UPDATE: Trailer park being demolished due to safety violations
“There were more dope heads in here then there were people that wanted to pay the rent,” James White said.
Five months after the landlord of a Rossville trailer park asked a number of residents to leave, folks living here say things are looking up.
“Since they left, it's been beautiful here,” Former resident Robert Moon said.
More than half of the units that used to be here were deemed unsafe by Walker County Code and Inspection officials.
Some units hadn't had power or running water for over two years. The landlord tells Channel 3, 25 of those units have since been torn down.
“He's doing a lot of stuff to help the community, it looks good,” White added.
White has lived here for the past two years. Since the dilapidated trailers have been torn down, he's seen less drug activity and believes the community is a safer place.
“I can leave my stuff in my driveway and it doesn't get carried off,” White said.
“Everyone stealing out of your trailer, and you don't have that anymore,” Moon said.
Making this neighborhood a better place to raise a family and call home.
The landlord tells Channel 3 he wants to fill the empty lots with more trailers or RV's.
Demolition is under way in a North Georgia trailer park. Dozens of units that have been deemed unsafe by the county are being torn down.
Many of the mobile homes near Park City Rd. and Longview Dr. in Rossville are said to be in deplorable conditions, but some residents are refusing to leave.
"We've got people living up here without power, without water. And that's just not acceptable living conditions," said Mark Askew, Walker County Building Official. "It's not safe, and it's not allowable."
More than half the units in a Rossville trailer park are considered dilapidated, abandoned and unsafe, according to county codes and inspections.
"They've been let go, they've been vandalized, and it's just not safe for people to be here, period," Askew said.
He said 25 of the park's 40 units are safety liabilities -- for neighbors, or anyone living inside.
"I came home one night and I noticed all the trailers in front of us were completely destroyed," one resident said.
"They're just coming through and knocking them down, and everybody's just having to leave," said Christy Pena, who lives in one of the trailers deemed unsafe.
But Pena is refusing to pack her bags.
"We're making sure someone's always here, and we're not moving the car," she said.
Pena said she had been making home repairs long before getting the notice to vacate.
"There's nothing wrong in there," Pena said. But county inspectors don't agree.
Askew said sewage has leaked under the home, and that power hasn't been on the premises "since January 2012."
Residents went several months without paying rent due to shuffling ownership. The new property owner, Arthur Clark, took over about a month ago.
Askew said he doesn't believe a contract is being broken.
"I believe they're actually there without permission," he said.
Clark, the current landlord, told Channel 3 he gave the original notice to vacate on April 1.
He said during a phone interview, "I've given them ample time to vacate the premises."
"Whether they've been notified or not, I don't think you just walk up and live somewhere without a lease or without permission of the property owner," said Askew. "So that's kind of where we are there."
If residents do not vacate by Monday, officials said the next step will be getting police involved.