The Atlanta City Council approved legislation on Monday, November 3, to prohibit commercial harassment by investors seeking to intimidate and pressure Atlanta homeowners into selling their properties for prices far below the estimated fair market value.

The legislation notes that while Atlanta has seen increases in home values, legacy residents are missing out on those profits by selling their homes at artificially low amounts.

Fulton County property records indicate that such predatory tactics are especially prevalent in predominantly Black communities such as Pittsburgh, Venetian Hills, Grove Park, and Sylvan Hills where more than one in four occupied homes were sold at less than half the estimated fair market value.

The Council also approved legislation to address street racing concerns in Atlanta by requiring the detention of a defendant until the initial appearance hearing for certain offenses related to street racing and unlawful operation of all-terrain and off-road vehicles that create dangers to people or property.

Other items approved Monday include:

• An ordinance to transfer $4.6 million to Invest Atlanta to address affordable housing in Atlanta.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner develop a street lighting plan to promote safety along Atlanta’s streets.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner develop a sidewalk master plan that prioritizes installing sidewalks in high-injury areas, streets where mass transit is provided, and other highly traveled corridors.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Transportation commissioner conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a program to train and hire City employees for transportation infrastructure-related job opportunities.

• A resolution requesting the City’s Department of Human Resources work with all City departments to develop a preliminary plan to outline opportunities for eligible City employees to work remotely following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Legislation was also introduced to be considered in committee next week, including:

•  A resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to amend the Georgia Uniform Civil Forfeiture Act to allow vehicles used in a street race or exhibition of speed to be temporarily seized by local authorities and to further allow for the permanent forfeiture of vehicles where a driver has a prior conviction for certain serious driving offenses, such as reckless driving.

(Photo: Google Maps)

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