Commission again tables decision to create nuisance properties ordinance

Harrisburg activist Lori Davis again asked the Augusta Commission to form a task force for drafing a Chronic Nuisance Properties Ordinance today, and commissioners again voted to take her proposal under advisement.


Afterward, she and 22 fellow activists posted themselves outside the front and back doors of the Municipal Building, holding up signs reading, "Support Richmond County Nuisance Property Ordinance" and hoping to catch commissioners as they head to their cars after the meeting.

Mrs. Davis, who has organized four demonstrations against "nuisance" Harrisburg landlords, addressed the commission as part of the delegation agenda, meaning she had five minutes to speak. She asked that the mayor form a 10-member committee, including one commissioner and representatives of the sheriff's office, Planning and Zoning and License and Inspection.

"We petition you to see nothing legally binding, at this point, to move forward with this task force," Mrs. Davis said.

On a motion from Commission J.R. Hatney, the commission voted 10-0 to receive the presentation as information and have the Law Department research other Georgia cities and counties that have laws such as the one Mrs. Davis is proposing.

"They didn't even discuss the proposal I made," Mrs. Davis said, standing on the sidewalk on Greene Street holding a placard.

What should have been discussed, she said, was whether or not it would be legal to form a task force.

Last week, Mrs. Davis and commission District 1 candidate made the same proposal to the Public Safety commitee, which also voted to receive it as information.

Commissioner Corey Johnson said he's in favor of a new ordinance, but first the commission has to make sure it won't conflict with any federal or state laws, or with any city codes already in place.

"We have to make sure it's legal," he said, "or what is legal and what isn't."



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