Remember to keep your yard mowed and tidy. Nuisance violations are being enforced. Keep reading for more information.
Effective enforcement of nuisances is a challenge. We appreciate the many property owners who voluntarily remedy nuisances upon initial notification. However, we continue to encounter property owners who are not as responsive. We have adjusted our notification procedures to result in a timely response. We are utilizing mass media notification instead of individual 10-day courtesy letters. These include the notice published with the information about the annual citywide cleanup, social media messages about tall grass and weeds, Community Connections radio discussions, Manager’s Minute articles, and information posted to the City’s website www.concordiaks.org.
The nuisance abatement process follows state statute and takes a long time, which may give the appearance to neighbors and passersby that enforcement is not happening. During the past few years, we have received multiple calls about nuisances for the same property. Additionally, we encountered frustrations by those receiving a nuisance notification due to communication delays between landlords and tenants, especially if the landlord lives in another community. Furthermore, the number of nuisances has continued to increase.
During 2022, we piloted the use of formal nuisance notification with yard signs, and the results were more timely compliance and fewer complaints about the nuisance by neighbors. The passage of Ordinance 2023-3197 on March 3, 2023 made permanent the use of yard signs as a formal means of nuisance notification. In 2023, we began using a more prominent and generic sign with an information tube attached to hold the specific nuisance violation including dated photos. Certified letters are still sent to absentee landlords.
Nuisances for violations related to citywide cleanup were issued the week after cleanup was complete. Due to the high volume of violations this year, small specific signs were used. The larger generic signs will be used for nuisances unrelated to citywide cleanup. The easiest way to avoid a sign in your yard, court fines or abatement fees is to maintain your property free of nuisances. Damaged or lost/missing signs will result in an additional $250 fine.
The City’s Code Enforcement Officer covers one-quarter of the city each week April through October, checking the entire city each month. Additionally, any complaints received by City Hall are investigated and processed the same as those observed on the monthly rotation.
Ordinance No. 2023-3197 was adopted by the City Commission on March 1, 2023, and became effective on March 3, 2023 upon summary publication in the Concordia Blade-Empire. This ordinance update:
- Expanded the definition of a nuisance;
- Codified the use of yard signs as formal notice of an administrative order;
- Authorized the City to treat lack of compliance with an administrative order as a misdemeanor to be prosecuted in municipal court;
- Clarified right of entry and unlawful interference for City staff attempting to abate a nuisance;
- Clarified the means to recover costs associated with nuisance abatement by the City.
The full ordinance can be found here. Unfortunately, our Code of Ordinance is not always updated in real time. All approved ordinances may be found on the City's website within 24-hours of approval by the City Commission.
Updating this ordinance aligns with City Commission Priority 3 – Support the Health and Vitality of our Community. A – Address Blight. 1 – Address nuisances fairly, effectively, and timely; and 2 – Encourage property owners to maintain their properties in a way that showcases Concordia pride to neighbors and visitors.