Where is Tucker?

I hear all kinds of statements about Tucker and its history, and what it should look like as a city. Some of the statements make a lot of sense. Some are understandable to anyone.  Most people wouldn't argue with the point that Tucker should be a city. But some of the statements are rather gross logical leaps, and maybe hurt the real argument.

1.      People talk all the time about Tucker having its own zip code – 30084. They point out that a lot of the businesses have a mailing address Tucker GA 30084. But the existence of a zip code doesn’t mean it’s relevant.  And the claim seems to be that because there is a zip code, it’s acceptable to claim any part of it, and anything else; and to exclude any part not wanted. What?  You can look up 30084 on google maps; a few problems with the use of 30084 are:

·         It contains a lot of area in Gwinnett County – well past Jimmy Carter

·         The ITP area takes in most of the parking lot of Briarcliff Village, but only the Panera end of the shopping center (not Publix, Office Depot)

·         It includes nothing north of La Vista except the Blue Ribbon triangle and the Briarcliff Village parking lot area, and lots of residential (which is excluded from the Tucker city map)

·         It excludes the Wells Fargo and BP area south of La Vista

·         It includes a large area of residential property south of La Vista, which the Tucker map excludes

·         It doesn’t include Smoke Rise in the south

·         It doesn’t include Evansdale or Pleasantdale in the north.

Can anyone say "cherry-picking"?

2.      Another argument for the existence of the Tucker community is all the “community events”, like Tucker Days, the Christmas party, Tucker HS.  Clearly there’s a community. In presentations, show lots of photos of kids enjoying themselves.  But none of those events have been anywhere near Northlake Mall or ITP. They are all in the historic Tucker area – near Main Street. The fact that there is community involvement somewhere doesn’t create the right to claim something else.

3.      There is also talk about Tucker being a recognized Census Designated Place (CDP). However, the CDP does not go inside the perimeter, and has no relation to the proposed Tucker map. Yes there’s a CDP, but the proposed map of the City of Tucker isn’t it.

4.      Tucker has a long history because of the RR stop. But that’s a specific limited area on the map. None of that history goes much beyond a mile from Local 7.

5.      Some merchants in the Northlake area want to join the Tucker Community Improvement District (CID), and change the name to Tucker/Northlake – or is it Northlake/Tucker. (Two names is a hint.)  But the real issue is that the CID has no relationship to a city; it has no relationship to the proposed map of Tucker; and the existing Tucker CID only goes to the perimeter. The fact that a CID can extend into another area means absolutely nothing.

6.      There has been a “scientific survey” of people inside the proposed Tucker map, asking people if they think Northlake Mall should be part of their city. Well duh!  If you do a survey in the Oak Grove area and asked if Target and the Northlake Parkway OTP area and the Emory Orthopedic Hospital should be part of our city, they’d say yes. The fact that the affected people would like to have something isn’t a basis for saying it should happen. If they had asked in the survey if Graves Park, Heritage Park and Lucky Shoals Park should be part of the city, people would have said yes. Throw in Gwinnett Crossing shopping center. Do I hear a yes?


I forget from my college logic course, but there’s a whole bunch of logical fallacies there. Yes Tucker is a community. No, it’s not west of I-285.


