KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The house that stood at 136 Bellaire Avenue is now demolished after years of complaints.
Demolitions crews began at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and neighbors are elated to see the home gone.
"Oh, it’s a blessing to have it gone. It’s been nothing but a thorn in the butt," said Monty Meginn, who lived next to the now-demolished house for the past three-and-a-half years, "We’ve run a bunch of people out of it, bunch of homeless out of it, bunch of junkies out of it."
Before being knocked down, the house had graffiti on its side and the roof was partially collapsed.
It took a while to get the green light to demolish the house because the owner is from out of state, which caused some legal hurdles.
"Part of the issue we have as a city is a lot of these properties that are in that condition are privately owned, which makes our job much more difficult," city spokesman John Baccala said.
Documents obtained by 41 Action News show that this property was put on the dangerous buildings list in 2013 and received 311 complaints.
But the problem doesn't end with one home. Right up the block, there are other problem properties.
"We’ve got a house that caught fire within the last four to five months that needs to be demo'ed as well," said Bryan Stalder, president of the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association, "It’s widespread, it’s throughout the whole neighborhood. I mean,every block has a house that needs to be rehabbed or demolished."
Stalder wishes more could be done to rehab these lots to beautify the neighborhood.
"I would say that the vacant houses and the blight in the neighborhood are probably central to every other challenge that we face," Stalder said.
According to the city, it has demolished 195 properties so far this year. Of those properties, 117 are done and 78 are in contractors' control.
Per city code, the lot on Bellaire Avenue is too small to build another house so it will likely become a green space, community garden or something else, but the city prefers the neighboring house to buy it.