Vacant home in Savannah causing a nuisance for neighbors

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A vacant home in Savannah is making some neighbors upset. They said it’s been a nuisance for too long.

The homes they’re referencing are located off Jefferson and West 36th Street.

At 221 W. 36th St., no one has occupied the property for years.

“We got this garage building back here that’s caught fire in the past. We got people staying in it doing God knows what in it. We got all kinds of illegal activity going on and we’re just really concerned,” said neighbor Linda Blakemore.

Ivy, overgrown plants and trash are making the property an eyesore and neighbors have been complaining for years.

“Since 2018, there’s been one call each year by the neighbors saying there’s an issue with this property,” said Alderman Detric Leggett.

WTOC learned from code compliance that there’s been an open code case on this home since 2019. They’ve been cited for numerous violations, but since the homeowner passed away, the heirs to the property have been attempting to get the probate process complete.

“This situation here has gotten so bad that I don’t even go this direction anymore”, Blakemore said. “I go around the other way then walk 36th Street down the other side.”

Right next door is another property that the city’s code compliance department said didn’t have any violations until they came out on Tuesday. We noticed from outside the unsecured property that someone was living in the lower level.

Rick Pryor has lived in this neighborhood for more than 40 years and said he’s seen how homes like this affect the quality of life.

“In the period of time I’ve been here, it’s watching the destruction not only of the properties, but also the flavor of the neighborhood,” Pryor said.

He said the vacant home is a public safety issue.

“People can’t sleep. They’re worried about break-ins. They have all that stuff, then it’s the drug dealing...the prostitutes.”

Alderman Detric Leggett said the homes being unsecured poses a safety threat.

“You never know what time people come home. You don’t know whose going to run up on you.”

He assured neighbors the city is keeping an eye on it and possibly adding more of a police presence for safety.

Code enforcement did come out to inspect both properties on Tuesday.

For the property at 221 W. 36th Street, code compliance said contractors were assigned to clean and secure the property twice. They’ve inspected each time a complaint was made.

At the home on 217 W. 36th Street, code compliance said they’re investigating if the homeowners have the right permits.

If you ever notice any illegal activity happening in your neighborhood, you should call 911.

You can also contact code enforcement by clicking here.

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