Home > Society > Enforcing ordinances on the books will help dilapidated areas

Enforcing ordinances on the books will help dilapidated areas

June 16, 2010

Foreclosures have hit South DeKalb extremely hard, and with it comes abandoned and unsightly properties. Well, someone owns these properties, and they should be made to maintain them to minimum standards. Just because they do not live in the area does not give them the green light to ignore the responsibility they have for their properties. I was digging around the DeKalb ordinances site and found the little nugget below. If you read these ordinances, laws are in place to keep residential neighborhoods from turning into blight. It will take more than these ordinances though. Residents in South DeKalb need to step up and clean up or report unsightly homes and put the pressure on the county to enforce the laws they have on the books. These unsightly properties breed criminal acts, as well as lower property values. (if they can get any lower)I know it would be hard to get the county to enforce this particular section in any meaningful way, but it can’t hurt to try. We have one empty house on my street, and three of us ponied up a few dollars to pay a guy who maintains a couple of houses on the street to cut the grass once a month. It actually helps, because people think the house is being used, and are less likely to want to squat or do other things in the house. At some point we will expect the owner of the property to own up to their responsibility and maintain the property themselves. But I wonder if the threat of county action is enough to get the banks, or investors who own these foreclosed/abandoned properties to keep them maintained. The link below is to the particular ordinance about maintaining property..


Sec. 18-38.  Weeds, junk, etc., prohibited.

(a)   Persons shall keep their property free of those weeds and underbrush which create a health menace, fire hazard or an unsafe or unsanitary condition as well as trash, garbage, inoperable vehicles or other things thereon which constitute a violation of the provisions of this article.

(b)   It shall be unlawful for the owner, operator or occupant of a dwelling, rooming house, building or structure to use the premises of such property for the open storage of any inoperable vehicle, household appliance, glass, building material, building trash or similar item. It shall be the duty and the responsibility of each owner, operator or occupant to maintain the premises of such property and to remove from the premises all abandoned items as listed above, including, but not limited to, weeds, dead trees, trash and garbage, upon notice from the county.

(c)   Owners and occupants of property shall not permit weeds or grass within one hundred fifty (150) feet of any building or structure to grow on such property to a height exceeding twelve (12) inches.

(d)   Owners and tenants of property or structures abutting a street, sidewalk, lane or parking area on which the property or structure abuts shall maintain the property or structure clean and free of garbage and trash; however, county maintenance responsibility for public rights-of-way shall not be diminished by this section.

(e)   Where parking in open areas is used jointly for the benefit of two (2) or more owners or tenants, the responsibility for maintaining these parking areas free of garbage and trash shall be the joint and severable responsibility of the owners and tenants of these premises.

%d bloggers like this: