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Posts Tagged ‘code enforcement’

Extended stay motels help some, but hurt others

June 22, 2011 2 comments

City sees no room for hotel living  | ajc.com.

When I started reading this article, my thoughts wandered to the extended stay motels that dot the central part of South DeKalb. I can count at least twelve that I know of, so I am sure there are a dozen more I overlooked. I never really liked extended stays because they seem to be a magnet for crime no matter where they are. If you have ever driven south on Candler between I-20 and 285, you can see that many of the problems of prostitution, open drug deals, and general mayhem can be traced in part back to the extended stays in that corridor. After reading the above article, I realized that these places do serve a purpose for a small number of folks who have found traditional housing to be a challenge. I was really struck by one woman who described a situation where she found it nearly impossible to get an apartment through standard means.:

She recently found work as a shift manager at a Checkers fast-food restaurant. Harris runs the register, supervises four employees and opens or closes the restaurant depending on the schedule for $10 per hour.

That doesn’t leave much for savings, which is critical if Harris wants to move into her own place. Her application at a local apartment complex was recently denied after her credit report turned up an old unsettled bill. She was especially frustrated that she lost $20 on the application fee.

Other places have told her that her criminal record disqualifies her from consideration. Another complex accepted her application but wanted first and last month’s rent, which totaled $1,050.

Harris was forced to keep looking.

This woman has had some obvious challenges, and extended stay is her last option before living on the streets. And when there are children involved it makes it that much more distressing.

I would like to see DeKalb crack down on extended stays, but not to the point of pushing them out of business. Property owners should be held accountable for criminal activities that occur on their property. If there are code violations, the owners should be made to bring their property up to code or face stiff fines. And the police should put more resources into cleaning out problematic motels. If I, a normal citizen can see criminal activity from my car without having to stop and look for it, I have to believe the cops and the motel owners see it as well.

 

Incorporate South DeKalb, Pt. 2

March 14, 2011 1 comment

I have written in the past about areas of South DeKalb being incorporated into a city or city lite (providing zoning, planning, code enforcement). Well it looks like South DeKalb is on it’s  way to being the only unincorpoarated area in the county. Doing my daily jaunt around the local blogs, I found this post at the DeKalb School Watch blog. The post talks about incorporation and annexation of neighborhoods around Chamblee and Dunwoody, especially those sandwiched between the two cities. Mike Jacobs, who represents the area in the Statehouse, wants to make it easier for his constituents to basically secede from DeKalb County and take more control of their own destiny from DeKalb County government,  Here is part of the actual posting from Mr. Jacobs site:

As the Dunwoody Crier has noted, my interest in annexation is driven by “increasing discontent with DeKalb County Government: rising tax bills, fewer services, inefficient government, and a lack of confidence that things are going to get better at the county.”

Police response times in Chamblee and Dunwoody are far lower than those in unincorporated DeKalb. Dunwoody is planning major improvements to their local parks. Chamblee and Dunwoody are both conservatively managed and are experiencing budget surpluses. And in stark contrast to CEO Burrell Ellis’ constant drumbeat for higher property taxes, Chamblee is considering cutting its millage rate this year.

It simply is not true that incorporation into a city necessarily means that your property taxes will go up. Many cities are actually able to deliver better services and a lower tax burden than can be found in nearby unincorporated areas.

Another option that might be worth exploring is the incorporation of a new municipality altogether, perhaps a City of Brookhaven that could reach as far south as Buford Highway or even I-85. Of course, such an option would require interest from neighborhoods south of Windsor Parkway such as Historic Brookhaven, Ashford Park, Brookhaven Heights, Brookhaven Fields, and Drew Valley.

It is sad to say, but I doubt we could get a representative from South DeKalb to even explore the feasibility of such an idea

Code Enforcement meetings coming this month

October 2, 2010 1 comment

If stories about litter and signage in stories like this get you frustrated, then you can have your voice heard at several meetings planned by the code enforement task force this month.

This from CEO Ellis’ newsletter via e-mail today

Code Enforcement Task Force Seeking Input From Citizens


CEO Ellis recently appointed Super District 7 Commissioner Connie Stokes as chair of the newly established DeKalb County Code Enforcement Task Force. The task force, which includes community leaders, county officials, and other key stakeholders, will identify and assist in the implementation of solution-driven recommendations to address code enforcement issues affecting communities throughout DeKalb.

The DeKalb County Code Enforcement Task Force, which held meetings in September, has two final sessions scheduled in October to receive input from the public. The dates and locations are as follows:

Thursday, October 7 at 6:30 p.m.
Lynwood Recreation Center
3360 Osborne Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30319

Tuesday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Cedar Grove High School
2360 River Rd.
Ellenwood, GA 30294

For more information about the DeKalb County Code Enforcement Task Force, contact the office of Commissioner Stokes at 404-371-3053 and conniestokes@dekalbcountyga.gov, or visitwww.conniestokes.org.
We all know that DeKalb, especially South DeKalb is in need of reliable and constant code enforecement. I would attend one of these meetings if for no other reason than to let the task force know how much work needs to be done to clean up the litter, signs being displayed illegally, and citizens who allow properties to fall into a state of disrepair. I am marking my calendar now.