Sunday, July 1, 2007

Raytown Home Property Values Threatened

It is an oddity of our times that people who bemoan the fact of undervalued homes in Raytown would bring legislation that will ultimately drive residential real estate values down even further. Consider the following story. Let’s pretend you are planning to buy a home in Raytown. You have studied MLS listings, visited open houses, talked to realtors, and, finally, after a couple of months of work, made a short list of three potential homes. All the houses are located in nice neighborhoods. You like the schools that serve the area and they are convenient to where you work. You decide to walk through each house one last time before making your decision. That’s when you start to make discoveries. HOUSE #1: You drive up to the house. You get out of your car – and – the neighbor's dog comes running to greet you. You start to get back in the car when you notice the dog comes to a very abrupt stop. You let out a sigh of relief. The dog is tethered. Not that you don’t like dogs. But that is one HUGE dog, and you wonder if you want to be greeted by that animal every night when you come home from work. You also wonder what happens if he breaks loose from the tether. House #1 is stricken from the list. HOUSE #2: You arrive at the second house. At least the selection process became easier. You only have two houses left to choose from. You walk through the yard. No dogs tethered in the neighbors front yard to greet you, so everything is fine. The house looks good. You go into the back yard and your senses are assaulted by the odor and sound of an unkempt dog run full of a litter of puppies. The puppies and their mother are crammed into the run. Flies buzz around the filth at the bottom of the cage. You look along the back of your potential neighbors house and you see three other holding pens. Across the yard you see three dogs resting under a tree. The owner of the house sees you and introduces himself. He tells you he raises dogs as a hobby. Says the city allows each animal to get pregnant once a year. “Not to worry,” he says, “I keep them on my property all the time, they seldom get out.” Though he does confess that when the animals are in heat that stray dogs in the area do have a way of finding his house. You thank him for the information. House #2 is stricken from the list. HOUSE #3: You drive up to House #3 a little shaken by the past two houses, but still optimistic – this was the one you really wanted anyway. The neighborhood is more upscale – you don’t see any sign of animals tethered in front yards or breeding of dogs in back yards. You do, however, notice a couple more “for sale” signs in the neighborhood than the last time you were by – about three weeks ago. You catch one of the people with the new “for sale” signs in the neighborhood and ask what’s going on. He points two doors up the street at a partially dismantled 1967 Chevy Nova. The rusted body surrounded by car parts. He tells you, “this used to be a nice neighborhood, everyone took pride in their homes and it was quiet and we respected each other’s space. Then the City Council passed an ordinance allowing people to restore cars in their front yard – I’ve had enough, I’m moving out!” You remember an old political adage about people voting with their feet. Thank him for his time and drive back to your apartment. You pick up the newspaper and turn to the real estate section and starting looking for homes – in Lee’s Summit and Blue Springs. Though the story above is fiction – it could happen in Raytown. On Tuesday night the Board of Aldermen will consider amendments to the animal control ordinance that will allow tethering of dogs in front yards and breeding of animals in residential neighborhoods. The amendments were sponsored by Ward 2 Alderman Jim Aziere (seconded by Ward 2 Alderman Jim Hamilton) at the behest of political gadfly Shirley Whitman. Aziere and Whitman have held gatherings encouraging people to attend Tuesday’s meeting of the City Council on their behalf. Ward 1 Alderman Joe Creamer has brought a discussion item that calls for the licensing of homeowners to keep disabled vehicles in their front driveways.


Anonymous said...

Greg makes a very good point about property values declining in Raytown for the lack of good code enforcement. All you have to do is talk to some of your friends and neighbors that have moved to Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, or Independence to find out that their codes enforcement is much more effective than what we have here. Many of us are looking to get out before we lose everything. Think about it!!!

Anonymous said...

Was happy to see that Mayor Bower has chosen a distinguinished individual such as John Ness as Raytown citizen of the year. Much better choice than those chosen by the former mayor. You're off to a good start Mayor Bower, keep up the good work!!!

Andy Whiteman said...

Home values are going down for many other reasons. Watch the financial news!
As for me, I am looking for a house. Any noise issue rules out that house.
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Good Grief I cannot believe this would happen Raytown, but after the last Mayor, and Alderman for Ward 1, I can believe anything.

