Augusta, GA – Augusta, GA – For neighbors, an abandoned lot in east Augusta is an eye sore that just doesn’t cut it.
“Look at it, look at it it’s over ten feet tall you got kids I just don’t get it,” said neighbor David Martin.
Neighbors don’t understand why, after their are complaints the lots aren’t cleaned up inviting problems.
“Neighbors are complaining the kids can’t go out and play because the grass is so high they got snakes coons and possums they’re even afraid for their pets to go outside,” said Commissioner Bill Fennoy.
The problem is the process under current city code. Once a complaint is made, the city notifies the owner and the owner has 14 says to cut the lot or the city will do it and put the cost on the owners property tax bill.
But, that doesn’t mean a neighborhood eye sore gets cut in two weeks time.
“I have to inspect it then I provide the notice then I schedule a crew so realistically from the time we receive a complaint you’re looking at 30 days,” says Mark Johnson, Augusta Environmental Services Department director.
City officials would like to cut the wait time down to a week. However, that would mean giving private property owners less time to take care of their lots before the city comes in and charges them for it.
“I believe in respecting the rights of property owners, but I think the rights of the people who actually live in the neighborhood outweighs that,” said Fennoy.
It was just last November that Augusta Commissioners approved the 14 days notice provision, but the Commission Engineering Committee recommending Tuesday rewriting the code to keep the 14 day notification in place for first time offenders but once there is a repeat violation the city could come in and clean the lot immediately after getting the complaint.