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Public hearing set for Stonecrest cityhood

LITHONIA – Stonecrest is striving for cityhood.

Members of the DeKalb House and Senate delegation will host a public hearing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 for representatives from Stonecrest to present studies on why the community should become a separate governing body.

Stonecrest is joined by three others — Tucker, Briarcliff and Lakeside — which are the proposed cities that will present during the public hearing.

“The meeting will give those in DeKalb County a chance to hear from the proposed cities on their studies completed and learn about the economic impact on the area,” said state Rep. Dar’shun N. Kendrick, DeKalb House delegation secretary.

The format for the public hearing is as follows:

• Proponents will present in alphabetical order;

• Proponents will have 45 minutes to present, including question and answer time;

• Powerpoint presentations are allowed as well as printed material to be given to the delegation members;

• There will be no time for opponents or the public to make comments.

A group called Stonecrest City Alliance wants to create the city from a vast scope of unincorporated Lithonia that includes the 1.3 million-square-foot Mall at Stonecrest.

Kendrick said she anticipates group president Jason Lary to present the Stonecrest study at Thursday’s public hearing. Attempts to reach Lary before presstime were unsuccessful.

According to the group’s website, www.stonecrestcityalliance.org, the objective is to “investigate and educate the residences and businesses of the Stonecrest area regarding our self-governing options.”

Georgia lawmakers have to introduce legislation two years before a cityhood referendum is put up for a vote. Sen. Ronald Ramsey, D-Lithonia, who represents portions of DeKalb, Rockdale and Newton counties, introduced the placeholder bill SB 278 for Stonecrest in March, which was one of eight cityhood placeholder bills during the 2013-14 legislative session.