Clean & Lien Projects Move from Eyesore to Open Space

Bobcat tearing down a house

LaFayette, GA – Walker County’s Clean & Lien program entered a new phase in December. Following months of court proceedings, a judge signed an order giving the county the authority to remove six dilapidated structures that are unsafe, unsanitary and uninhabitable.

Here’s how the program works: After a code enforcement official investigates and identifies a structure as a public nuisance, a formal complaint is filed in Magistrate Court. The property owner is then notified and given an opportunity to answer the complaint. If the judge moves forward with the case, the property owner is given an opportunity to come into compliance on their own or demolish the structure on their own. If the owner fails to comply with the court order to repair or demolish the building, the court can grant the county authority to tear it down and place a lien on the property for the expense.

In March, the county identified 12 structures to take before Magistrate Court. One property owner was proactive and removed their blighted building before going to court, so the county added a 13th location to the list.

Walker County is now in the process of removing blighted structures from the community at the following locations:

  • 47 Rogers Road
  • 17 Cleveland Road
  • 5098 Highway 337
  • 1101 Salem Road
  • 350 Devine Street (2 structures)

A judge will decide how to proceed on four other cases in January, while three property owners are currently trying to make repairs to bring their buildings up to code.

In early 2020, a new list of Clean & Lien projects will be taken before Magistrate Court, as the county works to remove blighted and derelict buildings from the community.

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