Curbside bulk could be cited

by Benita Fuzzell

South Fulton businesses or residences with discarded special pickup items at curbside, more than 24 hours in advance of scheduled city pickups, will now be subject to citations and summons into court, following the allowance of one warning.

Meeting in regular monthly session Oct. 7, for the South Fulton Municipal Regional Planning Commission meeting, board members Kenny Mayo, Billy Williams and Interim City Manager Joyce Gray, along with Code Enforcement Officer Nicole Berner, discussed ongoing instances of piles of discarded furniture and large items put out near the street, far in advance of special pickup runs performed by the city, which is each first and third Thursday, for the west side of Broadway, and on the first and third Tuesday on the east side of Broadway, on a monthly basis.

Gray said she had previously been in contact with the maintenance staff member and manager at Southside Manor Apartments on Broadway, making each one aware of city codes now in place which prohibit the large items from being placed curbside more than 24 hours prior to scheduled pickup.

She said she had suggested to the staff, the apartment complex could possibly retain their own dumpster to be placed in the rear portion of the complex property, however they could not continue to place the items out by the roadway at any given time throughout the month.

Another apartment complex, Eaglewood Estates, during the discussion, was mentioned as having the same practice, of placing mattresses and other large furnishings by the roadway at any time throughout the month.

Gray said she had not been aware that Eaglewood Estates was in violation however she would get in contact with management there and issue a warning to them.

Gray stated that once the residence or business has been issued a warning, if the violations continue, they will be cited into court, with potential fines imposed.

Berner updated the board members regarding inoperable vehicles on the parking lot of property owned by Kingdom Harvest church, reporting the church staff had requested the vehicle owners remove the vehicles from the property and they had not responded or acted.

Berner explained that the owners of the vehicles had also been notified to remove the vehicles, by the city, and cited into court for non-compliance, however the owners did not appear in court and the Judge had entered a Failure to Appear charge on the vehicle owners.

Gray said when law enforcement officers attempted to notify the vehicle owners, at their residence, no one came to the door.

Gray said another option for the church, as they had issued a notice to the vehicle owners to remove the vehicles from the church property and had not received a response, would be for the church to have the vehicle towed, and considered abandoned.

John Matthews appeared before the board to update them on progress made at his property at 325 Forestdale, including water service, bathroom facilities and other repairs.

Berner confirmed the property is still considered in a condemned status, and Matthews must notify her office, for an inspection by her and South Fulton Fire Chief Dennis Pitman, prior to the condemned status being changed, or anyone being able to reside inside the home, before it is considered inhabitable.

Cassandra Smith, Sheryl Thomas and Pamela Knox were also present for the meeting, with Smith and Thomas revisiting issues they had brought before the board at the September board session.

Smith asked if any updates had been received from the Corps of Engineers as to the possibility of assisting the city with the clearing out of creek beds, which seem to contribute to flooding issues in parts of the city.

Gray said she had not received a response but would make contact once again on the matter.

Thomas said she wanted to inquire about whether a creek near her home had been checked to see if garbage is being thrown into it. Gray said she had not checked, nor had Berner. Thomas said she had been aware that Mayor David Lamb had checked the creek bank regarding garbage piled at the site.

Another matter addressed was an area of overgrown grass adjacent to the Ken-Tenn Community Center, formerly Rosenwald School. Berner said she would check on the current ownership of the property and report back, as well as review the issue at the location.

Board member and City Commissioner Billy Williams asked if for future board meetings, a copy of city codes could be made available to the board, for quick reference when questions arise about the status of properties or the city’s recourse in the event of violations.

Gray said while the codes are in a state of review, as they are somewhat outdated, she could make copies to have available for the meetings.

Williams also voiced his concerns about the city urging residents and businesses to clean up their properties, however the city dump is not open at all on weekends, and only until approximately 3 p.m. during the week.

Williams asked if at least one Saturday a month, for a half day, the dump could be opened to allow those who work longer hours during weekdays, to deposit debris and trash at the dump on Saturday.

Williams said he would volunteer to be at the dump site once a month if needed.

Gray said currently, city staff will be on call during weekends, so it could be that a time could be arranged for someone to be at the dump during that time period on Saturday.

Williams said another option would be to offer city staff the opportunity to garner more hours, and more pay by volunteering to keep the dump open during that time.

Gray said she would research the ideas and report back to the board.

Currently, the dump is only open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Berner reported property owners at 311-313 Forestdale have now been cited into court, to appear Nov. 12.

The board directed Gray to inquire to City Attorney Kirk Moore as to the status of revised bylaws for the board, incorporating bylaws from both the Municipal Regional Planning Commission and the Code Enforcement Board, as the present Planning Commission has gradually taken on a dual role, in both capacities.

One to two years ago, the board had directed the city manager at that time, to have the city attorney review the proposed revisions to the new board bylaws, however no response or communication had been received from Moore. Gray said she would speak with the city attorney to check on the status of the bylaws’ review.

Another item discussed, but with no action taken, was whether there was a requirement for attendance by board members, not to miss more than three meetings. Gray said she would have to review the current bylaws as to those requirements.

Board member Thomas Pettigrew was absent.

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