Proposed City of Vista Grove moves into next phase

We have some very good news to share - We have moved into the next phase of our efforts to plan for our community’s future.

Georgia House Representative Tom Taylor has introduced a bill that will allow citizens to vote on the creation of a City of Vista Grove.

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia recently completed a feasibility study for the proposed city which determined that a City of Vista Grove could operate with an estimated $10-million budget surplus while offering a range of services, including police, planning and zoning, parks and roads.

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Designing Our Future

Planning a Better Future for Vista Grove

If we are to meet the challenges of tomorrow in our North DeKalb community, we need the ability to innovate, to plan locally and long-term, and to implement those plans. Safe intersections, beautiful and walkable/bikable streetscapes, an expanding network of parks, greenspace and trails, and a vibrant and lively mix of uses in our commercial areas do not happen by accident. These good things happen when a community has a smart, comprehensive plan, and the citizen energy and dedicated local resources to support it.

In Brookhaven, Tucker, and Chamblee, citizens have provided input to their city governments that is reflected in very specific and comprehensive 20-year plans. Those plans are coupled with budgets and action plans to accomplish those long-term goals —funding additional sidewalks, acquiring additional parks and improving and adapting existing ones, and making public spaces safe, beautiful and vibrant.

Our area (and the proposed City of Vista Grove) is ready for that kind of vision and dedicated long-term planning. We understand that the wonderful aspects of our community require our volunteer efforts and engagement, and require sustained attention. Doing nothing, and simply allowing ad hoc uses, does not work. For instance, visitors to certain portions of the Clairmont Road area just off I-85 near Briarcliff see cracked asphalt lots, shuttered businesses and junked cars instead of the sidewalks, trees, restaurants, and stores that such a key corridor should support.

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Legislative Track - Moving Forward!

Legislative Track Moving Forward — Continue to Call and E-mail Legislators

Thank you for your continued interest in improving our amazing community. With your help, we can move forward with the next steps of our effort: the release of a feasibility study and the introduction of a bill in the General Assembly to permit citizens to vote on making Vista Grove a city.

The bill will be comprised of the city charter and a map, developed logically with your support and community input. The map will generally track the boundaries you see on our website, with some variation because the legislature builds maps with a special format (combining individual census blocks, which does not permit the fine-grained precision of a block-by-block parcel map).

We expect to have a completed feasibility study available in under two weeks. Based on what we know about the strong tax base in our region, we anticipate that the analysis will confirm that a City of Vista Grove is not only feasible but economically strong and able to support a range of services. We want our local legislators to know that, and to support and co-sponsor the bill.

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We live in Vista Grove!

Research and our own experience tells us that being part of a cohesive community makes us happier and improves our quality of life. Part of that cohesion comes from having a civic identity, from being citizens of Vista Grove.

Defining the place itself is certainly part of that. We share a community built around shared school, church, and recreational activities but can’t easily answer the question, “Where do you live?”

Rather than mentioning a street, intersection, or vague geographic descriptor (“North Decatur area, near Mercer, around Lavista,” etc.), we know from friends in neighboring cities about the pride and sense of belonging that can come from having a defined name.

“We live in Vista Grove!” — and with that, we evoke the social trust associated with a community that is connected.

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Happy New Year Vista Grove!

Hello Vista Grove Friends! We hope your holiday season has been a joyous and meaningful one. At our December 21 town hall meeting in Embry Hills, we had a terrific group of friends and community members come together, sharing their ideas, hopes, and vision for the future. And as a means of furthering this vision — of connecting our community and energizing citizen participation — we’ve continued to receive very positive support for a potential City of Vista Grove. Here is a short distillation of thoughts on the topic, based on feedback we’ve received to date.

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What are the advantages of incorporation for Vista Grove?

Why should Vista Grove be a city? We know given the incorporation of so much of not only neighboring metro counties and across DeKalb, that the default governance model is the city partnering with the county. It is not a matter of if, it it is a matter of "when and how" our area becomes a city through incorporation or annexation into another city, and we have uniformly heard our residents express wish to have some control over that process. Rather than being acted upon, they want themselves to define a compelling future for our community. In addition, recent history and experience teach that there are other important advantages, discussed below.

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Great Things Happening in Vista Grove

Hello Vista Grove friends and happy summer! With your help, we've continued to be very busy since our last round of town hall meetings and gatherings listening -- listening to your stories about what the Vista Grove area means to you; listening to the kinds of community services you'd like to see improved local government offer; and listening to your ideas about how we work together to keep this incredible community safe and strong now, and for many years to come. Here's what's next...

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