Skip to comments.Hypocritical Heartless Hutchinson
Posted on 01/31/2011 10:23:19 AM PST by kathsua
Several years ago the City of Hutchinson, Kansas, told a federal judge that the city shouldn't be forced to install the sidewalk ramps for wheelchairs required by federal law because it couldn't afford to do so. Since that time the city has given money to a large corporation and spent money on a hiking trail among other things.
The city could find money for a hiking trail for the able-bodied but not sidewalks so those with mobility problems could get to the store.
Now the hypocritical city staff is trying to convince the city council that people would be required to keep their houses painted regardless of their financial circumstances. The city believes private citizens should repair leaky roofs even though the city has failed to fix the roof in its downtown firehouse. http://www.hutchnews.com/Localregional/counci... http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/ipmc-for-w...
The city staff apparently believes it is more important for those in poverty to spend their money on the appearance of their houses than to spend money on food, clothing, energy and health care. The apparent motive is to make it appear the city doesn't have anyone living in poverty.
Many Hutchinson residents have enough trouble coming up with money for food, energy and health care. They cannot afford to buy paint. The city staff's attitude seems to be let them drink paint.
Some of those here in Pottersville, I mean Hutchinson, believe those who cannot afford to keep their houses looking the way others want shouldn't be allowed to have houses.
Some don't understand that landlords have to pass along maintenance costs to tenants in the form of higher rent. Several years ago when I found out how much a nearby house was being rented for, I thought the rent seemed high. Then I considered how much monthly income the landlord ended up with and wondered how anyone could make enough money to be worth owning rental property.
The purpose city staff give for wanting a strict maintenance code is that many of those who work in Hutchinson prefer to live elsewhere. The city staff ignores the possibility that the real problem with Hutchinson housing isn't the way it's maintained, but its age and its cost.
Hutchinson's population has been stagnant for 50 years with the result that little new housing has been constructed since 1960. Many new residential units are in apartment buildings, particularly government subsidized low income apartments.
Thus much of the housing in Hutchinson was designed for the lifestyles of decades ago rather than the lifestyles of today.
In some older neighborhoods the only place available to park cars is in the street or in a backyard reached from the alley. Even some people who have driveways have to have the garage in the backyard because there is insufficient space between houses. Some houses have to share a driveway to their backyards.
The lack of an attached garage and close proximity of the houses creates a privacy problem. Garages provide a sound buffer between houses. When living spaces are only 5 - 10 feet apart music and arguments can be heard in adjacent houses.
Kitchens may be too small because they were designed when all cooking was done on a stove. Some kitchens may lack counter space for microwaves and other appliances. Washers and dryers may need to be put in the basement because there isn't space for them on the ground floor. Older houses often have fewer electrical outlets per room.
Many older Hutchinson houses are small even for one bedroom houses. The city has allowed some houses that may have been two or three bedroom houses to be divided into two and even three separate apartments. One block that had single family homes when we lived there 50 years ago now has apartment buildings in the back yards.
When my family moved here in 1958 from Wichita, my parents had trouble finding a new home because housing prices were significantly higher than in Wichita. We had to rent for a couple of years until they found something in the price range of the new three bedroom they had owned in Wichita.
Considering how few houses have been constructed in the last 50 years, that situation may still exist. Even with the high travel costs, it may be cheaper for some to buy the type of housing they want in Wichita than to live in Hutchinson.
Hutchinson might actually reduce the supply of houses if it carries out its threat to try to force people to spend money they don't have on housing maintenance. Many might have no financial choice but to abandon the property, particularly in the case of rental property. Others might be discouraged from attempting to purchase many of the vacant houses in town if they had to quickly bring them up to high city standards.
The city staff's recommendation that any new garage be similar in appearance to the house could make if more difficult to sell houses that currently lack garages or have garages that need to be replaced.
Hutchinson\s real housing problem isn't a lack of well maintained houses, but a relative lack of newer houses that are suited to modern lifestyles. The city may also have a problem competing with neighboring towns in terms of house prices.
Hutchinson shouldn't introduce new laws regulating homeowners until it complies with federal laws. Hutchinson shouldn't expect people to respect its laws while claiming that the city can defy federal laws. If Hutchinson can defend its lawless behavior by claiming it cannot afford to comply with the law, it should extend the same privilege to its citizens.
Famous for its lack of good restaurants.
Sometimes governments forget who works for who.
That’s the kind of thing you get when you have an organization like the American Planning Association “guiding” local governments on what they need. APA thinks they know what the perfect ‘community’ is, and that all it takes is the right rules and regulations to get it.
They’ve pushed those kinds of regulations in communities all over the country, whether they make sense or not. The next level, after they get you to regulate how places look, is to regulate land use so restrictively that they can control what you see too...
When it comes right down to it, it’s all about letting them control you.
Property maintenance codes are pretty standard fare. The scope of them varies. Many jurisdictions will put a lien on properties against fines levied for violations. To me a better thing would be to allow community service programs to partcipate in maintaining properties for those residents who are too frail to do so on their own or who can not afford the expense.
The city’s compliance with ADA is a separate issue from their building a hiking trail. The funding source of the hiking trail is not mentioned in the article. Did they receive any grant money (public or private). Were the easements donated to the city? Had thye committed any bonds to the project? Without that information is kind of hard to say whether the city is just crying poor mouth about ADA compliance. Remember the trail if operated by the city for the public will also have to meet ADA requirements for such uses.
New residents will not be attracted to areas with run down, poorly maintained housing stock. At least not the sort of residents you would like.
Communities do not put in trails because of huge demand from the populace, they put them in because that's another box they can check off on their grant applications for needed infrastructure upgrades. Federal Government using the carrot approach to getting all communities to move forward, in the right direction.
Agenda 21 - get everyone into high density urban communities, ban people from entering the ‘wildlands’, and make it easy to control people through the power, water, sewer, internet grids that are contained and easily shut down. Paving the way for One world government...
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