Ledger Inquirer: Neighbor says vacant house is an eyesore

April 7, 2013 

A Frustrated and Anonymous Reader is tired of living near the mess at 3941 Singer Drive in the Pine Hill subdivision off Fort Benning Road.

The house in question is vacant and looks it. What the yard lacks in grass it makes up for with yard waste and the remnants of what my reader said was a pile of junk removed from the house.

It looks like most of the junk was hauled off, but not by a very meticulous hauler. The pile of yard waste remains in the middle of the yard. Why they didn't put the pile at the curb where the city would pick it up is a mystery.

The house itself doesn't seem to be harboring vagrants, as so many vacant ones do. It appears to be secured, with the possible exception of an enormous oak limb that's fallen onto (and possibly into) the roof. I couldn't tell from the road, and the Inquirer's general counsel advises us to stay off people's property.

My caller said he thought the house had once been scheduled for demolition, but I couldn't find it on any of the city's demolition lists. And there's no telltale Big Red D on it anywhere, which would sure stand out against those powder

blue bricks.

(Why would someone paint a brick house powder blue?)

My reader said he spoke to the owner a while back and the owner said he had decided to fix the place up and start renting it out again. That's when the pile of junk and detritus appeared in the yard. That's been a few months and nothing's been done, except for the large oak making a deposit on the roof.

I started looking into the house and what ordinances might apply and right away I found what may or may not be the problem. The name listed as the owner by the city tax records matches a name of a local man that Nexis.com lists as "Social Security number associated with a Deceased Record."

That's Nexis-speak for dead.

But it could be a different person with the same name. I'm not going to report the guy's name because it might not be the same guy and I wouldn't want to freak out anyone's family. We are nothing if not sensitive here at Inquirer Central.

Meanwhile, I'll report the address to Greg Coates, the city's director of inspections and codes, and see if it's in violation of any ordinances. There's no doubt the property is in an ugly state, but as we've learned before, ugly isn't necessarily illegal -- a fact for which I am personally grateful.

Update

You will recall last week we reported on Bill Chester's dilemma over on Edgewood Drive. Water Works workers doing a repair job destroyed a section of curbing in front of Chester's house and just left it that way.

A call to Pat Biegler at the city's Public Works department rectified that. A week later and the curb is back in place.

Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8570 or mowen@ledger-enquirer.com.

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