During Monday’s council meeting, the measure, approved with a 15-0 vote, was co-sponsored by fellow council members Keisha Lance Bottoms, Cleta Winslow, Kwanza Hall, Andre Dickens, Felicia Moore, Ivory Lee Young Jr. and Natalyn Archibong.
The Code Enforcement Commission is scheduled to hold its first meeting Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the old Council Chamber, Atlanta City Hall, 68 Mitchell St. The commission will look at best practices in other cities across the country and strategically come up with ways to eradicate code violations in the city.
While the Office of Code Compliance is responsible for the inspection and enforcement of residential and commercial properties that violate the Atlanta housing code, the graffiti ordinance and the commercial maintenance and industrial code, this commission will be charged with developing more effective ways of reducing the number of repeated code violators and the backlog in citations.
Sheperd said there are communities in the city riddled with vacant and unsightly dwellings and other buildings that are subject to conforming to the Atlanta housing code. These dwellings and other buildings become potential breeding grounds for criminal activity and blights on the communities in which they are located.
It is estimated there is close to $40 million worth of code violations throughout the city.
These properties are inspected and/or cited for code violations such as: decayed/damaged leaking roofs, holes in flooring (both inside and out); broken window glass; flaking/peeling paint; units not supplied with water or adequate heat; rodent infestation or unsanitary conditions; overgrown, littered vacant lots; junk/inoperative vehicles; graffiti; electrical hazards; open and vacant structures; dilapidated buildings; and numerous other deficiencies which render properties substandard, or unsafe to its occupants or the general public. Too often property owners of these dwellings or lots are not coming forward to address the requirements articulated in the city code.
The 23-member commission will include the mayor or his designee and other 22 city, county, state and federal officials. The commission will have 12 months to present its final recommendations to the mayor and council.