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Plan Would Give Kansas City More Power To Foreclose On Nuisance Properties

Martin Gonzales - Wikipedia

Why doesn't the city of Kansas City, Missouri, foreclose on neglected properties and find buyers that will revitalize them?  After all, it's a common sight around parts of the city: boarded-up property that someone has clearly broken into, stripping out the wiring and plumbing, or even living inside.

The problem is that the current Missouri nuisance property foreclosure law defines “nuisance” only in terms of whether a property is structurally sound, says Holly Dodge of the city's legal department.

“By the time that structure has had such degredations that the nuisance is from that structure, we're talking about demolition as opposed to saving that building. That's not good for Kansas City,” says Dodge.

Dodge and neighborhood and housing officials want to ask the Missouri General Assembly to change the law to include what she calls “the whole property.” That would include upkeep on the grounds, occupancy or vacancy status and non-structural upkeep.

City Council legislative chair Jolie Justus sponsored the bill when she was serving in the Legislature. She endorses the changes, which she says are excellent additions to strengthen her original legislation.

Steve Bell is afternoon news anchor and business news reporter for KCUR.  He may be reached at 816-235-5173 or by e-mail as steveb@kcur.org

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