Ga. Code § 22-1-15

Current through 2021-2022 Regular Session Chapter 884
Section 22-1-15 - Process for condemnor to condemn property for public use; requirements; service
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Condemnor" means a county, municipality, or consolidated government of this state.
(2) "Economic development" means any economic activity to increase tax revenue, tax base, or employment or improve general economic health, when the activity does not result in:
(A) Transfer of land to public ownership;
(B) Transfer of property to a private entity that is a public utility; or
(C) Lease of property to private entities that occupy an incidental area within a public project.
(3) "Public use" means the remedy of blight when economic development is a secondary or ancillary public benefit of condemnation.
(b) A condemnor seeking to condemn property for public use under this Code section shall first petition the superior court of the county having jurisdiction for a judgment in rem against such property seeking a determination as to whether the property complained of in the petition is blighted property.
(c) The petition described in subsection (b) of this Code section shall set forth:
(1) The facts showing the right to condemn;
(2) The property or interest to be taken;
(3) The names and residences of the persons whose property or interests are to be taken or otherwise affected, so far as known;
(4) A description of any unknown persons or classes of unknown persons whose rights in the property or interest are to be affected;
(5) A description of the appearance of the property and any structures thereon;
(6) Such other facts as are necessary for a full understanding of the cause;
(7) A statement setting forth the need of the court to review the evidence and determine whether such property meets the definition of blight;
(8) A prayer for an order to be issued by the court as may be proper and desired; and
(9) Whether any of the persons referred to in this subsection are minors or disabled.
(d)
(1) Upon presentation of the petition set forth in subsection (c) of this Code section, the court shall issue an order requiring all parties of interest to appear at a time and place named in the order and make known their objections if any as to the question of whether the property shall be deemed blighted.
(2) The date of the hearing shall be no less than 30 days from the date such petition is filed.
(3) The order described in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall give directions for providing notice of the hearing and the service of such notices.
(4) It shall not be necessary to attach any other process to the petition except the order referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, and the cause shall proceed as in rem.
(e) All persons entitled to notice under the facts stated in the petition shall be personally served with a copy of the petition and order issued pursuant to subsection (d) of this Code section as in other causes at law, unless such service is waived in writing. All other service shall be made by the method as provided in Part 2 of Article 1 of Chapter 2 of this title, and all persons so served shall be deemed parties to the cause.
(f) In any cases where it seems to the court to be in the interest of justice and of more effective notice to cause additional notice or service to be given, it shall be within the court's discretion to so order. In such cases, such additional notice and service shall be made as ordered before the cause proceeds to final hearing. In cases where any taxes are alleged to be due or unpaid, the order shall direct that a separate notice to that effect be given the proper tax collector or tax commissioner.
(g) On the day named in the order made pursuant to subsection (d) of this Code section, or at any other time to which the hearing may be continued, the court, having first passed on and adjudged all questions touching service and notice, shall, after hearing from all persons responding and desiring to be heard, make such order as is appropriate based on the evidence as to whether or not the property shall be deemed blighted.
(h) Any property deemed blighted shall be described in the order adjudging such determination and contain a statement of the then current approved land use of the property, or in the case of vacant property, the last lawful use for which the property was occupied, and such property's future use shall be restricted to the same land use as stated in the order for a period of five years from the date of the order.
(i) A condemnor which has obtained an order under subsection (h) of this Code section declaring a property to be blighted shall within 60 days from such order, or in the event of an appeal, 60 days from the date when the remittitur of the appellate court is made the judgment of the court, file an action to condemn the property pursuant to the procedures set forth in Article 3 of Chapter 2 of this title. When a condemnor proceeds as set forth in Article 3 of Chapter 2 of this title, it shall attach a copy of the order issued under subsection (h) of this Code section.

OCGA § 22-1-15

Added by 2017 Ga. Laws 265,§ 2, eff. 7/1/2017.