• Blight fight targets properties with code violations

    By: Leslie Coursey


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Amoco station on Avenue B and two properties in the 2300 block of Moncrief Road -- City Councilwoman Denise Lee wants to shut them down.

    "It will give others an opportunity to come in and try to redevelop that area and move that criminal behavior out of the area," she said.

    Police say those street corners are hubs for criminal activity.  

    "I used to actively chase the dope boys off the corner of 44th and Avenue B," said Chief Pat Ivey, with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

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    Code enforcement said the property owners have been cited, collectively paid more than  $107,000 in fines and yet are still subjects of active code enforcement investigations.

    "Nobody should have that many fines in the city of Jacksonville that's not foreclosed," Lee said.

    "If you crack down on those businesses, pretty soon you're going to find out that some of those businesses are getting robbed because some of those dope boys protect businesses," said citizen Carnell Oliver.

    Oliver is not convinced this approach will work. But Lee and her blight committee said something has to be done so innocent people who live in those neighborhoods feel safe again.


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