Cobb County

Homeowners living near Sterigenics plant say their property values have fallen

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Home values are plummeting near a controversial medical sterilization plant.

Channel 2 Cobb County bureau chief Chris Jose has learned property values near the Sterigenics plant have fallen 10%.

Homes are on the market range anywhere between $500,000 and $1.5 million.

Barry Goppman lives near Sterigenics. He told Jose that his friend lost a lot of money. The long-time Smyrna homeowner is afraid he’s next.

“From a $1.2 million to 600k in like that,” Goppman said. “And people who’ve tried to sell, couldn’t sell.”

Homeowners within a 2-mile radius of the medical sterilization plant have seen their property values drop 10%.

The Cobb County board of tax assessors approved the reduction on residential property valuations in April.


Barry tried to refinance his house, but he backed out.

“One appraisal came in like $16,000 below what the tax assessor’s appraisal was,” Goppman said.

Jose looked up some homes on the tax assessor’s website.

Last year, one home was appraised at $453,500. This year, the fair market value is $408,000.

A $710,000 appraisal last year is down to $639,000.

Those kind of numbers scared away new homebuyer Danny Arango.

“We definitely would not consider anything in Vinings, what so ever,” Arango said.

A representative with Sterigenics sent Jose a statement, saying “across-the-board devaluation of over 5,000 residential properties is unreasonable. The fact is that the Sterigenics facility is safe and not causing anyone harm.”

“That was my whole down payment, was 10%,” Arango said.

The chief appraiser told Jose that the board recognizes there is an environmental air-quality concern.

Last month, Sterigenics filed a lawsuit against the county claiming that the board’s actions will cause economic harm.