Archive for Thursday, July 27, 2000

Council contemplates clean up options for property

July 27, 2000

Brent Arterburn addressed the Eudora City Council for the third consecutive meeting on Monday, stressing urgency for enforcement of Eudora city code regulations.

Arterburn, Pinecrest II resident, addressed the council regarding the growth of excessive weeds growing on property directly west of Pinecrest II. Arterburn said this was a violation of a city code concerning "unsightly" property and wanted the city to enforce the law.

On Monday, he said efforts by the property owner, Commercial Management, have been inadequate. Arterburn demanded the city do more to enforce the city code to alleviate the problem.

"The spraying (of the weeds) that was done was ludicrous," Arterburn said. "If this is the way you're going to operate then you'd better go back and change your code."

Bill Harlow, city superintendent, said he agreed the weed spraying effort was less than adequate.

"If it was my property and I got a spray job like they got, I believe I'd hold up on paying the bill," Harlow said.

Council President Rex Burkhardt asked if the city had the necessary equipment to brushhog the wooded area, but Harlow said the city did not. Randy Larkin, substitute attorney for the city Attorney Jerry Cooley, advised the city had authority to force a property owner within the city limits to brushhog a wooded area.

Larkin said this was based on a legal precedent regarding Lance v. Lawrence. In the case, Lawrence forced a property owner to cut down a wooded area for a similar offense. The outcome: Lawrence was forced to pay for saplings and other trees damaged during the cleanup.

"The city was held liable," Larkin said.

Arterburn continued to stress the need for following the city code and cleaning up the property.

"The code says the whole thing needs to be cleaned," said Arterburn, tapping on the podium. "It's a matter of cleaning the property up."

Because the original complaint was for allergens and not unsightly offenses, Larkin said, an official complaint procedure would have to be restarted. Because the results from the company were inadequate, Larkin said, Commercial Management was given some leeway to fix the problem.

Mayor Fred Stewart said he would set up a meeting with Commercial Management and find a solution to the problem.

Council member Dan Gregg suggested Larkin examine what steps could be taken to make the property declared a wildlife area.

In other areas, the council:

approved the adoption of the updated city code book for Eudora.

set Aug. 14, as the date for a public hearing on the 2001 budget.

discussed building an entrance leading to the basement from the upper level of city hall.

approved sending Harlow and City Engineer Matt Taylor to water/wastewater operator's school Aug. 1-4 in Lawrence.

approved DARE 2001 membership fee for police officer Greg Dahlem.

approved Kansas Bureau of Investigation school for police officer Heidi Robinson Aug. 8-10.

approved hiring Tom Anderson full-time as electric lineman and Ed Hickman, part-time contract labor for the water plant pending drug screening and criminal background check.

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