Home abandoned since Floods of 2008, city can't do anything - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Home abandoned since Floods of 2008, city can't do anything

Posted: Updated:
  • KWWL.com LinksMore>>

  • Cedar Rapids News

    Cedar Rapids

    Local news and information for Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Center Point, Mt. Vernon, Central City, Robins, Alburnett, Fairfax, Palo, Ely, Lisbon, Springville and the surrounding Linn County area.

    More >>

    Local news and information for Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, Center Point, Mt. Vernon, Central City, Robins, Alburnett, Fairfax, Palo, Ely, Lisbon, Springville and the surrounding Linn County area.

    More >>
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

People living in one eastern Iowa neighborhood are fed up with the conditions of a home right on their street.

A vacant and abandoned home in Cedar Rapids has neighbors telling us the home has been empty since the 2008 Floods leaving a smell, an eyesore for their neighborhood, and they claim the city won't do anything. 

"We've called, and we've called and nobody's done anything," said Toni Meyers who live right next door to the abandoned home. "Horrendous, because the smell is bad you can smell the urine and you can see cats and raccoon in there for a while."

The house is on the 600 block of 4th street SW.

KWWL noticed a rusty mail box, wilted wood and broken blinds, along with branches creeping up so close to the door - it's like an unwanted welcome mat.

"It's a disaster, the city should knock it down or at least board up all the windows," said Meyers.

However, currently under city code the city claims all they can do is alert the homeowner and wait. 

"Responsibility would rest on the property owner and we would be kind of dependent on them moving that property up into compliance," said Emily Muhlbach, communications coordinator for the city's building department. 

Muhlbach says they've alerted the 4th Street SW property of the code violations against them for at least three years and still the city says they cant do anything.

However other eastern Iowa cities including Iowa City, Waterloo and Dubuque says it can take control  and take ownership of a property under Chapter 657A: Abandoned or Unsafe Buildings, an Iowa code.  

It states a city can  "remove or correct" the conditions of an abandoned building  if it's is a "public nuisance," meaning the building is a menace to the public health, welfare, or  safety -  or is structurally unsafe or unsanitary.

"Anybody that's going to have to go in there is going to have to wear something like a hazmat or something," said Meyers. "Because it's bad."

The city says it's actually coming up with a new ordinance that will allow it to take a more proactive approach in solving abandoned and vacant properties, but says it still has to get approved.

"Our goal is just to strengthen the community, increase the quality of life in our neighborhoods and make sure we're addressing blight in our neighborhoods," said Muhlbach.

KWWL tried getting in contact with the property owner, but was not able to. 

Powered by Frankly