Athens Property Owner Plans Next Move

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An Athens homeowner says he thought he was doing the right thing.

Michael Weiser is deciding what his next move will be after city officials rejected his offer to give the City ownership of the land the boulder rolled from.

The city's rejection of his proposal means Weiser is still responsible for the hillsid even though he says he has no expertise or resources to be able to handle it.

"I can go out there with a hammer and a chisel but that's about the extent of my knowledge of how to take care of this," Weiser said.

The City maintains that the hillside is private property and is at least 60 feet out of the public right away.

Weiser claims the history of the land, which was cultivated by the Athens Brick Company, should free him of responsibility.

"Ultimately I'm the property owner and I get that. But I didn't create this hillside. I didn't allow this hillside to be created. I didn't benefit from how this hillside was created and now I'm stuck with this," he said.

But the city disagrees.

Service-Safety Director Paula Horan-Moseley said, "Yes, we're dealing with history, and we're dealing with what is in existence. I don't feel Mr. Weiser was unaware that there was a hillside he was purchasing when he was purchasing the property."

Weiser says he thinks this incident should have been a wake up call.

He said, "We're all just darn lucky that no one got killed the first time. If that happens, there's bound to be litigation all over the place. Why are we waiting for that eventuality?"

The City of Athens does plan projects to prevent road slip in dangerous areas, but this incident is unlike one they have seen before.

Horan-Moseley said, "A rock falling off the side of a hill onto our public right of way is a different beast."