Convenience or chronic nuisance? Brookhaven business faces drastic steps

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

The owner of a convenience store and coin-operated laundry may soon find himself out of business if something doesn’t change.

City Mart 2 and Coin Laundry, 900 North Jackson St., is considered by the Brookhaven Police Department and Board of Aldermen to be the site of repeated criminal activity.

Brookhaven City Attorney Bobby Moak has sent two notices by mail to Gamal Rageh, owner of the business, calling upon him to appear before the Board of Aldermen. The first asked him to appear on April 18. When he did not attend, Moak said it was possible the notice had not reached him in a timely manner.

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On the following day, Moak sent the second notice, telling Rageh he may not have received the first notice in a timely matter, but he needed to appear before the city’s board on May 2.

Rageh did not appear for that meeting, either.

The board approved a third and final notice to be sent to Rageh, warning that the next step may be to declare the property a “chronic nuisance.”

According to Brookhaven Ordinance 20-22—20-45, “Chronic nuisance properties present grave health, safety and welfare concerns, where the persons responsible for such properties have failed to take corrective action to abate the nuisance condition. [The] properties have a tremendous negative impact upon the quality of life, safety and health of neighborhoods where they are located.”

The Police Department has reported multiple calls to the location over the past several years, and Chief Kenneth Collins has told the board on multiple occasions that young people who are consistently involved in criminal behavior tend to congregate at the store and laundry.

The ordinance states that when the police have confirmed three or more nuisance activities within a 60-day period on a property, the matter can be submitted to the board of aldermen to consider declaring the property a chronic nuisance. The city will then serve a warning to the property owner.

“If the person responsible responds as required by the notice and agrees to abate the nuisance activity, the mayor and/or police chief or their designee, and the person responsible, may work out an agreed upon course of action,” according to the ordinance.

If this is not done, the city may pursue legal action. If the court deems the property a chronic nuisance, financial penalties can be imposed and the city may be authorized to physically secure the premises and close the property.

To read the full ordinance or any other Brookhaven ordinance, visit