The 2021-2022 Legislative Session's House Bill 1461 made changes to the statutes that govern the annexation process in O.C.G.A. 36-36-110, et seq. One of the changes directed DCA to develop rules governing the operations and procedures of the annexation arbitration process. You can find those rules, here.
The arbitration process uses a five-person panel of arbiters composed of two city elected officials, two county elected officials, and one academic. DCA administers the appointment of the panels, and maintains three pools of trained volunteers to serve on the panels.
The process begins when a County is notified of a proposed annexation by the City. Within 45 days of receipt of this notice, the County may file an objection to the annexation with the City, and request DCA provide an arbitration panel. The panel is convened to decide only one case, usually, and then is disbanded.
The decisions made by the arbitration panel are dictated by the statute and focus on the impact on the county of the proposed change in land use and whether the county has acted consistently. The panel is not authorized to approve or deny any particular annexation proposal, but may decide to attach zoning, land use or density conditions to the property in question, which will remain in force for two years. The panel’s decision is binding on all parties, including the property owner; however, the decision may be appealed to a court of law.
See the links below for further information on the law, rules, and volunteer panels. Additional links are provided to the Standard Forms for Annexation Arbitration for use by Counties when requesting a panel, and by volunteers interested in serving as panelists.
The Carl Vinson Institute of Government periodically offers training for Annexation Arbitration Panels.
Interested persons must fall into one of three categories:
1) Academic: People with a masters degree or higher in public administration or community planning and who are currently employed by a college or university in Georgia (excluding the Carl Vinson Institute of Government);
2) Municipal: People who are currently – or within the previous six years have been – municipal elected officials; or
3) County: People who are currently – or within the previous six years have been – county elected officials.
Please contact CVIOG for more information