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The Cityhood Movement Is Defeated in Metro Atlanta

Three wealthy neighborhoods in Cobb County, Georgia, had sought to form new cities that would give them control of zoning amid a shortage of affordable housing. 

Cityhood signs in East Cobb, Georgia.
Cityhood signs in East Cobb, Georgia.Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg

The cityhood movement that’s been sweeping through Metro Atlanta came to an abrupt halt in Georgia’s May 24 elections: Voters defeated ballot referendums for three unincorporated areas that were hoping to turn into the newest cities of Cobb County, just west of Atlanta. 

The would-be cities — East Cobb, Lost Mountain, and Vinings — represent some of the wealthiest, and whitest, real estate in Atlanta’s western suburbs. Proponents of the proposals rallied around the issue of housing density, specifically whether these enclaves of mostly single-family homes would have to surrender to zoning changes requiring them to build larger quantities of smaller housing units to alleviate housing affordability problems.