Brookhaven-Chamblee Annexation Fight Draws Big-Name Lawyers
A small-town fight over commercial annexation has drawn some big-name lawyers.
Former Gov. Roy Barnes is represented the 15-month-old city of Brookhaven in its dispute with Chamblee over which municipality may annex the 100-acre complex of offices off Clairmont Road in northeast DeKalb County known as Century Center.
Chamblee’s lawyer is former DeKalb district attorney Bob Wilson of Wilson, Morton & Downs, and Century Center is represented by Holland & Knight partner Robert Highsmith, who sits on the governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission.
The fight began this summer after Brookhaven’s city council voted to annex the office complex despite Chamblee’s planned Nov. 5 referendum to annex the same property. Chamblee secured local legislation during the last session of the Georgia General Assembly authorizing the public vote.
Earlier this month, the Georgia Supreme Court decided that Brookhaven could vote on the annexation but did not indicate whether the fledgling city’s vote would trump Chamblee’s efforts.
On Oct. 28, DeKalb Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie ruled that Brookhaven may not annex Century Center unless Chamblee’s referendum fails.
Brookhaven has vowed to appeal Barrie’s order, which stated that “annexation by referendum through a local act takes precedent over any other alternative method of annexation,” according to an article published Oct. 29 in the Dunwoody Crier.