Cops: ‘Crime-ridden’ Atlanta apartment complex will be demolished

Sierra Ridge apartments

Sierra Ridge apartments

A judge has ordered the demolition of a troubled apartment complex, the Atlanta Police Department announced this week.

Sierra Ridge, a 28-building property on the city’s west side, was reportedly hit with hundreds of code violations over an eight-month period beginning in late 2016.

Crime and issues at the complex last year included the shooting death of a 23-year-old man, and the property's water being shut off due to an unpaid bill of about a half million dollars.

A phone number listed for the complex was disconnected.

City officials will help ensure that residents are “able to find a suitable place to live prior to the ordered demolition,” an APD spokesman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Police are determining how many tenants live in the complex.

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Demolition was “the only real option,” APD Chief Erika Shields said.

“We hope other irresponsible property owners will take notice and work to provide clean, respectable housing for its residents,” she said in a statement.

Here’s the timeline of events at Sierra Ridge that led to the demolition decision, according to the APD:

• December 2016 - July 2017: APD's code enforcement section, which inspects residential and commercial properties, cited Sierra Ridge with more than 400 violations.

• August 2017: The city filed a nuisance petition alleging the property was "unfit for human habitation and heavily crime-ridden."

• October 2017: The property owners of the Delmar Lane complex, which is on the same street as the Sierra Ridge complex, signed a consent order promising to repair and renovate the property over a 27-week period.

• March 2018: The city filed a motion alleging Sierra Ridge owners failed to comply with the order.

• April 23, 2018: An APD code enforcement officer testified that the property was "still highly hazardous, uninhabitable, crime-ridden and a nuisance."

• April 30, 2018: Atlanta Municipal Court Chief Judge Christopher T. Portis ruled that the property owners failed to prove the property is fit for human habitation. He ordered demolition of the property within 90 days.

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