Demolition costs would be recouped through liens.
The City Council has expressed approval for a proposed ordinance prohibiting buildings from being boarded up for more than six months. After that time, if there is no activity on the property, an order would be issued by the city for the boarding to be removed, under the ordinance.
Property owners could appeal the order to the City Council. If it was upheld by city officials, the property owner would land in municipal court and the city may then opt to raze the building itself, placing a lien on the property to get its money back.
The ordinance has been sent to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for review and City Council must vote to approve it after the state’s review before it can be officially made part of the city code, said Brian Binzer, the city’s director of development services.
The City Council is considering including a line item in its fiscal year 2015 budget — which is being drafted now and is tentatively scheduled to be adopted in June — allocating $200,000 to take down abandoned buildings.
Councilman Stuart Fleming, who has pushed for the ordinance, said it makes the code an “ordinance with teeth.”
When the city razed single-family homes owned by its redevelopment agency, the Marietta Redevelopment Corp., it cost between $12,000 and $15,000 each to take them down, including costs associated with abatement of contaminants like asbestos, Binzer said.
Of the 20 properties boarded up in Marietta, two are buildings at the Wynhaven and Marquis Place apartment complexes, one is a former neighborhood convenience store and two are residences owned by the Marietta Redevelopment Corp., the city’s redevelopment agency.
Fleming said he’s not targeting one area in particular and hopes the ordinance inspires property owners to maintain their buildings.
The cost to raze properties depends on its size and how much asbestos abatement is needed, Binzer said.
City Council will also vote at its meeting at 7 p.m. on May 14 at City Hall, 205 Lawrence St. on using federal money to knock down another MRC house at 52 West Dixie Ave. that has been vacant for more than a year and cannot be leased due to its poor condition.
The project is expected to cost between $10,000 and $15,000 and will be paid for with federal Community Development Block Grant funds, if approved.