Peachtree Corners is now Gwinnett County's newest city, the first since the City of Berkeley Lake incorporated and became the county's 15th city in 1956.
There are a lot of questions about the new city, and we've taken our questions to Mark Middleton, an attorney and long-time resident of Peachtree Corners to help with the answers.
1. When does Peachtree Corners officially become a city? The referendum that passed was on the question of “Shall the Act incorporating the City of Peachtree Corners in Gwinnett County according to the charter be approved." With that approval, the city is technically incorporated, which means we are a city. However, we don’t have a government until the mayor and city council are elected in March. They will have authority to begin governing immediately, but at the same time we are protected by a transition period that keeps county ordinances and contracts in place until the new government decides otherwise.
2. When is the date that property taxes, etc., will begin accruing? The millage rate which is used to calculate the amount of property tax will be determined by a vote of the city council. The amount will be known far in advance of receipt of the tax bills in September.
3. When can I change the address on my driver's license and other state or county documents? Could be anytime, but it requires the cooperation of the post office, county and state agencies.
4. I'm interested in running for one of the council member positions. What is the process? The county commission will set the qualifying period and fees at their Nov. 15 meeting. Candidates will then qualify for one of the six posts and for mayor. Three of the seats serve a defined district, three are at-large, and the mayor is at-large. All elections require a majority of the votes, which means there will be runoffs if no one candidate gets a majority on the first ballot. In addition to qualifying, each candidate must file a campaign entity with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission (formerly Georgia Ethics Commission) before raising money and making campaign expenditures.
5. What are the city limits? The boundaries are in the charter and are basically defined by the boundaries of the adjacent municipalities and counties. Those boundaries may be changing slightly as Norcross and Berkeley Lake attempt to annex property along these borders. After the government is established, the city clerk will keep an official map and legal description that is to be made available to citizens at any time.
6. When will the signs go up that say "Peachtree Corners City Limits?" As soon as authorized by the city council.
7. My current city address shows Norcross (or Duluth). Do I have to change the city name in my address? According to the U.S. Postal Service, you may continue using your current address and city name, just make sure the ZIP code is correct on your mail to ensure delivery.
8: Do we have approval from the U.S. Department of Justice to proceed with our elections? Yes. Under the Voting Rights Act, elections in all southern states must be pre-cleared by the federal government. The Attorney General of Georgia recently received notice that the city complied with the federal Voting Rights Act and we are cleared to proceed with the municipal elections in March.
A lot of answers involving cityhood have already been provided in articles and blogs that were posted on Patch prior to the referendum vote. Use our Search function located on the top right area of our homepage and enter the word "cityhood" which will provide access to all previous information on the subject. If you have other questions involving the new City of Peachtree Corners, please enter your question in the comments box below or send me an email.
Editor's note: Mark Middleton is an attorney and has lived in Peachtree Corners for 11 years with his wife Lynne, and their three children. He has been active in the community by serving the Norcross Christian Learning Center, , and coaching youth sports at . He recently served as a legal advisor to the Peachtree Corners Yes! city effort.