Lee’s Summit considering tougher property maintenance codes

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- The Lee's Summit City Council is looking into the possibility of creating stricter guidelines for property maintenance codes.

At a recent city council meeting, residents expressed concerned about a home on NE Hunter Ridge in Lee's Summit. Extremely high bushes, shrubs and trees make it a neighborhood nuisance, some say.  From the front, side and back of the home, it's hard to tell there is even a house behind all the greenery. While it may look bad to some, it's not illegal.

Neighbor Peggy Johnson said this is not a new problem. In fact, Johnson says it has been a problem for years.

"This has been going on for two or three years but it’s just really finally come to head this spring and summer," she said.

In Lee's Summit, there are no ordinances telling homeowners how tall their bushes and trees can be. However, there is an ordinance for high grass. According to the city, last year there were more than 1,500 property maintenance complaints, mostly for high grass and only about 300 for issues like the one on NE Hunter Ridge Road.

That discrepancy has neighbor Johnson asking for a change in Lee's Summit.

"That’s what I’m hoping the city comes up with," she said. "Some new codes and ordinances to help neighborhoods like this one deal with a problem such as this house behind me."

Lee's Summit City Council member Rob Binney says the issue was brought to full council and now a subcommittee will discuss the possibility of changing that.

"I guess you call it minimal standards, what are things we all should expect from neighbors on up keeping property, without infringing on property rights," said Binney.

Binney did acknowledge that it won't easy to make everyone happy.

"That’s something we clearly don’t want to step on private property rights, so what came, we recommended it go to committee," he said. "Staff will come back to us with some ideas."

The city of Lee's Summit is currently helping the homeowner get bids and clean up the yard.

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