Sedgwick County commissioners will ask the Kansas Legislature for authority to deal with nuisance problems that have health and safety code violations.
The issue is one of several issues that the county will be lobbying for during the new legislative session in Topeka. Commissioner Jim Howell said the county was originally asking for the same authority that cities have in dealing with nuisances, but he said the county has issues that are different from urban settings. He said a proposal has been developed to provide a balance between fixing nuisance issues and protecting personal property rights of citizens.
Howell said there would be a “long, gracious process” that would have the county working with property owners to fix a health or safety issue. He said at the end it could still end up in court with a fine, but there would be a last chance for the property owner to fix the problem and then the issue would go to an advisory board, then it would go to the county commission for a final determination. Howell said he believes this process would be sensitive to constitutional private property rights.