City deals with blighted property on Wayne Avenue; neighbors say - KCTV5 News

City deals with blighted property on Wayne Avenue; neighbors say fix is temporary

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The home on Wayne Avenue have been vacant for years. (Kelli Taylor/KCTV) The home on Wayne Avenue have been vacant for years. (Kelli Taylor/KCTV)

Earlier this week, KCTV5 News told you about a blighted home on Wayne Avenue in Kansas City's metro area. 

Neighbors complained of tall grass and trash littering the property. After our report, the city sent cleanup crews to address the problem. 

A spokesperson for the city said the home was already on the list for cleanup on Thursday. So, it was a coincidence that it ended up on the news the other day. 

The grass has been cut. The trees have been trimmed. The trash was removed. 

And yet, neighbors say it is just a temporary fix. 

“Last year, they didn’t cut at all,” said Anita Potts. “None whatsoever. But, as soon as we get back on TV; boom, bam, thank you ma’am. It’s done.”

Potts said she’s frustrated by the lack of upkeep at the abandoned property on Wayne.

“We shouldn’t have to keep going through this,” she said. “The ticket’s been out on this since, what, 2011? This is crazy. This is 2017.”

Six years ago, the property was labeled dangerous. It was also the subject of a KCTV News Investigation a couple years ago.

John Baccala, who is with Kansas City’s Neighborhood and Housing Division, said they are working to take care of the eyesore.

“We understand,” he said. “If I live in a home surrounding these homes, I could understand their sentiments. But again, we had hoped to have this situation taken care of by now and we still might have an owner for this property.”

He said the city is trying to save the home from being torn down because it passed an inspection late last year and was high on the rehabilitation scale.

“One of the problems we have is the lack of housing stock in the urban core and that’s why it’s important for the city to try, if possible, to preserve properties like this,” Baccala said. “We just don’t have many of them, at all, that are available for sale.”

Potts, whose parents live across the street from the house, agree the home should be rehabilitated. However, they said that if the city owns it, they need to maintain it until there is a new owner.

With thousands of vacant properties across the city, Baccala said it’s difficult to get crews to locations as fast as neighbors want them there.

“I’m not happy because this is just the preliminary to make us shut up,” Potts said, "but, trick or treat, I’m not shutting up." 

The city said if the potential owner backs out, they will reevaluate the property for demolition. However, there is also a list for that.

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