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A Blog about Real Estate, How it Can Be Damaged, and Disputes Over its Transfer

This blog is a personal blog written to discuss legal issues affecting Georgia property, and how it is damaged, transferred, and fought over. I write this partly to keep abreast of the law, and partly to offer a forum for my writing. In order to find content, I often analyze Georgia Supreme Court decisions. I try to update this blog as I can, but writing is a time consuming process.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sandy Springs Efforts at Managing Burgeoning Storm Water Issues

The City of Sandy Springs is currently in the process of adopting a set of ordinances and provisions that could purport to give its officials the power to enter private properties and force homeowners to fix components of the storm water drainage system.  On a related note, the City has been quietly studying the flood plains of different areas of the City and is also in the process of submitting a proposal to FEMA to enlarge the flood plains along creeks and streams in the City.

The proposed property maintenance code language that the City seeks to implement contains language that would try to place the obligation of storm water maintenance for public drainage courses on the property owners where the drainages are located.   Under a literal reading of the ordinances, a City official could issue an arrest citation against a property owner that fails to maintain a public detention pond located on the owner's property.

Various constitutional issues are raised by the ordinance under the Takings and Due Process Clauses of the state and federal constitutions, and it will be interesting to see how the proposed local law fares.

The ordinance and flood plain surveys appear to be related to a planned lawsuit by the City of Sandy Springs against Fulton County, Georgia concerning failing and unmaintained detention ponds that have silted in and that may have contributed to the elevation of down stream flood levels on a creek fed by the detention facilities.  The ponds are located in or near Arlington Cemetery.  The City says the County has a contractual obligation to continue to maintain the ponds that the County did not turn over to the City at the time of the creation of Sandy Springs.  The County claims the ponds are not its financial problem any longer.

Teague & Zeliff, LLC

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