I truly hope this license for restoring cars is not approved. What is wrong with this man? Has he lost is mind?

Disgusted with Raytown!!!

Pat Casady said...

If you think property values are going down now, wait until they let a big Wal-Mart set up in Raytown.

It's a shame that some elected officials put the tax dollar ahead of the neighborhoods and citizens of a town.

Raytown is still a great little town. Most of the people are wonderful people and it's still worth saving. Enforcing codes and laws is extremely important to it's survival.
However enforcement of codes in neighborhoods should be done while treating people with dignity and respect, being firm but kind, at least the first time.

Making the parks safe and available for all to use is important too. Raytown has beautiful parks and it's a shame people are afraid to use them.

Raytown doesn't need a lot of new laws and rules, the existing ones need to be enforced.

Dr. Know--no! said...

Have you noticed how many houses are up for sale in Raytown that are not selling?

Anonymous said...

dr. know is right about the housing market in Raytown. Many of these people have pulled their houses from the market after sitting for months without any takers. I understand a local realtor is telling people that they are losing 5% per year on their property. How much more of this can we stand?

Mr. Whig said...

Pat: It is a great little town. I bought in Raytown because east KC and Independence sucked ass. And that's still true.

As for the housing market, it's not just Raytown. While I was looking two years ago there were 16,000 homes on the MLS locally and now there are over 21,000. Go down to Brookside - you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a For Sale sign.

But you know what's really grilling my cheese today? Doc's, the ice cream stand on BRB, is MOVING TO LEE'S SUMMIT. This is a horrible injustice. Lee's Summit isn't worthy. I'm pissed.

Anonymous said...

Just a sign of the times as small business keep moving out of Raytown, I hope the Mayor and board of alderman enjoy their new Walmart, because they may be the only ones left after it is built. Citizens, get out before we lose everything.

Pat Casady said...

Can someone please tell me what our elected officials do?
I mean the Aldermen we help to elect. I would think they would try to keep businesses happy as well as homeowners. But it seems we only see them is when they want our votes or help in getting elected.

I have only seen my Aldermen once in seven years. One in a meeting with of most downtown business owners and he managed to make all of us mad and the other didn't even take the time to show up. When I did get a chance to talk to the other he didn't listen.
Seems to be standard operating procedure with our Aldermen.

Instead of, or along with hiring high priced unelected city representatives the city should hire a true economic director that would go around to businesses to see how they are doing. That way the city would know if any businesses were thinking of moving. But more importantly an economic Director could devote his or her time to bringing in new businesses. This would be tax dollars well spent.

I would have liked to see our downtown redeveloped into something akin to Weston Mo.
Small stores with old time looking storefronts, stores with a niche of there own. Something that a Wal-Mart couldn't run out of town.

Instead it seems that most of our elected officials take the easy way and instead of saving the taxpayers money they cost the taxpayers. (I still don't think Wal-Mart should receive aid from Raytown taxpayers.)

Anonymous said...

Right on Pat!! We currently have the laziest bunch of aldermen that I've seen in the past 25 years. But that is what the voters seem to want, so who am I to question our crappy government. And don't get me started on Tim Truesdale. Total waste of taxpayers dollars for his salary. This guy just sits by and watches businesses move away at an alarming rate. Doesn't seem to care about anything except picking up his paycheck. Can anyone name anything that this guy has done for us lately?

Anonymous said...

Just finished watching the City Council meeting this evening. Hey, Mr. Mayor, do you have any opinion on ANYTHING!?!

Don't let me think I wasted a vote on you . . . . Try some leadership. You might find it suits you.

Anonymous said...

What hog wash Greg Fighting over raising dogs now because of the smell Last year or so you were all for keeping big smelling trucks in front yards? But now your down on dog what dud yours finally die or did it finally run away from you!!! Big rigs in front yards, or fighting over dumb things for years!!! In the pasted building new homes, taking away land that did not belong to the user to build the homes on said land. Closing down town for a fair that most don’t want. The fighting over dumb things for years could this be Raytown’s problem. Can any of the leaders of Raytown put aside there personal hate and dislike of each other and same the dam town?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure about this last comment. The Raytown Round-Up Days had degenerated into a depressing event -- two years ago the cops nearly lost control of the situation when they sprayed some kids with mace -- the kids didn't care for it much and stole the cop's mace and sprayed him back.

