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Buckhead Homes to be Razed | News

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Buckhead Homes to be Razed

ATLANTA -- The landscape of several neighborhoods inside Buckhead will be changing over the next year. Eleven homes damaged by the September floods will be torn down, never to be replaced.

A $5.5 million grant from FEMA will purchase the homes for 85 percent of fair market value pre-flood. City officials say the buyouts were offered to 40 homeowners, but only 11 ultimately accepted.

Once torn down, the property will be converted to greenspace, devoid of playgrounds or concrete walkways -- anything that could be affected future floods.

In order to qualify, the homes had to suffer damages worth more than 50 percent of the homes' value. In the Hanover West Neighborhood off Bohler Road, residents are upset that their neighbor on Hanover West Drive took the buyout.

"If it's just greenspace, who's going to take care of it?" asked Denis Koenig.

Koenig says her neighbors want the home to be rebuilt and lifted 10 feet, like they did with theirs. She believes a vacant lot will depress their home values.

Over in the Memorial Park neighborhood between Northside Drive and Howell Mill Road, Catherine Nelke wishes her neighbors had taken the buyout.

"It is a mess," she said. "It is a health hazard. It is absolutely horrible to look at. It's a detriment to our community."

The yellow cottage next to Nelke's house is abandoned, a haven for critters and bugs. City officials have told her there's nothing they can do.

"What about the obligation that the city has for those of us who have to live next to properties like this?" she asked.

Suffering from flood fatigue, the Nelkes are ready to sell, something they think is unlikely with the current house next door.

"That is going to stand in the way of that happening, it really is," Nelke said.










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