Tim's Take: Savannah's 100 Worst Properties list - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Tim's Take: Savannah's 100 Worst Properties list

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It's elitist, it's offensive, it's politically incorrect and it's the best thing the city of Savannah has come up with in a long time.

The city's 100 Worst Properties list is intended to pressure owners of dilapidated buildings and lots into fixing up those places, to beautify and benefit the street, to satisfy their neighbors, to improve the city.

"We're frankly, shaming these property owners into fixing up these properties,'' said Bret Bell, the city's director of public information. "These are the properties that really drag the rest of the neighborhood. They signal to criminals this is a place that criminality might be tolerated.''

And they are an affront to a city that takes pride in its appearance.

It was years before the restoration effort took hold that Lady Astor called Savannah "a beautiful woman with a dirty face."

The city has cleaned itself up nicely since then, although it missed a spot or two.

"What we want are the really nasty properties," said Bell, "The haunted house down the street."

Curt Purcell lives across from one on Hall Street, and it's the first thing he sees when he walks out his door every day.

"Well, it's an eyesore," Purcell said. "If the city could help with that or any other solution, I'd love to see it out of here."

This blight to bright campaign can help with everything from property values to quality of life, and with citizens affecting the change by nominating offending properties.

"If you're a responsible property owner, this isn't going to affect you in any way," said Bell. "This is for the guy down the street from you who knows better, but continues to do nothing about it. Those are the people we are trying to target."

And trying to get involved in the continued beautification of Savannah, even if it takes a little pushing.

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