As for big trucks, chaining dogs up in your front yard, and turning our neighborhoods into a hillbilly's idea of dog breeding heaven -- is this really the image you want for Raytown?

I sure do hope not!

Anonymous said...

How about a subject on the Raytown School District!

I have been a employee of the R.S.D. for sometime now, and I think it is time for the citizens of Raytown to know the "mismanagement" of the district.

Our wonderful superentindent, Dr. Houck has run this district into financial disaster! He is spending money that the district doesn't have! He wants it to be like Johnson County, but on a tax base of fixed income Raytown people. They are buying up buildings faster than they can become vacated. Most of the buildings are going to need VERY expensive upgrades before they are turned into educational centers. The citizens approved the bond money last year, but how are they going to afford to staff and add equipment? I'll tell you, watch for a Huge tax increase put on the April 08 ballot for the schools.

The citizens of Raytown need to go to the school board and look at the "books" and see how BAD the mis-management of the funds are being spent.

Raytown is loosing so many small busineses that can't afford the taxes, that there is no way this town can support more school taxes with the poor management of our tax payers money. So if you own a small business in Raytown and spend more money than you take in, just ask for a tax increase on the up comming April ballot from the taxpayers in Raytown!

If ANY citizen votes for ANY more tax increase for the Raytown School District, they are just throwing there money away!

Oh, by the way, the district is loosing more experienced teachers and staff than "rats off a sinking ship" due to no raises this year!

Anonymous said...

Re the recent Board of Aldermen meeting, what a waste of time! Why regulate birds anyway? The City does not have to get into everyone's home with unenforceable ordinances!

Anonymous said...

Some people saw that the discussion about working on vehicles, breeding, fences and tethering was to be on the agenda Tuesday once again so several of us very concerned citizens got together to watch the meeting. The general concensus was that this board of Alderman has lost touch with the majority of the citizens of this city. Sure there are a FEW people who may want these type of things allowed but they are very few.

For this board to even think of allowing someone to work on their vehicles for an extended period of time in their yards is unbelieveable. We have talked to everyone we know and not one person wants that kind of thing happening next to them.

This ordinance and the breeding ordinance will only bring down our property values even more. If these ordinances are passed we might as well throw up our hands and call that company that gives you about half of what your property is worth before it's worth nothing.

Regarding the breeding ordinance We certainly hope that every alderman who votes yes for this will have to live next to it. How are they going to control it? It will be impossible. Has anybody bothered to ask the people who will have to enforce it if this is going to work? But the board probably doesn't care because the they are not the ones who have to do the job.

As for Fences in the front yard we don't have a problem with decorative or split rail fences. As for chainlink fences, never, they look like the inter city where residents have to try to keep people out for their families safety. If they could live where that was not necessary do you really think they would choose to live that way?

Tethering, they passed an ordinance last year covering that. Why are they changing it again, because of one loud mouth person? Who did she pay off?

This Board is going to "hell in a hand basket", next thing you know they will be repealing the ordinances relating to noise, weeds and grass, and all other ordinances that make this city a better place to live. We have determined that they just want the city to turn into a Red Neck Hick Town, like most of the metro area thinks we are anyway.

What has happened to our new Mayor? Living in a big expensive house, would he want these things next to him? Why is it he has no opinion about these things? Isn't it his job to lead this Board? Have we all made another mistake in working so hard to get him elected? Do we have another do nothing Mayor who is not going to voice his opinion when what is happening is not in the best interest of this city?

You know, maybe it is time for those of us who care about our city and the neighborhoods we live in to call the ugly house people and move somewhere where the city council has some GUTS and will vote NO on ordinances that will eventually destroy the city.

This board needs to be more concerned about how they vote now, if they want to get re-elected, because at this rate they sure as Hell won't. What they don't understand is there's more of us that want a beautiful, well kept city to live in and we WILL remember you when the time comes in "08". If you think the last election was bad just wait for the next one because WE ARE WATCHING YOU.

