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General Assembly of Georgia Legislative Changes Impacting Annexation – 2022

October 20, 2022 | by Jim Elliott

During the 2022 Regular Session of the General Assembly of Georgia, the Legislature enacted legislation that impacts annexation. The following is a summary of those statutory amendments which became effective on July 1, 2022:

Act 778; HB 1385

This Act revises annexation reporting requirements to require the provision of reports to the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office of the General Assembly in addition to the Department of Community Affairs. It further requires the submission of a digital shapefile of the annexed area with such reports. In addition, the legislation provides for regional commissions to assist certain municipalities in the production of such digital shapefiles.

The Act amends Ga. Code Ann. §§ 36-36-3, 59, and 92.

Effective July 1, 2022.

Act 785; HB 1461

This legislation revises provisions relating to dispute resolution between cities and counties arising from proposed annexation, including notice and deadlines, and provides additional grounds for counties to object to an annexation. The Act revises qualifications for arbitration panel members and revises per diem allowances for such members; it also provides for court reporters and hearing officers during arbitrations. It further revises provisions relating to sharing the costs of arbitration and provides for definitions, rules, and regulations. Virtual and teleconference arbitration meetings are specifically authorized, as are arbitration finding which are to be sent to the Department of Community Affairs, to create a data base and regular reports on arbitration findings. The Act extends the period of a zoning ‘freeze’ following an arbitration during which the cities is prohibited from changing the zoning. It also revises provisions regarding the notice municipalities must provide to counties regarding annexation applications. Finally, the legislation provides for written notice of public hearings to property owners in proposed areas of annexation under certain circumstances.

The Act amends Ga. Code Ann. §§ 36-36-6, 36, 111, 113, 114, 115, 117, 118, and 119 and enacts Ga. Code Ann. § 36-36-110.1.

Effective July 1, 2022.

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