COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - While many homes are beautiful and kept up in one North Columbus neighborhood, there’s one home that sticks out, destroyed by fire three months ago, and neighbors are still upset about the property.
It’s been three months to the day since the home was overtaken by flames. However, even though there’s no roof or walls left, the homeowner is still living in the shell of what used to be here and neighbors are fed up.
On January 10, the home on Nightwind Court was engulfed in flames. But over the past 12 years, neighbors filed dozens of complaints against the homeowner.
“The home was purchased in 2006," former HOA President Betty Jo Casey said. "The first letter went out to the homeowner in 2007 and that was for high weeds, overgrown bushes, and things like that.”
Casey said the city has worked with them over the past dozen years, but there’s only so much that can be done.
“We did all we could, we notified the city, we went out there, people tried to talk to him," Casey said. "He just absolutely would not pay attention to it.”
Columbus Inspections and Code is working on the issue.
“We’re trying to make sure that person also gets their due process," said John Hudgison, director of Inspections and Code "Information is sent to them, they’re notified of what the complaints are, and notified of what’s going on.”
Some of the concerns though, aren't breaking any city ordinances.
“Ideally, we try to enforce what’s on the books," Hudgison said. "If it’s not there, we can’t just make it up or try to force somebody into it. We cite you on specific sections of the code, or we take you to environmental court.”
Casey said there are several issues that need to be addressed in addition to the unlivable home.
“And the hoarding issue goes back to 2007," Casey said. "We have been in contact and the city has worked with us and hopefully now something can be done.”
As for the current plan, this homeowner has a hearing with the Columbus City Council on April 23 where he has to prove he has money and a contractor to clear his land.
If he isn’t able to provide these things, the city will take the next step in the process of demolishing the property.
News Leader 9 tried to talk with the homeowner, however he wasn’t interested in speaking with us.