Neighborhood calls for new problem property ordinance

A Lincoln neighborhood got together Tuesday night for a 25 year anniversary, not just to celebrate but to demand change.

The Woods Park Neighborhood blocked off 30th and “N” streets to talk about a member of their community they just don't want to see anymore.

Deb Kuwamoto says the owner of one home in the neighborhood hasn't been in Lincoln since the 1980's and doesn't take care of the dilapidated property.  The city declared it unlivable in 1992 and it's been that way ever since.  Deb says, “we just can't do anything because there isn't an ordinance in the city to deal with these issues.”

Jon Carlson with the mayor's office says there is a new ordinance in the works to hold homeowners responsible for their rundown houses.  He says in it, no more taxpayer dollars would to go to inspecting problem properties over and over.  “If the city comes out and cites for code violations and they don't' make the necessary repairs, then we'll put them on an automated inspection cycle and make them pay for that inspection cycle.  Or, we'll take them to court and ultimately the property owner will receive fines.”

The so–called “performance based” ordinance is slated to go before the planning commission in four weeks.

Deb says, “we have great neighbors and great landlords and we just want to preserve the integrity of the neighborhood.”

If for some reason you are inspected under the new ordinance and pass, the city will give you a year off before the next one.