With homicides up, Bottoms forms group to address ‘nuisance properties’ in Atlanta

A new committee made up of Atlanta city officials will begin meeting to come up with ways to address properties that have become hotspots for violent crime.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an administrative order that establishes a working group to focus on “nuisance properties,” her office announced Wednesday. This year, as Atlanta has seen a rise in homicides and aggravated assaults, “many of these violent crimes have consistently occurred within or near specific nuisance properties,” Bottoms’ order states.

City councilmembers from across the city have spoken out in recent months about specific nightclubs, restaurants and homes that have become problem spots for police and nearby residents. Bottoms said they are a threat to public health and safety.

“Addressing crime in Atlanta is a top priority for our administration and requires a holistic approach — one that removes opportunity for crime before it occurs,” Bottoms said in a statement.

The working group, which could include leaders from Atlanta police, the city attorney’s office and the city solicitor’s office, is tasked with drafting legislation by late January that addresses how the city can better handle nuisance properties. The group will also meet every two weeks until the end of June to discuss the issue.

The city has not yet announced who will be part of the committee.

Bottoms’ office said the formation of the group also builds on “Operation Clean Sweep,” which was launched in October with the goal of heightening clean-up and beautification efforts across Atlanta.