Archive for Thursday, August 12, 2004

City Council cracks down on Basehor property owner

August 12, 2004

Clean it up or lose it.

That's the message the Basehor City Council sent to one local landowner Monday evening when it approved a measure that would condemn a dilapidated house and outbuildings at 3036 N. 156th Street.

During a public hearing on the condemnation, the city approved action that would allow them to remove the buildings but also reserved the right to rescind the order if property owner Robert Eberth has made progress on the buildings within 90 days.

City attorney John Thompson said the condemnation would include the city paying for the removal of the buildings and placing a lien for the cost on Eberth's property taxes.

While Eberth's attorney, J.R. Russell, addressed City Council members, the property owner became upset with city officials.

City codes inspector Brian Dennison said Eberth's buildings -- located across the street from Basehor Elementary School -- have been in disrepair for several years. A house on the property has broken windows and doors, a poor roof and a crumbling foundation, Dennison said.

He deemed the buildings a safety hazard and a "haven for someone to do harm to a child."

"It's dangerous," he said. "It's not safe to be there."

To get the house up to standards, Dennison said it would "probably have to be gutted" and repaired before it was livable.

Russell, who told city officials he hadn't seen the condition of his client's property, asked the City Council to set aside its decision for six weeks so Eberth could begin making repairs to the property.

Eberth said he would fix the windows and paint the house.

Russell said his client keeps the house to "honor his ancestors" and would continue his petition to retain the property.

Russell also questioned the process by which the city was condemning the property. The attorney said the city had no right to go onto the property and inspect inside the buildings because Eberth had never given his permission.

Russell, who earlier cited his desire to keep talks between the city and Eberth non-confrontational, said if the city persisted in its action against Eberth the matter would be settled "on the fourth floor of the Leavenworth County Courthouse."

City officials said Eberth has been asked numerous times to clean up the property and has done nothing so far.

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