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Cheryl Miller January 12, 2014 at 06:27 PM
And.... you also need to remember, Tucker residents have stated many times that they do not share the same concerns as the Lakeside advocates. Our biggest issue was the hostile takeover, not any of the other things that are now on our docket of services. I don't even know where they expect to find candidates to run for the elections.... we'll have to dig deep and turn some good people into politicians, I suppose. (What a shame!)
mind springy January 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM
I live ITP, east of Henderson Mill Rd. I'm in the Lakeside HS district, my zip is 30345. I'm not understanding why my neighborhood is in the proposed city of Tucker. I don't want to be in it. I very much doubt that others in my situation want to be in city of Tucker.
doddave January 13, 2014 at 11:28 AM
rwf: 1. I've heard Tucker people talking over and over about how they have their own post office and zip code (the post office recognizes Tucker). 2. Nobody questions the existence of an active Tucker community; the thing everyone knows is that it's in one area, not over the entire central DeKalb county. 3. The Tucker CDP comes up repeatedly in Tucker presentations and comments (e"ven the federal government recognizes Tucker"). 4.Train stations are important historical landmarks, and are frequently the area where a city is located -- like Tucker. 5. The CIP is changing its name from Tucker to Tucker-Northlake (or whatever), precisely because the Northlake businesses do not see themselves as part of Tucker. 6. The repeated statement of Herman and others is that no one has a "claim" on property, and the way to design a city should be to define obvious, logical borders. The fact that someone in Tucker now wants to include Northlake in its city proposal because they need the money is no excuse for cherry picking. Cherry picking by Tucker is the same as cherry picking by Lakeside.
mikeatl January 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM
A quote from the earlier 2006 Tucker feasibility study -- page 1: Executive Summary Purpose "Tucker is situated outside of Atlanta’s Interstate 285 beltline highway (called “the Perimeter”) "
mikeatl January 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Another quote from 2006: "there will be an increased demand for both housing and business locations in Tucker, inasmuch as Tucker is both outside the perimeter (Interstate 285) and still close-in"
mikeatl January 13, 2014 at 11:41 AM
One more quote from 2006: "Therefore, we recommend that advocates for Tucker’s incorporation consider drawing the city boundaries to capture commercial, hotel, and alcohol serving restaurants. The Northlake Mall business district and portions of Lawrenceville Highway house these businesses and their inclusion into the boundaries of Tucker will lessen the need for residential taxes."
mikeatl January 13, 2014 at 11:42 AM
What do you know! They took the advice. If you grab Northlake, your residential property taxes will be lower. That's the only reason for this nonsense.
Ralph January 13, 2014 at 12:27 PM
It's difficult if not impossible to define boundaries for unincorporated communities. Everyone has their own opinions on where they should be. Instead of arguing about where they are, discuss where they should be for a new proposed city. Historical guidelines are not really helpful. Same applies to the other proposed cities
newsydon January 13, 2014 at 12:40 PM
mike: that unfortunately is the whole thrust of the tucker group. tucker should be a city, the borders they concocted to get some more money are nuts. tucker's growth is east -- into gwinnett county, not west into itp. they know that, and i'll bet they're already planning on the annexation. if they'd be realistic about the starting point, they'd get more in the end.
newsydon January 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM
ralph: i agree. city boundaries should not be about feelings or money grabbing. tucker can support itself as tucker. it doesn't have to be tucker-northlake. adding northlake completely changes the community. northlake becomes the real activity center.
Herman Lorenz January 14, 2014 at 08:43 AM
Just to add to the comments. I know very few people who don't think that Tucker is a legitimate "place". I know few (at least one) who doesn't think it makes sense to create a city there. The question has never been whether Tucker is a great place; or whether they have an active community; or whether they're good folks; or whether there are articulate leaders in the community. The only question is what should be the geography and design of the cities in the central DeKalb area. Many of us feel that unless there is a clear structure that a majority of legislators can immediately understand, the result is likely to be a delay, and possibly worse. Don't forget that one of the proposals in the legislature is to let the legislature itself, or the county commission, decide how to divide the county into cities. Talk about worst case scenarios.
Ralph January 14, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Herman - I don't think the legislature is interested in drawing boundaries, and they will not do that. My belief is that if presented with bills for proposed cities with overlapping boundaries, the committee will not consider any of them, but tell DeKalb to come back when they can agree on what they want to do. And I don't blame them. They have other things to do than haggle over boundaries of proposed cities.
Herman Lorenz January 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM
Ralph: That's one of my points. Somehow there has to be an agreement among the different groups for a set of understandable borders. If not, the only thing that's going to happen is annexations by existing cities. I'm not sure that's in the interest of any of the proposed city groups. Clarkston could "claim" the area around Lawrenceville Hwy, both ITP and OTP; Stone Mountain could take the commercial areas around Smoke Rise, and west of their current boundaries. Lilburn could come west to the county line; then cross it. Hoping for nothing to happen is not a real thoughtful solution.
irishslider January 14, 2014 at 03:15 PM
Speaking of zip code arguments, someone older and wiser than I am told me a long time ago that what is now the generally-known Tucker area was once served out of the Stone Mountain post office. Is that true?
El Bra-Taz January 14, 2014 at 05:34 PM
