Walker County, GA, amends public nuisance ordinance, allowing demolition of homes in violation

Walker County, GA: The County’s public nuisance ordinance has been amended, allowing the option for nuisance properties to be demolished by the County.

Any property where a request by a public official, or at least five residents of the County, has been filed stating a property is a likely public nuisance will be subject to an inspection. If the inspection results determine a property qualifies as a public nuisance, a magistrate court hearing will be scheduled in 15 – 45 days from that inspection date.

A notice will be mailed to the property owner/s at least 14 days before the court date set, or if there is no known information on file for the owner/s a notice of the actions taken against the property and court date set will be placed in a newspaper once a week for the 2 weeks before the court date.

If the court finds the property to qualify as a public nuisance, one of two possible orders will be issued:

     1. If needed repairs to remove the nuisance status of the home are established to cost less than 50 percent of the fair market value of the home, the owner must perform those repairs within a timeframe established by the court based on those established repairs needed.
     2. If the repairs needed would cost more than 50 percent of the fair market value of the home, then the owner must demolish the property and haul away all debris.

If an owner fails to comply with a repair order within the timeframe set for the needed repairs, then the County has 270 days from date of the expiration of the timeframe given to the owner for the needed repairs established, to then demolish the property; the County may salvage any and all items it chooses from the property, to use to recoup costs of demolishing the property.

The total of costs for all court costs, appraisal fees, demolition itself, and any other costs accrued by the County involved in the abatement action will be filed as a lien against the property.




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