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Broken Sidewalks: Public Works Officials to Meet with Ormewood Park Homeowners Feb. 14

Public Works representatives will do onsite walk-throughs on Feb. 23.

ORMEWOOD PARK — Property owners who have received letters from the city ordering them to repair sidewalks in front of their homes will have a chance to question the Atlanta Department of Public Works.

A DPW representative is scheduled to attend the monthly meeting of the South Atlantans for Neighborhood Development, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 at Beulah Heights University, 892 Berne St. Anyone who wants to ask a question in advance to is asked to send an e-mail to SAND: president@sandatlanta.org.

As part of the DPW's outreach to homeowners, it also will do a a walk-through in the neighborhood on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. to address individual homeowner concerns and reservations.

A sign-up sheet will be provided at the SAND meeting for residents who wish to participate in the walk-through.

Residents also have the option of contacting DPW directly: Lawrence Jeter, sidewalk maintenance program manager 404.330.6258 or ljeter@atlantaga.gov.

The letters, which followed a complaint last year from a wheelchair-bound man who said parts of Delaware Avenue are hard to navigate, have caused an uproar.

Many question the legality of the orders, which cite estimated costs for the work and warn that if homeowners don't do it, the city will and then bill the property owner.

Some also objected to the amount of time they had to respond to the city — 15 days from the date of the letter, not when the homeowner received it, as is standard. Several residents said they had only days to respond because they only received their notices several days after they were dated.

At least one property owner has filed an appeal with the city on the grounds that not enough time was given to assess and respond and DPW's explanation of the problem is lacking in specifics.

The DPW, in e-mail correspondence to some Ormewood Park residents, has said it will reassess Delaware Avenue and Underwood Avenue, which also has been subject to scrutiny.

DPW officials have said that while the initial review is focused on the Ormewood Park and Home Park in Northwest Atlanta, it plans to embark on a citywide examination of city sidewalks.

E Keathley February 14, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I know the bills are a shock, but we have to have usable sidewalks. If the amount the city is going to assess is unfair, homeowners can repave the sidewalks themselves. It's embarrassing how awful many of our sidewalks have become in Atlanta.
Gray Stewart February 15, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Please clarify: property owners also own the sidewalks on their land?
Péralte Paul February 15, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Not necessarily, Gray. But the city's position is that whether your property line includes a portion of or excludes all the sidewalk that fronts your home/business, you as the property owner are still responsible for ensuring that it is up in keeping with code.

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