City of Atlanta
Georgia

Resolution
19-R-4486
Adopted Substitute
Oct 21, 2019 1:00 PM

A RESOLUTION BY COUNCILMEMBER ANTONIO BROWN AS SUBSTITUTED BY PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE PURSUANT TO SECTION 3-401 OF THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA (“CITY”) TO ESTABLISH A COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 BLIGHT-FREE ADVISORY BOARD (“DISTRICT 3 BFAB”) TO COMPLETE AN EVALUATION OF EGREGIOUS VACANT AND ABANDONED BLIGHTED PROPERTIES IN COUNCIL DISTRICT 3 VIA A PILOT PROGRAM TO ENGAGE PROPERTY OWNERS IN REDEVELOPMENT CONVERSATIONS AND RECOMMEND OPTIONS FOR NUISANCE ABATEMENT TO THE ATLANTA SOLICITOR’S OFFICE; AND TO CITY COUNCIL FOR OTHER OPTIONS; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Information

Department:Office of Research and Policy AnalysisSponsors:Councilmember, District 3 Antonio Brown
Category:Personal PaperFunctions:None Required

Body

WHEREAS, neighborhood blight along with the presence of vacant and abandoned properties have profound negative impacts on the community; and

 

WHEREAS, blighted properties decrease surrounding property values, erode the health of local housing markets, pose safety hazards, and reduce local tax revenues; and

 

WHEREAS, studies have shown that vacant and abandoned properties erode current and potential residents’ perception of community safety, have a negative effect on crime rates, create spaces conducive for sex and drug trafficking, and contribute greatly to social problems as well as environmental and mental health issues; and

 

WHEREAS, APD Urban Planning and Management LLC was retained to conduct a blight remediation study for English Avenue, Ashview Heights and the Atlanta University Center neighborhoods in the City of Atlanta for application of blight remediation strategies, attached hereto as Exhibit A. English Avenue contains the highest percentage of primary blighting indicators. The analysis also showed that the highest concentration of crime directly correlated to areas with the highest concentration of blighting indicators; and

 

WHEREAS, blight remediation strategies that address those primary indicators of blight were identified as vacant lot cleanup, demolition strategy, expansion of ‘Clean and Close’, owner occupied rehab, owner occupied facade improvement, and on-going vacant lot maintenance; and

 

WHEREAS, the City of Atlanta (“City”) in 2015 pursuant to 15-R-3529 entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) with Invest Atlanta through which Invest Atlanta agreed to provide up to $500,000.00 in Westside Tax Allocation District (“TAD”) funds for a pilot project using judicial in rem code enforcement; and

 

WHEREAS, the new IGA pursuant to 19-O-1456, attached hereto as Exhibit B, will allow the reimbursement to the City of expenses related to any blight remediation activities within the boundaries of the Westside TAD rather than just those related to judicial in rem; and

 

WHEREAS, the Westside TAD will finance the demolition costs of properties located within its boundary; and

 

WHEREAS, the City established a Code Enforcement Commission pursuant to Resolution 14-R-3671, adopted by the City Council on June 14, 2014 to address blighted residential and commercial properties throughout the City and the Commission continues to meet regularly to discuss and review enforcement of code regulations; and 

 

WHEREAS, City Council District 3 (“District 3”) has some of the highest concentration of vacant and distressed properties in the City,

 

WHEREAS, the District 3 Council Member seeks to establish a District 3 Blight-Free Advisory Board  (“District 3 BFAB”) to identify and complete an evaluation of egregious vacant and abandoned blighted properties within the District 3 neighborhoods of Vine City, English Avenue, Hunter Hills, Dixie Hills, Urban Villa, Pine Acres, Penelope Neighbors, Grove Park, Mozley Park, Howell Station, Castleberry Hills, Home Park, Washington Park, West Lake, Bankhead, and Atlantic Station and recommend options for nuisance abatement ;and

 

WHEREAS, redevelopment or nuisance abatement will lead to an increase in the tax digest and density; and

 

WHEREAS, District 3 BFAB will prioritize the most egregious properties in District 3 for recommendation to the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office for nuisance abatement; and

 

WHEREAS, the State of Georgia established O.C.G.A. 41-2-8 through 41-2-17 to seek the repair, closure, or demolition of dwellings, buildings, or structures meeting the standards herein identified /defined through an in-rem enforcement action before the City of Atlanta Municipal Court, attached hereto as Exhibit C Atlanta Housing Code 51; and

 

WHEREAS, a list of abandoned/boarded homes in District 3 is attached hereto as Exhibit D; and

 

WHEREAS, letters of support from NPUs K, L, and T hereto as Exhibit E; and

 

WHEREAS, the District 3 BFAB will appoint a team of canvassers comprised of volunteers from 1) Code Enforcement, 2) Solicitors Office and 3) a member of the District 3 community (“Canvass Team”), to survey the properties, which will include taking photographs and documenting property conditions, with a focus on properties that are fire hazards, have been vacant and unoccupied for an extended period of time and have previous unanswered and/or uncured Code Enforcement violations (“Blighted Properties”); and

 

WHEREAS, the District 3 BFAB will utilize code enforcement criteria to evaluate properties; and

 

WHEREAS, the District 3 BFAB will establish a process to evaluate and make recommendations to the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office to address blighted properties and to City Council for other options, as follows: 

 

1)              The Canvass Team appointed by the District 3 BFAB will canvass the District 3 community to survey properties and develop a master list of Blighted Properties;

 

2)              District 3 BFAB will assess the list of properties surveyed and vote on which properties will be recommended to the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office for blight remediation (“Blight Remediation Properties”); 

 

3)              within three (3) days of a vote by the District 3 BFAB identifying Blight Remediation Properties, a notification will be sent to the owners of the Blighted Properties notifying them of BFAB’s preliminary findings that they are in violation of the code enforcement criteria and provide them with a list of alternatives to remediate the blight conditions; a remediation plan should include:

a.              curing all alleged code enforcement violations and provide proof of action; or  

b.              submitting a development or rehabilitation plan with a proposed commencement and completion date.

c. engaging in a co-development opportunity for property owners that lack resources.

