ATLANTA - The family that owns a Buckhead mansion at the center of a city ordinance controversy says they did not authorize an Atlanta rapper’s party that upset neighbors.
Atlanta police responded to noise and traffic complaints at 4499 Garmon Road late Saturday night. The home was the site of a party for rapper YFN Lucci.
“That was not an event that I co-signed on or agreed to,” said Tosin Oduwole, the homeowners’ nephew. “There was someone that deceived me as far as what they were looking to do.”
Oduwole said he’s taking legal action against a woman who was supposed to use the property for a small pamper party. He said he looked at surveillance video of that evening and discovered Lucci’s party and damage to the family property.
“I can assure my neighbors those events do not happen here every day,” Oduwole said.
The event is the latest in a string of complaints tied to the property that date back to 2018. It’s sparked Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and City Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit to push new legislation tied to banning so-called party houses, something Oduwole denies operating.
Public records show Oduwole’s aunt and uncle own the estate and bought it from Kenny Rogers in 2006.
Oduwole said the couple, former Buckhead physicians, now live in their native Nigeria. He’s lived in the home for the past several years, managing the family’s U.S. real estate portfolio and speaking on behalf of his relatives, and the home's owners, Adeyinka Adesokan and Paula Nelson.
It wasn’t until 2018 that neighbors began complaining about excessive noise, traffic and other disruptions allegedly tied to the home. Oduwole said Atlanta police have responded to the property more than 100 times in the past 17 months.
“They always tell me, ‘Look there’s no crime being committed. There’s no law being broken. We just have to respond to the 911 calls.'”
APD confirms the responses have rarely resulted in any action. Oduwole said Saturday’s event resulted in a second city citation. The first one was settled with a fine in municipal court last summer.
Most of the time when police show up, Oduwole said he is at the home with smaller groups of friends and family.
As far as renting out the home, he said it’s been used by people he knows for exterior filming for shows like “The Bachelor” and listed on rental sites for certain types of events.
“AirBnB and these different websites where you can rent out your personal home, that’s perfectly within the law,” he said. “So that I don’t think constitutes breaking the law or breaking noise ordinances or breaking statutes here, and I believe the city knows that.”
“They were operating a business in a residence, and that is illegal. This is illegal activity, and we shut it down,” Matzigkeit told Channel 2 said last year, referring to the property and similar complaints that led to the 2018 fines.
A Twitter account dedicated to stopping Garmon Mansion parties has reignited with complaints the property is illegally operating as a party house. Dozens of neighbors showed up to a town hall meeting last summer after lodging complaints about the event that resulted in fines .
While one neighbor who lives directly across from the property told Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr he cannot hear the noise, residents believe the complaints originate from homes where property lines are adjoined behind the mansion. None of those neighbors was home when Carr stopped by Friday.
It’s illegal to hold large-scale commercial events in residential properties, and those events cannot be ticketed. The issue of party house rentals has become the center of debate in Fulton County over the past year and a half.
On Monday, Bottoms and Matzigkeit addressed the controversy and proposed amendments to an ordinance that would address party houses and further define them as follows:
"For this definition, commercial event includes parties, ceremonies, receptions or similar large-scale gatherings where the attendees are charged entry to the event, or the structure and its curtilage otherwise functions as a commercial recreation facility.”
“The proposed regulations are common sense measures to ensure our neighborhoods are safe, friendly and livable for all who call Atlanta home,” Bottoms said in a press release. “This is about ensuring accountability for unlawful party and event planners who create nuisance and disorder in our communities.”
Oduwole said he wants to meet with neighbors and the city face-to-face as the city vows to hold town halls centered around the debate.
“I really feel it’s a miscommunication, and so I would really like to get to them face-to-face and they can see me and we can speak and they can understand who they’re dealing with,” Oduwole said. “I’m not a party promoter. I’m not a rapper. I’m not in the entertainment industry. I’m a teacher.”
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