‘It is utterly ridiculous:’ Eastside neighbors frustrated with dumping on private land

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- City inspectors say trash and junk piling up in a far east side neighborhood is not a case of illegal dumping.

The mess at East 31st Street and Stark Avenue has left neighbors frustrated. For more than a year, homeowners say they've watched trucks and trailers dump garbage and bulky items at a home on the block.

But when city inspectors first showed up about three months ago, neighbors learned that all the dumping was happening on private property with the knowledge of the owner.

So although it's not illegal dumping, there have been numerous nuisance violations cited that involve private property rights.

That's forced the city into a time-consuming court process that's dragging on, to try to compel the property owner to clean it all up.

"It is utterly ridiculous that we have to drive through here," neighbor Charlene Wright said. "Everything else is manicured and nicely kept and you get right there to that eyesore and you have company coming in, and it is a hot mess."

A city inspector told FOX4 the property owner had a court date this week but isn't sure the owner actually appeared to answer the code violations.

A man who identified himself as a tenant at the home accepted responsibility for the mess and claims he is working to clean up the property. He declined FOX4's request for an on camera interview.

The city says it shares neighbors' frustrations, but claims when dealing with constitutional rights to own and enjoy property, the legal process is designed to prevent government overreach.

It's hard by design to force property owners to change what they do on their own land.

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