Neighbors ask city of St. Peters to fix problem property - KMOV.com

Neighbors ask city of St. Peters to fix problem property

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Neighbors are asking the city of St. Peters to find the homeowner of this vacant problem property. Neighbors are asking the city of St. Peters to find the homeowner of this vacant problem property.
ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Neighbors surrounding a vacant home in St. Peters have asked the city to fix the falling apart property, but the city says their hands are tied.

Officials with the city of St. Peters said they are dealing with half a dozen problem properties, but they cannot force homeowners to take action.

Part of the problem, they said, is tracking down who exactly owns the property.

If someone loses their home in a bankruptcy, but the bank has yet to file papers to declare the property, the property can be stuck in an ownership limbo that can last for years.

"This is the worse house in St. Peters right here, the worst house," said Tom Koske, who lives next door to the property. The home on Greenfield has rotting wood siding, the paint is flaking and weeds and vines crawl up onto the porch.

Koske said the couple who lived in the home moved out six years ago, and while he has watched it deteriorate since, he has been trying to track down who owns it.

"I've got a whole file on 36 Greenfield right now and I keep contact with people and I've written to trustees of the subdivision and they can't do anything," Koske said. "We are just fed up with it. We can't sell our homes, we want some action."

Even city hall in St. Peters has trouble tracking down the owner of the home and of similar problem properties.

"Those are the ones that we can't even send a summons to because there's nobody to appear in court," said Russ Batzel of the city of St. Peters. "Those are the properties that sometimes are out there for years."

There are residents who think the laws should be changed to give the city more power, but just as many do not want to give the government more power over private property.

Out of the 21,000 residential properties in St. Peters, the city has half a dozen troublesome properties like the one next door to Koske.

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