Nuisance Abatement Procedure

Procedure
  • A request charging nuisance as defined in 3-13-6(a) is filed with building inspections.
  • Building inspection does an investigation and inspection, 3-13-6(b).
  • If facts constitute a nuisance, a title search takes place to identify interested parties as defined in 3-13-2(a)(6).
    • The Community Protection Division (CPD) administrator will send a request for a title search to the Human and Community Development (HCD) affordable housing administrator for processing. HCD will procure the title search and forward the results to the CPD administrator upon receipt.
  • A complaint in rem is filed in Municipal Court; elements will be stated in the complaint as required by 3-13-6(b). At the time of the complaint filing, lis pendens is filed in the real estate records of Superior Court, 3-13-13(c).
  • A hearing date is set in Municipal Court no less than 15 days nor more than 45 days after filing the complaint, 3-13-6(b).
  • Service of summons and complaint on interested parties will not be served less than 14 days before hearing as required by 3-13-13 and 3-13-6(b).
    • Owners should be referred to HCD at this time for the purpose of determining owner eligibility. To be eligible to benefit from CDBG funds, the owner must make less than 80% of the median family income (MFI) for Athens-Clarke County (ACC). The FY 2006 MFI for ACC is $52,900, and 80% is $42,320. If the owner is eligible and the title is clear and all owners sign an authorization to demolish the unit, HCD will demolish the unit as required by 3-13-10. Demolition procedures include:
      • Documenting demolition authorization from the owner
      • Historic and environmental review as per National Environmental Policy Act
      • Contracting for an asbestos survey
      • Contracting for the demolition
      • Demolition, clean-up, and removal of all debris and an environmental clearance. Testing and demolition costs are attached to the property through a conditional deferred payment loan. If owners are ineligible, title is not clear, or owners fail to request HCD assistance and do not authorize the demolition within 60 days of HCD’s receipt of the title search request, HCD will notify CPD. It is HCD’s recommendation that court actions proceed while HCD works with the owner or owners.
  • A hearing in Municipal Court is held; an affidavit to present value of structure permitted under 3-13-6(c)(2) is submitted. Evidence is also needed to prove costs of repairs and nuisance.
  • If the court determines nuisance, then the court order shall state in writing findings of fact in support of determination 3-13-6(c); the court will order repair [3-13-6(c)(1)] or demolition [3-13-6(c)(2)] within a certain time.
  • The court order is served on interested parties who filed answer or appeared at the hearing 3-13-13(d); a certified copy of the court order is filed in real estate records of the Superior Court and entered on HCD. The lien attaches at the time the copy of order is filed and relates back to time lis pendens is filed, 3-13-11(b) and (c).
  • A direct appeal of the court order is made to the Superior Court, pursuant to Official Code of Georgia (OCGA) 5-3-29 [3-13-11(h)].
  • Failure to abide by the court order to repair or to demolish, 3-13-9(a); property posted, 3-13-9(a). Building inspections may cause structure to be repaired or demolished according to the court order within 270 days after the expiration of the time set for repair or for demolition in the court order, 3-13-9.
  • If the order is for demolition, a demolition permit is needed, 3-13-10. A historic review may be made prior to demolition; reasonable efforts to salvage material may also be made, 3-13-11(a).
    • CPD requests General Fund demolition assistance from HCD by forwarding all court documents associated with the unit. HCD will demolish the unit as required by 3-13-10. Demolition procedures include:
      • Documenting court order authorizing the demolition
      • Limited local historic review; if the unit is identified as a local historic property HCD will request a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) from the Planning and Zoning Department prior to demolition
      • Contracting for an asbestos survey
      • Contracting for the demolition
      • Demolition, clean-up and removal of all debris, and an environmental clearance
  • Lien on property for costs of repair or of demolition: within 90 days of completion of repairs or of demolition, Building Inspections sends a statement of the total amount of costs, fees, and expenses due and secured by lien to the tax commissioner, along with copies of notices provided to interested parties, 3-13-11(d).
  • The tax commissioner collects the lien, 3-13-11(e); ACC may waive and release the lien by contract with the owner, 3-13-11(g).