I think it's laughable how so many people are squabbling over what is and isn't Tucker. The real question should be why should I, as one of many people who frequently shops and dines in the Tucker/Northlake area, but lives outside the proposed borders of LS and Briarcliff, be forced to pay taxes to support your city?
Jim Tackett January 14, 2014 at 05:40 PM
Huh? Are you --really-- saying we as consumers should be avoiding shopping in any store outside of our immediate tax district?
Longerthanu January 14, 2014 at 08:06 PM
El Bra-Taz: so you don't shop or dine in any city?
newsydon January 15, 2014 at 08:26 AM
this whole "where we shop; where we go to school; where we go to church" stuff is nonsense. we shop for different things in different places; most of us don't go to school (and by the way, going back in the history of tucker, we didn't used to go to the same schools before either); we go to churches all over the place, including in lilburn and alpharetta.
Cheryl Miller January 15, 2014 at 09:53 PM
Annexations still require a vote of the people who live in the area the city wants to annex, right?
Cheryl Miller January 16, 2014 at 06:05 AM
Today, I read the Rwf claims that I am the only person using the zip code designation in discussions about Tucker, when in fact, it was the Tucker Civic Association that first approved the use of the zip code boundary for study of incorporation in 2006. The full report is here: http://www.tuckercivic.org/docs/IncorpPrelimFeasRept.pdf. And, it would be common sense that anyone pro-Tucker would clearly be able to prove claims of being a defined community if they were to point to their single defined zip code as indication of clear boundaries. I don't think you are going to convince too many people that zip codes don't matter. It might not be the entire basis of a city, but it does define a sentiment of where you live. It's part of your address and mine says 'Tucker.'
Cheryl Miller January 16, 2014 at 06:15 AM
newsdon, Lakeside started the whole city thing here with "Live, Work, Play, Shop, Worship." Tucker isn't creating these things out of thin air. We've mostly been responding to claims that others are making about why they deserve parts of Tucker or why Tucker doesn't deserve something else. To call Tucker landgrabbers (or suggest it as this article does) is laughable as Tucker residents never even asked to be a city in the first place. This is all a domino effect in an echo chamber.
mikeatl January 16, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Cheryl: This time you're right. And not just the TCA, but the zip code has been used repeatedly. I think you're right about the 2006 study too; the population was around 25,000. I really wish there had been a "pure" Tucker proposal, built around Main Street. That would have made the city issue a done deal, and would always leave the opportunity to move in any direction later. I don't want Lakeside, but I also don't think they'll win a referendum (unless no one shows up). And I don't agree with them any more than you about the simplistic description of a city. In real life, none of us work in the same areas. None of us have the same recreational activities -- and what we do is all over the place. We all shop wherever it seems like a good idea -- I know people who go to Callaway Gardens for plants, and there's a restaurant in Elijay that says they get lots of people from the Atlanta area. And worship -- give me a break. I know a guy who goes to the Hindu temple in Lilburn. One family goes to the Mormon tabernacle in Sandy Springs. Most of the Jewish folks around here go to Merry Hills (interesting for the Lakeside management to use that example). Somebody in our neighborhood was pushing Andy Stanley in Alpharetta.
Cheryl Miller January 16, 2014 at 06:09 PM
That's crazy... I recently met a woman who worked at a McDonald's near Blue Ridge who drives to Tucker every Sunday to attend church.
Cheryl Miller January 16, 2014 at 06:12 PM
We are really suburbs of Atlanta, as it has always been, in my opinion. Not far enough out to be cities, not close enough in to be called "Atlanta." Except for a few coveted zip codes in DeKalb ... and they actually want to become something else? I remember when the Atlanta address was what people would pay extra for (and a 404 area code). When I decided to "settle down," I had to choose between the flashy (spending on myself) or the practical (saving for my child and her future). Tucker is practical and I like it that way.
Ralph January 16, 2014 at 09:38 PM
I don't think they want to be something else as much as they want local control away from the DeKalb County commission and government over some aspects of the lives. And I agree with them. It's time to incorporate.
Cheryl Miller January 17, 2014 at 02:47 AM
Ralph, who are you talking about?
Jim Tackett January 17, 2014 at 09:43 AM
Exactly Ralph. You get it. We aren't trying to change, we're trying to hold on to what we have. Stop the down slide, and hopefully make it better. We're all trying to incorporate because WE know best how to manage OUR own community. We want more say in how OUR funds are managed. We are tired of leaving the decisions for what's best for our neighborhoods in the hands of people of questionable ethics who don't live around here, or don't care. The REAL "do-ers" out there -- homeowners, parents and community activists -- want more involvement and personal responsibility for our area, not leaving it to Big Govt to 'do what's best for us' while we sit back and let them, let's just say, 'mismanage' our tax dollars.
Ralph January 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM
Cheryl - The "they" I meant are the same people you meant when you said "and they actually want to become something else?"
newsydon January 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM
people keep talking as if the post office defines anything. do you *really* want to say that? do you seriously want cities designed around zip codes? i get mail addressed to northlake ga; at least one store in the northlake area gets mail addressed to tucker ga. does that mean that we should create two cities like that? read the earlier post in this blog about "where are we, and does the post office really have anything to do with that"
mikeatl January 21, 2014 at 04:03 PM
Jim. Amen to your comment about what everyone around here seems to want. I want the county government split up and marginalized. I also would like the school system changed back to an area control.


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