Prairie Village codes enforcement officers beginning sweep of city

A photo of an overgrown Prairie Village backyard from Wes Jordan's presentation to the council earlier this month. Photo courtesy city of Prairie Village.
A photo of an overgrown Prairie Village backyard from Wes Jordan’s presentation to the council earlier this month. Photo courtesy city of Prairie Village.

Prairie Village’s codes enforcement agents are beginning a systematic sweep of the city starting on its western edge to try to address what some members of the council viewed as a growing problem with codes violations.

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Top code enforcement issues in Prairie Village

  • Weeds and grass trimmed to less than 8″ high
  • Remove dead plants, leaves and limb debris
  • Remove trash and worthless items accumulating outside
  • Yard tools, lumber and other items must be inside or screened in back yard
  • No inoperable or unlicensed vehicles outside
  • No recreational vehicles stored in front yard
  • All exterior surfaces (such as walls, fences, etc…) free of damage, decaying paint, rust, etc…
  • All sidewalks, walkways, and driveways should be in good repair
  • Roof and flashing should be sound and tight
  • No broken windows, doors or gutters.

[/pullquote]The move comes after Assistant City Administrator Wes Jordan made a presentation to the council earlier this month on a new protocol for issuing warnings and citations for code violations in a consistent manner.

Under the new protocol, homeowners would have up to 90 days to address more costly and time consuming issues like removing and replacing chipped or peeling paint, or replacing a disintegrating roof. Easier-to-fix issues would be required to be addressed in shorter time periods. Replacing rotting wood, for example, or removing a dead tree must be addressed within 30 days.

Jordan told the council at its June 6 meeting that homeowners living next to properties that have fallen into substantial disrepair or neglect are concerned about health and safety issues as well as the impact on property values.

“Neighbors are very unhappy about these properties,” he said.

But, he noted, stepping up enforcement of certain codes — like the storage of vehicles or trash bins — can be touchy.

“People want to be able to store things the way they want,” he said.

Councilor Ted Odell first brought the issue of increasing enforcement of code violations to the council shortly after his election in 2012. Based partially on his efforts, the city moved to hire an additional staffer to focus on codes enforcement last year.

Jordan said the code enforcement agents will be working west from State Line Road as their call load allows.