Rundown properties cause changes to Calloway County ordinance

Rundown homes are causing Calloway County leaders to write clearer and more enforceable regulations for how you maintain your property.

The Mazurek family’s property of almost 30 years is located just a few miles from the lake.

"It is a nice place considering it’s so close to the lake," said Edward Mazurek.

Mazurek says abandoned homes down the road are causing the value of his home to drastically drop.  

"It’s an eyesore when you drive through here and stuff. Realtors don’t even like to come in here," Mazurek said.

Abandoned properties, like the ones near Mazurek’s, have the county wanting to take action, But, under the current ordinance, it just doesn’t have the power to make property owner clean up after themselves.

"There’s some instances that are so outrageous we’ll need to do something to resolve the problems," Judge Executive Larry Elkins said.

Elkins says the county is working to reword the current nuisance ordinance so the county can better enforce it. He says the current ordinance really only focuses on the safety of structures.

"A lot of these problems go beyond structures. They go to issues of tires, for example, being piled in yards," Elkins said.

Christina Ethier got a notice from the county, but she relies on collecting scraps to provide for her family.

"You gotta comply with the law and, I mean, we’re trying to," she said.

With the changes, Elkins hopes charging property owners with a crime is a last resort

"We prefer to work with people and will continue to work with people to resolve these problems," Elkins said.

Those are problems neighbors, like Mazurek, say can’t get solved soon enough.

"It makes me sick," Mazurek said.

The Calloway County attorney is now writing the first draft of the new ordinance. The fiscal court will then have to approve it. 

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