (like so many cities have before us including the newly formed city of Mableton) and when successful implementing our plans that will vastly improve public safety & the quality of life for Buckhead residents, and ultimately for Atlanta & the entire metro ATL. We thank the thousands of donors, volunteers, and tens of thousands of voters and the real small businesses of Buckhead for their extraordinary support.”

The new bill also outlines what a Buckhead City mayor could make in an annual salary. If approved by the proposed city’s council, Buckhead’s mayor could make as much as $225,000. White says they looked at other similar cities, like Beverly Hills for guidance. He noted the mayoral position would be fulltime.

If lawmakers vote to pass the bill, it would head for a public vote in November.