The City Council in February passed a chronic nuisance ordinance that gives Kansas City residents an enhanced tool to address residences or businesses that become sites of criminal activity.
Under this ordinance, a location that fosters a misdemeanor or felony can face penalties from the city that could result in the property being seized and put up for auction.
“These are powers we haven’t had before,” said First District Councilman Scott Wagner at the February “Second Friday” meeting hosted by Sixth District Councilmen John Sharp and Scott Taylor at the Trailside Center at 99th and Holmes. The Sixth District includes WPHA boundaries.
Wagner, who represents the Northland, introduced the ordinance to replace a previous ordinance that he suggested needed strengthening.
Such lesser nuisances as barking dogs or overgrown yards would not be covered by this ordinance. It aims at such crimes as drug sales, illegal use of firearms, disorderly conduct, and incidents causing bodily injury.
Action from the city will result if police are called to a property for any of these alleged crimes three times within 30 days or seven times within 180 days.
Then the business or home owner cited will be required to appear before the city’s neighborhoods and housing services department. If the complaints are founded, the party cited will be given 30 days to produce a plan to correct the issues.
Those cited can be required to pay for repairs or subject to special assessments. Such assessments, Wagner said, “will go on their county property taxes and begin their trip to the courthouse steps.”
A property owner can take his case before a seven-member chronic nuisance board, which will be appointed by Mayor Sly James. Any community members who will to be considered can contact Sharp at email@example.com or Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org. The ordinance, No. 150044, can be found online.
Despite all the events and responsibilities undertaken by the Ward Parkway Homes Association, your board of directors would like to offer even more. However, with too few volunteers trying to tackle too many assignments, some popular services have fallen by the wayside.
A leaves and bulky items pickup complementing the city’s pickups was discontinued a few years ago when our coordinator stepped down and nobody would replace him. Our Easter Egg Hunt coordinator moved, almost forcing cancellation of this year’s hunt until Brian and Rachel Mason stepped up to replace her. Coordinating these events does not involve a great deal of time, just the willingness to make phone calls, send emails and stay on top of deadlines.
If you are willing to help your Homes Association, there is an assignment tailored to your skills and availability. We are always looking for enthusiastic board members or event volunteers and anyone interested in becoming one needs only to attend a monthly meeting and express your interest. The board meets the first Tuesday of each month, unless noted otherwise, at 7:30 p.m. at Ward Parkway Presbyterian Church at 74th Street and Ward Parkway.
Residents with corner urns will have their annual opportunity to dress up the neighborhood at WPHA’s expense.
A volunteer will be delivering flowers in May for those requesting them for their urns. If you are doing your own planting and don’t want us to provide flowers, please contact Alison Baker at email@example.com or 816-822-2006. You also can contact her if you have a corner stone post without an urn and would like WPHA to install one.
Also, WPHA is seeking a Beautification Committee Chair to coordinate with contractors to oversee maintenance for urns and common spaces. The job requires no actual planting and can be shared by more than one person. If interested in volunteering, please contact Ms. Baker.
With the arrival of spring, WPHA will resume its Home of the Month award, which recognizes members who enhance the beauty of their homes and yards. Winners receive a story in the newsletter, a Home of the Month sign in their yard and a $50 gift certificate from the Soil Service.
Anyone wishing to nominate a WPHA member for this award should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City Council is considering a new noise ordinance. This Kansas City Star story references the WPHA’s efforts to work with local bar owners to address noise issues in Waldo.
New noise law tries to balance the needs of Kansas City residents and businesses
The Kansas City Star
April 3, 2015