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Owner of Rooming House Faces Court for Code Violations After Investigation (Video)

Court Appearance for Illegal Rooming House

In Atlanta Municipal Court, the owner of a rooming house operating illegally in a historic Atlanta neighborhood made an appearance following a Channel 2 Action News investigation. The house in question, located in the historic Coler Heights neighborhood, was found to be operating as a pad split with 10 bedrooms rented by the week, despite being zoned for single-family use.

Delayed Legal Proceedings

The first citation for this violation was issued in 2022, but it took a year and a half for the case to be brought to court. Neighbors expressed frustration that the court appearance did not resolve the issue, as the hearing was quickly continued for another 45 days due to the absence of code enforcement officials.

Legal Dispute Over Compliance

In court, the attorney for the City of Atlanta indicated that code enforcement was not present to testify in the zoning dispute. The attorney for the property owner, Iona Figueroa Jr., argued that they did not agree the property was out of compliance with city ordinances.

Challenges in Serving Citations

Channel 2 Action News previously reported that both Figueroa and the CEO of PadSplit, Atticus LeBlanc, had been cited in 2023 for operating a rooming house in a single-family zone. However, the city has struggled to serve these citations effectively, having only posted notices on the door of the property.

Neighbor Frustration

Heather Allen, a neighbor living two doors down from the rooming house, voiced her frustration over the prolonged process and the lack of enforcement. She criticized the city’s method of merely posting citations without follow-up, which she believes offers no real consequences for non-compliance.

Statements from PadSplit

PadSplit issued a statement clarifying that they do not own, manage, or have renovated the property in question, though it is listed among the housing options in their marketplace.

Uncertainty Over Ownership

In court, Figueroa’s attorney suggested that his client might not be the actual owner of the property, adding another layer of complexity to the case. The judge ordered city officials to determine the rightful party to be cited before the next court date, scheduled for July 8th.

Next Steps

The case will continue in July, with city officials expected to provide clarity on ownership and compliance issues. Channel 2 Action News will follow up on the developments.

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