Unattended lot a public nuisance

Published 12:48 pm Friday, July 24, 2009

In March Zaxby’s closed unexpectedly. Jann Burke, the owner of the location at 618 Highland Ave., one in Tuscaloosa and another in Northport, sold the locations to Zaxcos LLC.

At that time, Burke told The Selma Times-Journal the Tuscaloosa-based Zaxcos was obtaining franchise licenses. She also said if Zaxcos didn’t obtain franchise licenses, the locations would open up as different businesses.

That was more than four months ago.

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The location on Highland Avenue is as vacant as ever. Burke said the businesses had made a profit and the closings weren’t linked to public health concerns.

There’s a growing public health concern at the vacant site, however.

The grass at the site has to be at least 3 feet tall, providing a haven for mosquitos and other vermin. It’s unsightly to say the least.

Calls to Zaxby’s, which is headquartered in Athens, Ga., have resulted in nothing. A spokesperson there has told the Times-Journal and others in the city the company cannot discuss franchises.

That’s fine. We’ll wait to see what shakes out with the franchise.

Meanwhile, code officials or someone from the city needs to do a little research, see who owns the property and send them a letter telling them the site with overgrown grass needs attention. It’s a health and public safety nuisance.

If all else fails, the city should cut the grass and send Zaxby’s a bill.