Prairie Village beefs up code enforcement after complaints rise - KCTV5

Prairie Village beefs up code enforcement in response to complaints

Posted: Updated:
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -

The city known jokingly as Perfect Village is beefing up its code enforcement after complaints about unkempt homes and junky yards.

Due to the recession, the Prairie Village Council cut its code enforcement staffing from two to one.

In response to problems piling up, Councilman Ted Odell recently successfully pushed for adding a part-time codes enforcement officer.

Annie Ashel is glad. She grew up in Prairie Village.

It's where she and her husband lived when their marriage began. It's a place she's so fond of that it became a running joke.

"My friends always teased me," said Ashel, "because I called it my beautiful village."

But that beautiful village was overshadowed by ugly right on her block.

"Their yard was unkept," she said, rattling off a list of annoyances. "They had a ton of things in the yard. They had old broken-down cars. They were blaring loud music."

To be fair, Prairie Village is hardly going to the dogs. A KCTV5 crew had to hunt diligently to find codes violations, and few of the residents they stopped considered the current codes situation troubling. But they also seemed happy that the city was getting out in front of any further decline.

"Before, we really relied on neighbors or people driving by properties to call in if they noticed any type of code violations," said Kate Gunja, the assistant city administrator. "This will allow us to take a more pro-active approach and actually send an officer out to drive around to look for those violations."

Odell said homeowners simply aren't maintaining their homes they way they used to.

So what's to blame?

City Administrator Quinn Bennion said the demographics haven't changed much. He suggested it could be the cumulative effect of cutting the code position.

Bennion said property maintenance complaints aren't coming in more frequently than before but they're stacking up because they aren't being resolved as quickly, a result of essentially running on half staff for nearly five years.

In the past three years, they've seen a rise in revenue from property and sales taxes.

This week they mailed residents with a list of common violations. Grass and weeds must be cut below eight inches. The exterior can't have any paint peeling or rust showing. Yard tools, lumber and other items need to be stored inside or in a screened in area in the back.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 2 dead, one hurt after incident in Kensington Park in KCK

    2 dead, one hurt after incident in Kensington Park in KCK

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 10:05 PM EDT2017-09-21 02:05:16 GMT
    (KCTV5)(KCTV5)

    Two people were found dead in the parking lot of Kensington Park in KCK. 

    More >

    Two people were found dead in the parking lot of Kensington Park in KCK. 

    More >
  • Young girl hospitalized by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium

    Young girl hospitalized by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium

    Thursday, September 21 2017 3:14 PM EDT2017-09-21 19:14:05 GMT

    A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during a game against Minnesota, leading some New York players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    More >

    A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during a game against Minnesota, leading some New York players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    More >
  • Lenexa cyclists upset after new city ordinance calls bikes a 'Nuisance'

    Lenexa cyclists upset after new city ordinance calls bikes a 'Nuisance'

    Thursday, September 21 2017 11:54 AM EDT2017-09-21 15:54:55 GMT
    A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center.. (KCTV5)A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center.. (KCTV5)

    Lenexa leaders say they are trying to make the city more bike friendly, but they ran into a roadblock. A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center.

    More >

    Lenexa leaders say they are trying to make the city more bike friendly, but they ran into a roadblock. A new ordinance says cyclists in the city now have to walk their bike when near the city center, city hall, the parking garage and the rec center.

    More >
Powered by Frankly
KCTV 5 News

Online Public File:
KCTV  KSMO

Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KCTV; Kansas City, MO. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.