Homeowner blames neighbors for flooding issues in eminent domain fight

(Source: WGCL)

Cris Eix sent CBS46 News cell phone video of water spewing out of her toilet at her home on Atlanta Avenue in Peoplestown. She’s been having flooding and plumbing issues for several years.

She says she doesn’t blame the City of Atlanta. She blames her neighbors.

“The city is trying to put in a retention pond and a storm drain, but it’s not happening because we have neighbors who refuse to move,” Eix told CBS46.

Bertha and Darden are two of three neighbors who refuse to move or sell their homes to the city.

Under Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration, the couple says they were told the city would take the home through eminent domain. They’ve been fighting it ever since.

“What he allowed the city lawyers to do is not right and we are standing on what is right and we believe is we are to stay in our home,” Bertha Darden said.

Mr. Darden, who retired from the city after 30 years, says he prayed for the house and it’s irreplaceable.

“We stood in the yard. We prayed, the pastor and I,” Robert Darden said. “The Lord blessed us with it and we’ve been here ever since and we shall stay.”

The Darden’s do not believe they are the problem. They say the city has other ways to relieve the flooding issues without taking the entire block of homes.

Still 20 other homeowners have moved, and their lots are empty.

“I don’t fault no other neighbor for leaving because the city kept pressuring them,” Mrs. Darden said.

“Look at what we have.,” Mr. Darden added. “They don’t build houses like this now, except for the ones that they want to pay millions of dollars for. This is a solid brick house. It ain’t plaster. It’s real brick. These are real hard wood floors. Why would I leave this?”

He says it is more than just a house. It’s their home. The Darden’s will return to Fulton County Superior Court on October 29 to push back against the city yet again.

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