The city of Indianapolis recently announced the filing of public nuisance charges against two Indianapolis apartment complexes — La Esmeralda Apartments and Heather Ridge Apartments.
The suits allege since 2008 both properties unreasonably consumed city, public, and law enforcement resources including more than 3,200 police runs and more than 200 Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) and Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) investigations. Incidents at the complexes have included assault, narcotics, armed robbery, and homicide.
“It is absolutely critical to our efforts to combat crime and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods that we crack down on negligent property owners,” Mayor Greg Ballard said in a press release. “We must hold property owners accountable for draining unnecessary public resources and damaging our communities.”
The city seeks an unspecified amount of financial restitution for damages caused, and demands both complexes increase crime prevention and awareness. This includes such steps as maintaining the aesthetics of the property, installing/maintaining security cameras, hiring private security, and screening all approved applicants.
“The activities occurring at both locations demonstrate the apartments’ inabilities to operate responsible businesses and provide safe environments for their residents,” said City Prosecutor Samantha DeWester. “These property owners have created a public nuisance by allowing their properties to become hot spots for crime.”
La Esmeralda faced similar problems in 2012, when the Indianapolis Housing Authority ordered the complex to pay back $347,000 in fines due to violations of Section 8 standards.
DCE’s Nuisance Abatement section works closely with the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) to protect the quality of life for neighborhoods by taking action against problem property owners.