Site of former dealership cleared

by Sarah Fay Campbell

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The former Dodge dealership on Hwy. 34 East has now been cleaned up - even though nobody ever filed a formal complaint about the site with Coweta County. 

The former Dodge dealership property on Hwy. 34 East has been cleaned up, following a story in The Newnan Times-Herald about its overgrown status.

But Coweta County wasn't involved in the cleanup.

Coweta County's code enforcement office doesn't get involved in most issues unless formal complaints are filed with the county.

A formal complaint is one that is typically filed with the county, signed by the complainer, and includes an address and phone number. Facebook comments and Sound Offs sent to the Times-Herald don't count.

As of late Thursday, Coweta County had not received a single formal complaint about the former auto dealership property, according to Coweta Communications Manager Tom Corker.

A story describing the complaint based nature of Coweta's code enforcement, specifically referencing the vacant dealership, was published in The Newnan Times-Herald on Sept. 22.

No formal complaint was filed, but by early Thursday, the grass had been cut and the bushes trimmed. The property, the former John Cullen Dodge site, was purchased in August 2010 by Atlanta Real Estate Holdings LLC.

John Cullen Dodge closed in the summer of 2009 under a decree from Chrysler, which shut down 789 dealerships around the country.

Coweta County's 'rank growth' ordinance allows the county to go in and clean up commercial and industrial sites, as well as residential lots in subdivisions - if negotiations with the property owner do not result in satisfactory cleanup. Liens are then placed on the property to recover the cost of the cleanup. 

Before Coweta County can move forward with actually hiring a contractor to do a cleanup job, and placing the lien, there must be a vote by the Coweta County Board of Commissioners.



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