 

4)              the owners of the Blighted Properties will have thirty (30) days upon receiving the notification letter from the District 3 BFAB to respond to the notification letter with a selection of one of the remediation alternatives in paragraph 3; 

 

5)              after the owner of the Blighted Property responds to the notification letter pursuant to paragraph 4, the property owner will be invited to meet with the District 3 BFAB to review the remediation plan and receive technical assistance from the District 3 BFAB;

 

6)              if the owner of the Blighted Property is unable to develop or rehabilitate the property due to a lack of financial resources, the District 3 BFAB will work with the property owners to identify potential resources which may be able to provide assistance;

 

7)              if the property owner does not respond to the District 3 BFAB initial notification within the thirty (30) day period, a second notification will be sent providing an additional thirty (30) days to respond.  If the property owner does not respond within the additional thirty (30) day period, the District 3 BFAB may recommend to the Atlanta Solicitor’s Office for nuisance abatement. 

 

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ATLANTA RESOLVES that the District 3 Blight-Free Advisory Board (“District 3 BFAB”) is hereby established to complete an evaluation of vacant and abandoned blighted properties in City of Atlanta (“City”) Council District 3 and recommend options for abatement to the City Council; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that members of the District 3 BFAB will consist of sixteen (16) members representing various departments, agencies, and organizations including thirteen (13) voting members and three (3) ex-officio members.

 

The 13 voting members will consist of the following departments represented by their respective commissioners, or their designee:

 

1.) City of Atlanta Solicitors Office;

2.) City of Atlanta Office of Code Enforcement;

3.) Atlanta Housing Authority;

4.) City of Atlanta Chief Housing Officer;

5.) City of Atlanta Department of Enterprise Assets Management;

6.) City of Atlanta Office of Housing and Community Development.

 

The voting members shall also consist of representatives from the following agencies and organizations appointed by the District 3 Councilmember:

 

7.) Atlanta Police Foundation;

8.) Atlanta Development Authority d/b/a Invest Atlanta;

9.) West Side Future Fund;

10.) Fulton County Tax Commissioner’s Office;

11.) a resident of District 3;

12.) West Atlanta Business Alliance; and

13.) the District 3 Councilmember.

 

The ex-officio members shall consist of representatives from:

 

1.) Atlanta-Fulton County Land Bank Authority;

2.) Historic Preservation Commission; and

3.) Municipal Court of Atlanta.

 

The District 3 Councilmember will Chair BFAB. Members of the District 3 BFAB shall not require Council confirmation.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that BFAB will serve in an advisory capacity to assist in the eradication of blight.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the work of BFAB will not operate to automatically stay any official code enforcement activity, which may continue until all code violations are remediated.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the BFAB will be staffed by the Council District 3 staff.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City’s Law Department is requested to provide real estate and zoning-related advice and counsel to District 3 Councilmember.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District 3 BFAB pilot program shall commence within thirty (30) days of approval of the legislation.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District 3 BFAB shall meet on a monthly basis or as frequently as determined by the District 3 BFAB.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the District 3 BFAB shall submit an annual report to the City Council on the status of the pilot program on the anniversary of its first meeting.

 

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the District 3 BFAB shall sunset December 1, 2021, with a final report to be provided to the City Council.

Meeting History

Sep 3, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

REFERRED TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:REFERRED WITHOUT OBJECTION
Sep 10, 2019 3:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE [5 TO 0]
MOVER:Dustin Hillis, Chair
SECONDER:Andrea L. Boone, District 10
AYES:Dustin Hillis, J. P. Matzigkeit, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Howard Shook
AWAY:Andre Dickens, Antonio Brown
Sep 16, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

MEMBERS PRESENT: HILLIS, SHOOK, MATZIGKEIT, BOONE, DICKENS, BROWN & COLLIER OVERSTREET

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Sep 24, 2019 3:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:HELD IN COMMITTEE
Oct 7, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

RETURNED AS HELD TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND LEGAL ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE WITHOUT OBJECTION

RESULT:RETURNED AS HELD
Oct 15, 2019 3:00 PM Video Public Safety & Legal Administration Committee Regular Committee Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:FAVORABLE ON SUBSTITUTE [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:J. P. Matzigkeit, District 8
SECONDER:Andrea L. Boone, District 10
AYES:Dustin Hillis, J. P. Matzigkeit, Andrea L. Boone, Andre Dickens, Marci Collier Overstreet, Howard Shook, Antonio Brown
Oct 21, 2019 1:00 PM Video Atlanta City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

ADOPTED SUBSTITUTE BY A ROLL CALL VOTE OF 13 YEAS; 0 NAYS

RESULT:ADOPTED SUBSTITUTE [13 TO 0]
MOVER:Dustin Hillis, Councilmember, District 9
SECONDER:Marci Collier Overstreet, Councilmember, District 11
AYES:Michael Julian Bond, Matt Westmoreland, Carla Smith, Amir R Farokhi, Antonio Brown, Natalyn Mosby Archibong, Jennifer N. Ide, Howard Shook, J. P. Matzigkeit, Dustin Hillis, Andrea L. Boone, Marci Collier Overstreet, Joyce M Sheperd
ABSENT:Andre Dickens
AWAY:Cleta Winslow