Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

City steps up effort to keep area clean

July 4, 2001

In an effort to keep a clean image, city officials have been busy sending out citation notices to homeowners violating the city's public nuisance codes.

Basehor City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper said the ordinance is designed to keep the community an attractive place to live.

"What we are doing is basically the same thing as last year," Hooper said. "Some of the most common violations are having junk cars in the driveway, and grass and weeds being too high."

The public nuisance codes have been a part of city regulations for several years, but were not readily enforced until the term of former Basehor Mayor John Pfannenstiel, Hooper said.

Although the enforcement of the codes is a relatively new practice, Hooper said the codes are taken seriously and are supported by the City Council.

"They are updated every month on how many violations there were," Hooper said.

All vehicles in the city must be licensed, insured and operable, or the vehicles are in violation of the city codes. The homeowner can keep a vehicle that doesn't meet that criteria, but the vehicle must be placed in a garage or other enclosed building.

Upon notice of the violation, the vehicle owner has a specified amount of time to correct the violation or petition the City Council for a formal hearing.

Usually, owners are given one week to rectify the problem, Hooper said.

A good way to part ways with a dilapidated vehicle is to donate it to the American Heart Association, Hooper said.

The AHA repairs the vehicles to provides transportation for heart patients. Any person that donates a vehicle to the AHA receives a tax deduction from the Internal Revenue Service.

Another violation that has been increasing in the city is the height of grass and weeds on the lawns of some residences.

The city regulation states that grass and weeds must be under a foot tall or a citation is given. Under the city regulations, the offender has five days to correct the violation. If the violation has not been corrected within the specified time, the city will cut the grass and bill the owner or agent of the property.

"The main concern is with terraces in front of houses," Hooper said. "The homeowner is responsible for cutting the grass from their property to the center line of the road."

While this year's violations have not exceeded last year's numbers, there are still several residents who do not understand the ordinance.

"Most of the offenders we get are repeat offenders from last year," Hooper said.

For clarification of the rules and regulations regarding the public nuisance ordinance, brochures are available at Basehor City Hall.

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