PV council votes to give nuisance property owner a little more time

7925 Reinhardt Lane, photographed on July 7. Much of the overgrowth around the house has since been removed.

The Prairie Village city council on Monday voted unanimously to give Millicent Seested, the elderly woman who owns 7925 Reinhardt Lane, two more weeks to show progress on taking care of the numerous nuisances the city has cited on her property.

Seested, who told city staff prior to the public hearing that she would not be able to attend because the heat was making her feel ill, has owned the property for more than 50 years, but does not live there presently. The property had fallen into such disrepair — with serious roof damage and brush overgrowth that neighbors say attracts rodents — that Prairie Village held a public hearing at its July 6 meeting on whether the city needed to step in an abate the nuisances.

At that hearing, Seested told the council she was looking to sell the property, and understood that action had to be taken to correct the problems. She also said she would grant city staff access to the property’s interior so they could help a potential buyer assess the repair costs.

Though Seested ended up denying city staff access to the property during their agreed upon meeting there, she did let Tim Smith, a man who has told her he is interested in purchasing the property, take a look at the interior. Moreover, she had workers cut back much of the overgrowth, and remove tree limbs that were threatening the power lines running into the house.

Citing the steps she had taken toward abating some of the nuisance, city staff recommended to the council that they grant her until August 2 to show additional movement toward making significant repairs.

“In the past, [Ms. Seested] has tried to ignore these issues,” said assistant city administrator Dennis Enslinger. “She has been more proactive this time.”

City codes enforcement agent Marcia Gradinger, who has worked closely with Seested to try to get the issues taken care of, told the council she believed Seested understood the gravity of the situation.

“She told me that it would take a stick of dynamite to move her,” Gradinger said. “And she feels like a whole box has arrived.”

Five neighbors attended the hearing as well, and told the council they supported the motion to grant Seested two more weeks to work on the issue.