If you drive along State Line Road near the University of Kansas Hospital, you will run into construction. The hospital is building a new patient tower, which will feature more beds, new offices and operating rooms.
However, if you look a little closer, you will see a house tucked in the trees and sitting on top of a hill nearby.
"I just knew I needed to preserve this house," said Linda Mawby, who has lived in the 108-year-old home since 1987. "It's home, but it's more than that. It's historical, and it needs to be kept. It's a lot of things."
Mawby's home is now the only one on her street. While her neighbors sold their properties to KU Hospital for its expansion, Mawby decided to stay put. She told 41 Action News she wants to preserve the "historic home" she has lived in for almost 30 years.
"1907 is when this house was built, the same year, basically, as when KU Med started," she said. "I think this house needs to be kept as a museum and a visitor’s center for KU."
KU Hospital offered to buy her home, but Mawby declined so the hospital started to build around her. Heavy equipment, dirt and construction now surround her home, but Mawby said she doesn't mind.
"We just say hi to each other. There's no problem at all, and they keep me informed ahead of time of things that are going to happen. I'm excited. It's going to fine," she said.
41 Action News spoke with Doug Patterson of Property Law Firm to find out what rights homeowners have when it comes to economic development projects. According to Patterson, it differs in each state.
In Kansas, you are not required to sell your property. Developers have to "go the old fashion way," Patterson said. This means developers have to ask each property owner to buy the land unless they submit plan which includes the properties and the full Kansas legislature approves it.
In Missouri, the rules are different. Patterson said if more than 50 percent of properties within a designated area are "blighted," developers can condemn the remaining properties and use them for the development project.
Ariel Rothfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .