Garden City tax foreclosure battle shuts down city council meeting

Angry homeowners shut down a meeting in Garden City.
Angry homeowners shut down a meeting in Garden City.

GARDEN CITY, Mich. – Garden City homeowners with delinquent property tax bills say the city wants to sell their properties to a developer.

On Monday night, those homeowners and their allies essentially shut down a City Council meeting—as this already controversial subject becomes even more heated.

Council members declared the meeting out-of-control before retreating behind closed doors and leaving police to deal with a room of angry citizens.

At issue is a program meant to flight blight. Garden City took control of 17 properties whose owners were behind on their tax bills. Rather than putting those properties up for auction, the city sold them to a developer.

Many of the properties were vacant, but owners of the occupied homes pleaded with the city to cancel the contract with the developers. Garden City officials wouldn't budge.

Mayor Randy Walker declined to comment on the matter.

While it doesn't appear that the city will reverse its plan, an attorney for the homeowners says the fight isn't over yet.

"We can't lose hope here. This is people's homes. They can't stop fighting."