Pat Casady said...

I know I sound like a broken record when I say this, but for years I've have been writing and asking people to write down what our elected officials tell us to get our support or votes.
I think from the sounds of it a lot of people did just that. But here's the problem:
There are too many organizations that have been bought off or misguided into believing what they are told to do without even thinking about the end result. They vote the way they are told. One group of people was bought off with coffee and donut weekly.
The other group is supposed care about business in Raytown but in reality could care less.

Both would do as they are told without even questioning the reason.
For this I give credit to Curt Wenson. He managed to divide our town and all the while start us on the downward slide we are seeing now. Plus start one or more of these groups so he could talk them into voting for or against items or people.
Don't get me wrong here, I truly think the people influenced by him really thought they were helping Raytown but as we can all see he's gone and we are stuck with the same problems, Raytown is spending more taxpayer money than before he came, with little results. We all need to remember our Mayor is a part time position. He or she has a lot of power when needed but the City Administrator is the full time guy.

Lets not condemn the new Mayor too quickly, he has just started, I think he watching and learning how things are working here. I hope he can change business as usual and get something started to bring back this town.

Anonymous said...

I understand your point, Pat.

But if something is not done soon we will become known as the town where you can chain your dog up in the front yard. Work on your "valuable antique" vehicle in the front driveway, raise a litter of pups 'cause you want to keep the breeding line intact and surround it all with a fence in your front yard.

Sounds attractive, doesn't it?

Perhaps you should call the Mayor up and share your thoughts with him on this and other matters. There is no way of telling if he is reading them here.

Anonymous said...

I received this week my "NOTICE" from City Hall regarding pet licenses and increased sewer rates.

I have a NOTICE for CITY HALL:


All city employees making over $10 an hour, who do not live in Raytown and pay Raytown property taxes/for sewers/etc. will have a 10% levy taken out of their salary. This city earnings tax on those employees will lessen we Raytowners' tax burdens and will insure that 100% of their salaries do not end up benefiting the communities where they live --- not WORK!


All city employees and elected officials will be required to purchase and wear dog tags on dog collars so that we can easily identify them.

This should help us know who isn't representing us and getting the job done as public "servants."

You can sign me THE BIG DOG on this one!!!!

Anonymous said...

I know of a town about 70 miles east of here that would be perfect for some of our council members. Jim Aziere culd be mayor, Shirley Whitman could be the enforcer of the laws that Joe Creamer would write and Jim Hamilton could second all of them without even thinking which he seems to to quite well. You must understand that this town has MANY dogs that run free so Mrs. Whitman would not have to be concerned about tethering,
every house has at least two yard cars.Mr. Aziere could have all the birds he wants and Mr. Hamilton could just nod his head at every law they make. If any of you are interested please respond to this blog and I will put you in contact with two men and truck and send you on you merry way and the people of Raytown will much better off. If I was thinking this I figured I might as say it. Anonymous

Anonymous said...

By the time we get done changing all the laws and adding new ones we are going to look like the inner city. Animals running all over town, front yards fenced and yard cars. I can hardly wait. Mean while open the gates and watch the good people flee. I must say council members you are doing one hell of a job.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last writer. But here is some food for thought for the counci members. When you make these silly laws not only is my property value going down but so is yours, so be careful council members is may come back to bite you in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous you forgot one other person who needs to move and that would be Mr. Maddox. He could collect money from citizens and bulid parks and run Mr. Aziere re election campaign.

Anonymous said...

You tell the truth Big Dog and I agree with you 100%. But alot of the citizens and to blind sided to see this. The previous mayor really did a number on this city and told a lot of lies and now we are left holding the bag.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Raytown all of my 65 years and can't wait to leave.Why you ask? Because I have taken care of my home and dont have any large pets in my yard,front or back.My neighbors mostly take care as I have done. But there are a few moving in on my block that leave trash side of the house for over ayear and weeds have grown unattended.A shed in a back yard is not painted and gutters are loose on several homes. Trailers with junk and tree brush set in the street. i could go on and on.I am afraid I cant sell in this area.