At 1727 S. Gordon St. in a southwest Atlanta, large sections of the brick home’s roof are caved in and noticeably rotted out.
At 750 Cascade Place also in southwest Atlanta, the abandoned apartment complex is now nearly hidden from the street due to overgrowth. On a new Facebook page dedicated to highlighting properties in violation of the city’s code compliance ordinances, one commenter called the building “a drug den and crash pad” for the homeless. Another asked, “Can somebody explain to me how this is allowed to continue…?”
The Facebook page, Atlanta Code Enforcement Problems, states upfront that it is “unofficial” and not connected with the city, but its purpose is clear: to give Atlantans a place to post photos and information about code enforcement violations and problem absentee property owners.
It’s not as if the city doesn’t know it has a problem, which has been made worse by a flood of foreclosures and absentee owners who either don’t have the money or refuse to spend it to bring the properties back up to code.
On Thursday, the city demolished a longtime eyesore in southwest Atlanta, a privately owned abandoned Jewel Point complex at 2020 Allison Court. (An earlier version of this blog erroneously referred to the Wishing Well apartments, which were demolished last year).
Demolition of 2020 Allison Court was ordered in 2010 but it’s taken this long to prepare it for destruction due to asbestos removal and other challenges, including funding, officials said.
Last year, Mayor Kasim Reed put the city’s code enforcement under the direction of the Atlanta Police Department, which set out to eliminate more than 4,500 backlogged cases and deal with 1,200 inactive code enforcement cases.
“We understand the community’s frustration in wanting these properties demolished immediately upon the order being granted,” Maj. Cerelyn Davis, who heads the Code Enforcement Section, said in a statement on the Allison Court demolition. She said the APD assures citizens “we are moving forward on many similar properties.”
The Facebook page reflects the frustrations of residents who have to live near or pass by dilapidated structures, which police concede are not only eyesores that bring down already falling property values but also pose potential public health hazards, are havens for crime and erode the quality of life.
Many photos so far on the Facebook page are of properties in southwest Atlanta, like the boarded-up residence at 1616 Derry and the burned-out home at 1535 Beecher St. Some are abandoned construction projects that have either been stopped by the builder, like the home at 668 Lawton St, or by the city due to the lack of a building permit.
While the problem can’t be eliminated overnight, do you think the city is moving aggressively in dealing with dilapidated and abandoned properties, and wayward absentee owners?