Forsyth County Land Rejuvenation Group has first meeting

“Essentially, land banks were created after states and local governments in the United States identified a problem,” said Molly Esswein of Forsyth District Attorney Ken Jarrard’s office, “and that there are these properties that end up tainted or not well maintained are behind with their taxes and have liens and similar issues, and various regulations and requirements make it a bit difficult to market them publicly and resolve these issues. “

Members of the group include Kevin Tanner, the Forsyth district manager, Cumming councilors, Joey Cochran and Christopher Light, local attorney Phill Bettis, and Forsyth County resident Lamar Wakefield, the director of Nelson Worldwide.

The agency lacks the ability to use a significant domain to purchase property, and members said the land they control comes from tax sales or is city or county government determined.

“They should acquire, manage and maintain these properties and, in principle, enable them to be developed or redeveloped,” says Esswein.

For properties that are taken over by the agency and later sold, the group can receive up to 75% of the county property taxes for five years, which is used to fund other projects.

One property discussed by members of the agency was the abandoned Greenleaf subdivision on Anderson Lake Road in northeast Forsyth.

“One of the driving forces behind this is … there are some lots on Anderson Lake Road that some of you may remember is a defunct community, the developer went to federal jail,” Tanner said. “Houses were built [with] no wastewater on plots too small for septic tanks. “

The proposed subdivision halted construction in 2006, and two men associated with the 40-acre project were convicted of mortgage fraud in federal prisons and sentenced to millions in compensation.

The structures on the 40 hectare property were described as “house shells” and were in poor condition, destroyed and demolished and built without adequate infrastructure, which meant they could not be completed.

Of the 60 proposed plots, 18 were dilapidated at the end of construction.

In 2015, the district authorized Jarrard’s office to proceed with a nuisance clearance process to begin the land removal process, which was completed in 2016. Tax liens were placed on the property for the demolition.

Although the structures have collapsed, tax and property problems remain in the country.

Tanner said it would likely be a lengthy process to get property, clear ownership and tax issues, market it, and have it sold.

As this was the group’s first meeting, the only action taken was to have Joey Homans act as the group’s lawyer to help them work out the group’s procedures.

Tanner said the group is also asking the county $ 10,000 as seed money to hire Homans and start working.

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