Railroad accused of trying to force out Stone Mountain businesses

Summer Moss has proudly owned her own hair salon on Main Street in Stone Mountain for nine years.

She just found out that will change in less than 30 days.

"It was a complete shock," Moss said. "My boys, we live in the neighborhood, they get to ride by and say, 'Hey, that’s my mom's shop.'"

But the railroad CSX has told her and two other neighboring businesses, Village Car Wash and the Christian Sports Center, that they have to leave the property, which sits next to the railroad tracks across from City Hall. 

CSX owns the property they've been subleasing. The railroad said the tenant never had its permission to sublease. 

"CSX does not have a lease agreement with the business owners currently occupying our property," a spokesperson for the railroad said in an email. "Our tenant improperly sublet the property without authorization to third parties in a manner that exposes CSX to unacceptable liability concerns. "

The railroad did not specify the liability concerns, but they understand the frustration of small businesses, stating that they have communicated a willingness to find an agreeable path forward. However, this will not occur until the current lease is terminated.

Decaturish, which first reported the issue, said that the sub-tenants had been paying the owner of Weeyams Cheese Steaks and Hoagies on an informal month-to-month basis. 

Moss says she is determined to stay in business and keep doing what she loves. 

"If we have to leave, OK. Can we at least get 60 days? Can we get 90 days?" Moss said. "We are uprooting our businesses that we built over the course of nine, 25 years." 

CSX has indicated it is open to working with the small businesses - after they leave.  

"We understand their frustration with this situation, and we have communicated a willingness to find an agreeable path forward with the subtenants once the contractual relationship with our current tenant has been officially terminated."