Marietta Considers Property Liens to Eliminate Blight

As a property owner, one of the most disappointing sights is seeing your neighbor’s crippled, run-down property. Even as a passerby, blighted properties are eyesores and can have a degrading effect on one’s perception of an area. Well now, one Metro Atlanta city is considering  alleviating the impact of their blighted properties. Marietta City Council members have requested the city attorney to look into a potential ordinance that would allow the city to demolish boarded-up buildings.

Under the ordinance, if a property is dormant and without repairs after six months, the city would have the ability to raze it and impose a lien on that property in order to recover expenses. This would mean that property owners could not have a building boarded up longer than six months. However, the city’s building code would have to be amended before further action takes place as it currently allows homes to be boarded up indefinitely.

Councilman Stuart Fleming, who introduced the ordinance, believes it would be an appropriate use of tax dollars to tear down homes that reflect poorly on the entire city. Additionally, Councilman Grif Chalfant believes placing a lien on properties would be effective. However there are others that have some doubts such as Councilman Philip Goldstein who has concerns about properties being torn down for the sole reason of it being boarded up. Concerns such as these has City Attorney Doug Haynie thinking the city may need to hold a public hearing in each case in order to give property owners a chance to explain their situation.

The city of Marietta has already identified 20 boarded-up properties, two of which are owned by the city’s redevelopment agency, Marietta Redevelopment Corporation. Additional research and a report from City Attorney Haynie on this ordinance is forthcoming next month.

To read more on this proposed ordinance, click HERE.