Judge gives final approval of Atlanta’s $19 million trash settlement

Atlanta City Council to discuss solutions to controversial trash fee law that was allegedly “illegal”
Atlanta residents speak out about how shortage of maintenance workers affects apartment living

Atlanta residents speak out about how shortage of maintenance workers affects apartment living

A Fulton County judge has given final approval of a $19 million settlement for the people affected by Atlanta’s years-old trash fee law, according to attorneys involved in the matter.

The attorneys for several condominium owners and commercial developments alleged in court last year that Atlanta’s frontage fee law is “an illegal tax” for trash pick up and street sweeping services. The litigation also alleged Atlanta did not perform the services even though the fees increased to a range of $500 to $12,000 per property in 2019.

Michael Johnson and Craig K. Pendergrast, the attorneys for the condo owners, said on Wednesday that Fulton Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee Ellerbe gave her final approval on the settlement reached between the attorneys for both parties.

According to a copy of the preliminary approval of the settlement, the city has to create a $19 million escrow account to reimburse several people who were affected by the fees from June 26, 2014 to the date of the final approval. The city also obtained a database of addresses for the properties affected by the contentious fees.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said the city plans to schedule a public hearing to discuss various proposals related to a repeal of the fee law. The spokesman also said each member of the Atlanta City Council has been briefed.

Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman declined to comment on the matter, according to a council spokesperson.

Details of the proposals were not immediately available, and it is not clear when the legislation will be introduced. The council has a two-week break before their next full meeting, which is scheduled for April 18.

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