Columbus takes East Side apartment complex to court

On Friday, a man leads a little girl and a dog through trash and tall grass in the apartments of Colonial Village, an East Side complex that the city has taken to court to clean it up.

Sometimes the stench in Char Jones’ apartment is so foul that she runs outside, fighting the urge to vomit.

Sewerage has been going downhill in her apartment in Colonial Village for 15 weeks. As of Friday, she was still waiting for the East Side complex to fix it, or at least give a realistic timeline of when it could be repaired.

“They just keep scaring me,” she said.

I had been thinking about Jones earlier in the week, then… the city of Columbus held a public forum for residents of the complex, the second largest in Franklin County and one where management has largely ignored the city’s demands to clean up its act.

Columbus city attorneys have sued the New York-based owners of the complex in efforts to resolve issues ranging from heavy gun violence to problems with raw sewage and insect infestations.

Theodore Decker

I had met Jones in the fall of 2019, when the city first ramped up the pressure on the complex. She then told me what it was like to live in a place where gunshots and drug dealing were common, where she’d seen a woman walk past her apartment naked from the waist down and a naked man walk by a few days later. from the waist down.

Theodore Decker:In Colonial Village, the show is R-rated

Nearly two years later, I wondered if Jones still lived there and if her living conditions had deteriorated.

She does, and they have.

Enter the complex east of James Road from East Livingston Avenue and a visitor might wonder if anyone lives there at all. Entire buildings have been boarded up. In broken glass parking lots, many of which are mostly empty. The grass is two feet high in places.

Windows and doors on the first floor are boarded up, windows on the second floor are shattered and garbage is piling up in the Colonial Village apartments on the East Side.  The municipality has taken the owners of the complex to court to get the complex clean.

“It’s terrible, isn’t it?” asked a man walking past an overflowing garbage can with a little girl next to him and a German Shepherd on a leash. “And every one of them is like that.”

He was right. All the bins in the path in front of them looked like they had erupted, garbage volcanoes spewing out bags of rotting food, battered furniture, even entire toilet fixtures. Squadrons flying whirled around them.

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