Near the end of Forsyth’s June 7 council meeting, council member Chris Hewett asked a question that several of his constituents have asked him: “Has [Developer Otis] Ingram kept permits up to date on his projects?”
City manager Janice Hall said that depended on which projects you are talking about. She said Ingram is up to date with permits on all of his “active” projects in the city, including the one involving loft apartments above the French Market on the square.
However, Hall said all permits for the abandoned senior living center on Brooklyn Ave./Highway 41 South have expired. She said she and the city building authority had a discussion with Ingram and told him the city is looking at the site, where work stopped in approximately October 2018, as blighted property.
“If he re-started work, it won’t pass inspection,” said Hall. “It would have to be demolition and start over.”
Hall said that after her discussion with Ingram, he had the grass cut and fixed the fence at the abandoned work site.
“He apologized and said he didn’t realize it had gotten to that state,” she said.
Council also discussed some other blighted properties. Council member Julius Stroud asked what can be done about a burned house on Stroud Street where the grass is waist high and neighbors are complaining about snakes and other pests coming from the debris. He said there is a creek on the property that harbors infestations, and there are so many auto parts and other metal pieces in the yard that it would be hard to mow.
Hewett said code enforcement officer Jeremy Malone has written numerous citations to the property owner. Hall said all of the citations have been continued in court, and the property owner can’t be found. City attorney Bobby Melton said that neighbors or someone else, can’t clean up the property without either getting permission from the owner or going through the city’s condemnation procedures.
Stroud said there is a house on Milledge Circle that has been abandoned for decades and is also a health hazard.