Andover, a Kansas city overtaken by blight

A strategic plan for economic development in Andover, Kansas lists one of the city’s strengths as “Andover appearance — clean, new, fresh, new, safe, inviting. Very little blight.”

But in order to implement a tax giveaway to buyers of new homes, the city essentially declared the entire city blighted.

The ordinance passed by the city doesn’t use the word blight. Instead, it states that “one or more of the following conditions exist within said area.” Two of the conditions are “a predominance of buildings which, by reason of dilapidation or obsolescence, are detrimental to public health, safety and welfare” and “a substantial number of deteriorating structures which impair the sound growth of the City, retards the provision of housing and constitutes an economic liability.”

The “said area” referred to is the entire city of Andover.

Anyone familiar with Andover knows that the suburban town doesn’t suffer from blight. But a majority of city council members were willing to abuse a program intended to remedy true blight. Such a torturing of the original intent of a program is one of the reasons why government grows and grows, here at the expense of a town’s reputation.


5 thoughts on “Andover, a Kansas city overtaken by blight”

  1. Blight has a different meaning in legalese. What they’re doing isn’t unusual … or even a stretch. You’re trying to apply a common language interpretation to legal terminology.

  2. Blight in this context is any adverse land use resulting in declining valuations. Blight in the English language means dilapidated buildings, slums, etc. Same word – 2 different concepts.

  3. This is so ridiculous especially when this town is charging me taxes on a property they valued at $113000. & it was just appraised at $72000. Looks like they have been over taxing me as well.

  4. If Andover is blighted, than so is Johnson County. If Andover is blighted than the rest of Kansas is the next Detroit. What a joke from KS law if this is a definition based upon state statutes.

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