Elderly woman to avoid eminent domain; Other homeowners say they - CBS46 News

Elderly woman to avoid eminent domain; Other homeowners say they should too

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed promised to save the home of a 93-year-old woman after it was slated for demolition by the city. Now her neighbors in the Peoplestown neighborhood in southeast Atlanta are asking why can’t their homes be saved too?

The city has already taken ownership of most of the homes in the neighborhood, about 20 so far, but there are a handful of homeowners who still refuse to leave. The city plans to level the neighborhood and build a retention pond to combat flooding issues.

Mattie Jackson, 93, went to Atlanta City Hall to plead with Mayor Reed to spare her home, a wish he granted.

“We are moving forward with our plan, but it will just not include Miss Jackson’s home,” explained Reed. “Miss Mattie has been a part of the fabric of Atlanta before I was ever born and so we did push extra hard to develop a solution for her,” Reed added.

The other remaining holdouts in the Peoplestown neighborhood are not so lucky.

“I live in a world where I have got to make as many people as possible happy, but not everybody,” Reed contended.

“I think there are three of us that want to stay,” Tanya Washington told CBS46. Washington’s home sits in the way of the city’s plan. Washington is five months pregnant and doesn’t want to leave her home, but worries the city may exercise eminent domain and force her out. 

“I will not be Mary looking for a manger,” Washington stated. “I am just grateful that given the decision that was made for Miss Mattie that there seems to be room for alternatives while still addressing the flooding problem,” Washington added.

No one disputes there is a flooding problem in the neighborhood. Mayor Reed has seen it for himself.

“We are bringing a $65 million flooding solution to a community that never got it before,” Reed told CBS46.

Washington argues since her 91-year-old home has never flooded and she lives on the edge of the proposed retention pond project, her home should be spared.

“If I have to live on a pond, I am willing to make that sacrifice but I am not willing to sacrifice my home without a fight,” Washington stated.

Washington is willing to go to court to fight the city.

Another round of demolition could begin in the neighborhood as early as Monday.

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