News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news

Debris remaining after a building was demolished at 802 Fifth Avenue S.E. in Decatur.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Debris remaining after a building was demolished at 802 Fifth Avenue S.E. in Decatur.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: 804 Fifth Ave. S.E.

Description: Piles of discarded material measuring 3 feet high serve as barriers between the property and the alley. The discarded items consist of clothes, shoes, boxes, lumber and household furnishings.

Owner: Morgan County revenue records list Lois Sapp as property owner.

Sapp, a senior citizen who maneuvers with the aid of a walker, said the Community Development Department instructed her to demolish the structure in the backyard. To alleviate the problem, Sapp hired a man to demolish the building.

Due to her physical limitations, Sapp was unaware of the debris that remained in her yard after the demolition.

“I didn’t realize that stuff was still back there. Well, we’re going to have to get it cleaned up,” Sapp said.

Ordinance: Decatur’s weed, junk and litter ordinance requires property owners to store junk, scrap and litter in an enclosed structure so that the material is not viewable from the street or alley.

Responsible officials: The property is in Councilman David Bolding’s District 2.

The Community Development Department issued two notices to the property owner, said David Lee, code enforcement officer. The active notices cite the property for an unsafe accessory structure and also overgrown weeds, standing water and an accumulation of litter, scrap material and household furnishings.

According to Lee, the owner applied for an extension for the ordinance concerning the accumulation of litter and overgrown weeds. The owner has until Sept. 26 to bring the property up to code.

To comply with the unsafe-building notice, the owner received a permit to demolish the dilapidated structure, Patricia Funari with the Building Department said.

City code requires property owners to dispose of building debris privately. The Sanitation Department will haul away other materials, including clothes and shoes, only if properly contained in garbage cans.

Let us know if you’re tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood. Contact Community Development’s weed, junk and litter hot line at 341-4963. You can also contact the Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or

- Catherine Godbey

Save $84.50 a year off our newsstand price:
Subscribe today for only 38 cents a day!

Leave feedback
on this or

Email This Page