'Zombie neighborhoods' worry residents - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

'Zombie neighborhoods' worry residents

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A Marietta man's dream home has become a nightmare because of a  so-called "zombie neighborhood" next door. A Marietta man's dream home has become a nightmare because of a so-called "zombie neighborhood" next door.
MARIETTA, Ga. -

A Marietta man's dream home has become a nightmare because of a  so-called "zombie neighborhood" next door.

Keith Askins bought his home on West Sandtown Road in Cobb County back in 2005. At the time, there were plans for a subdivision to go next door.

"It was asphalted, it was nice. It was a nice setup, and then it just went to nothing," said Askins.

After Atlanta's real estate boom went bust, the subdivision plans were scrapped.

The area has sat unattended and empty for years.

"I mean you can see, man, even the fence is overgrown with vegetation," said Askins.

Some people call it a "zombie neighborhood" – subdivisions that never got off the ground. There are hook-ups for the houses' electricity and the neighborhoods only street lit. There's another one less than a mile from Askins' home.

Askins  says the worst part is a drainage pond that he says has turned into a swamp and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, snakes and rats.

"I think it's a health issue…I've got a grandchild she wants to go outside and play, swim in the pool, that kind of thing… we can't do any of that -- especially in the summer, we just don't do it," he said.

The Cobb & Douglas Office of Public Health said they have received complaints in that area. The typical process is a property owner is sent a letter and given 30 days to fix a problem and then cited. But it becomes very complicated in situations like this when banks, foreclosures and abandoned properties get involved.

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