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Public Defecation is a Real Stinker in Old Fourth Ward

Boulevard homeowner documents what continues to be a quality of life problem.

OLD FOURTH WARD — Last September, we documented the plight of Wayne Brawner, the Boulevard homeowner and businessman who months trying to get City Hall to enforce its codes.

Brawner's main issues revolved around trash left on empty lots, a church that illegally blocked parking on a public street and people using empty lots and backyards as their personal porta potties.

The church's illegal "no parking" sign has been painted over, he told East Atlanta Patch.

"But as far as people taking a poop or pissing behind the tree or in the wide open, no." Brawner told Patch. "My clients have to see this."

He sent Patch this video he took recently of a man defecating on Boulevard in broad daylight.

Jay Tribby, chief of staff to Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, said the office will investigate.

Brawner said the incident is of many public infractions that occur in the vacant lots and homes in the area bounded by Boulevard, Irwin, Howell and Old Wheat streets.

Some of the vacant lots are owned by the Historic District Development Corp.

"We could surround the lots with 6-foot tall chain link fence with barbed wire on top of it but that wouldn't be very appealing to the community and would prevent everyone from accessing the property as public space," said Jesse Clark, the HDDC's executive director.

He added the Boulevard lots are slated to be developed in 2014.

"Also, we have taken steps to clear and maintain these lots to improve visibility and discourage vagrant behavior.

"Several neighborhood residents currently access these lots as public space given that the only official public green space in the lower Old Fourth Ward is fenced off from resident access," he said, citing the former David T. Howard School's field, which is leased to a private soccer league.

Brawner said homeless people often defecate behind the church that had the illegal parking sign, Zion Tabernacle Fire Baptized Holiness Church at 64 Hogue St.

He said they also defecate on private properties owned by the church.

Church officials could not be immediately reached Friday.

Last week, Brawner said he saw an intoxicated man standing in the middle of Hogue Street, urinating.

Atlanta police say public urination and defecation violate city codes and that people should call 911 whenever they see such infractions.

Tomathy January 04, 2013 at 08:35 PM
Why is he walking that way? Is it because he didn't wipe?
Péralte Paul (Editor) January 04, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Readers: With homelessness being a problem in O4W, Little 5 Pts., Midtown and Downtown, how should this be addressed? Not every restaurant or gas station is willing to allow homeless folks access to their restrooms.
Chris H January 04, 2013 at 09:10 PM
"He added the Boulevard lots are slated to be developed in 2014." Any idea what the new development is going to be? New home infill? Any new homes in O4W built recently have been snatched up pretty quick
contented-NOT January 05, 2013 at 02:26 PM
There should be a new sales tax or property tax to build and maintain rest rooms in public areas for those in need to use. Ha, guess that got your attention? The State (as many other states) had a place for the chronically insane in Milledgeville. Then the conditions the residents lived in were made public and the State (along with all the other states) closed the facilities down. Now some of them live in "old fourth ward"; know of any other places?
Wayne Brawner January 06, 2013 at 04:34 PM
This is one of many videos I have made and sent to HDDC over the years and to Kawanzan Hall. Mr. Hall has been made very aware of this and so have Jessie of the HDDC. And yes I dial 911 check my phone records. Even on church property on houge st A man was gettting a BJ. yep thats right a BJ. video sent to the city and nothing done about that either with Mr. Hall. We the neighbors around the Church on Houge st have been to court many times. The church was informed to keep the property secure but yet they have not do such there is a man living in the yellow house that wipes his but in the Grass like a dog. Yet the city and Mr Hall has been made aware of such. Maybe we need to find a new City council person for district 2 . Then 540 thousands dollars to the HDDC which have unpaid back taxes. When the city of Atlanta forgave over 100,000.00 in back taxes. Think about it people if we did not the city would sale our homes on the court house steps. HDDC needs to go away. You time is DONE!!! You are holding back the growth of the O4W.
Trollie Fingers January 09, 2013 at 02:38 PM
There is a public restroom by the fire station on Edgewood but I believe it is a pay unit. When I worked downtown, the hotels always people in the stalls crapping up a storm and using entire rolls of toilet paper to take some variant of a whore's bath. Same at the Library. When they left the stalls it was a horrible mess of crap and toilet paper everywhere. I was just in there hiding out from work and reading a book on Kindle on my phone and I have to put up some grunting crapping mess two stalls away. Uncivilized! They need to install some heavy duty prison type units behind a small brick wall probably in the open and plan to replace them all the time. They will not last more than a few weeks/months. I have some empathy, but, I have to admit, I find the homeless to be an annoyance since they are *everywhere* and I encounter them almost every time I leave the house. We have to have security outside the grocery stores to chase them away, and I hate when they walk alongside you trying to befriend you with I don't want no money or I'm not going to ask you a question, and they basically want money or to have me buy something or whatever game they are running at the moment. It's a policy issue for sure. There are a lot of homeless. They have to crap. On the weekends there is usually zig zag urine up and down the sidewalk where party boys just whip it out and whiz while they walk.
Wayne Brawner January 09, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Yeah Jessie said he wants to build something like trubit lofts on the lots. all the neighbors say NO!
Debbie Gathmann January 12, 2013 at 06:30 PM
In other cities, public toilets are common. Not in Atlanta. With the number of street people, it seems strange that we've not solved this problem. Yes, the public toilets must be checked daily. Yes, sometimes things get broken. But public toilets are both a sanitation and a dignity issue. Everyone's gotta go somewhere . . .

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