Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Abatements continue and an agreement reached


Tonia Copeland

Above is one of two properties owned by Mike Schadegg in Kimball that is subject to an agreement with the City of Kimball.

Kimball City Council discussed, and ultimately approved, in open meeting on Tuesday, June 23, a nuisance abatement agreement with Mike Schadegg for properties located on south Oak Street and west First Street.

"The attorneys entered into an agreement because Schadegg made several references to when he could clean up that property, of course the court realized it was going to take a little time to do," City Attorney Kent Hadefeldt said. "So we drafted an agreement and submitted it to the court and dismissed the action."

"Kimball shall dismiss without prejudice the current case, at Kimball's expense," the agreement reads. "Provided Schadegg is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the agreement, Kimball shall not file a new criminal complaint against Schadegg related to nuisance, scrap metal, trash, litter, or the storage of unlicensed vehicles until June 1, 2017."

Several timelines were included in the agreement as benchmarks for the clean up process. For instance the all the trash and dead trees on the Oak Street property must be removed and properly disposed of on or before August 31 of this year.

Also by that date Schadegg is expected to have a privacy fence enclosing both locations and the parties are expected to meet to review the properties and discuss the progress of those items.

At that time, representatives of the City will identify all the items that must yet be removed for this particular deadline.

Two additional deadlines include the removal of scrap metal and loose vehicle parts by November 30, 2016 with a review of those items scheduled by October 1.

Vehicles that have been deemed a nuisance are expected to be removed by June 1, 2017, unless an extension is requested and granted.

"We dismissed the case, but we can refile it," Hadenfeldt said. "We have accommodated the court."

Council further considered the matter of dog kennels within city limits, which was tabled at a previous board meeting, at the latest council meeting with consideration to current and future zoning practices.

"We have kennels operating inside residential (areas) which our zoning doesn't allow," board member James Schnell said.

Though kennel permits have been issued for these kennels, allowing up to ten dogs, zoning was not taken into consideration when they were issued. Per City of Kimball Code, each residential property is allowed only four dogs unless the property owner acquires a kennel license.

"I think part of what we are trying to accomplish is that our current permit doesn't have a mechanism to notify the neighbors if their neighbor wants to put in a dog kennel with up to ten dogs," Ortiz said. "It doesn't provide any notification or postings. A conditional use permit would do that, it would notify any city property owner within 300 feet of the property. State statute defines that."

"I just want to make sure neighbors are notified, as a courtesy to neighbors," Mayor Prunty confirmed. "The way it is now it is a violation of zoning ordinances."

"If we do a notification for the permit, and I will be honest, this is where I am stuck," council member Christy Warner said. "I don't have a problem notifying the neighbors, but you guys don't have anything in writing that says if the neighbors come to complain for 'Resident A' you don't give them a kennel license, but 'Resident B' comes in and nobody complains about them having one because they happen to live in a different neighborhood, you know, that is a huge liability. It needs to be the same criteria, across the board for everyone, and you guys don't have anything on how you are going to decide who gets a kennel license and who doesn't."

Warner continued that the board needs to be able to go back to the codes to explain why the licenses are approved or not.

Mayor Prunty likened this to the mobile home permits, which has some criteria for approval.

"You try to place a mobile home up in a high-end neighborhood and you are going to have people complain. You try to place a mobile home on Oak Street in a vacant lot and you might not have anybody complain. But you are still only going to approve the mobile home permit via the rules," Warner continued. "I just want to know that when somebody comes to complain we are still treating everybody the same and not basing it on who is standing at the podium or what neighborhood you live in."

The board continued discussing permitted uses for the dog kennel issue, as they did for mobile homes.

According to current city ordinance, 95.48, A person or entity may operate a kennel within the city, provided: (1) Each dog over 9 months of age is kept in a separate enclosure; (2) Each dog has access to a separate area that is sheltered from the weather; (3) The kennel is kept in a clean and sanitary condition and all animal waste is removed from the premises on at least a daily basis; (4) All dogs must have the vaccinations required for licensing dogs; (5) The person or entity operating a kennel obtains a kennel license having an annual license as provided by resolution; and (6) The kennel license shall authorize the licensee to keep up to 10 dogs over 9 months of age on the licensed premises. The City Council may grant a waiver of the maximum number of dogs set forth in this division. (Ord. 498, passed 5-16-1995) Penalty, see §95.99.

"I think to allow an outdoor kennel with ten dogs is ridiculous in the city," citizen Ann Warner said.

After additional discussion the board chose to place a moratorium on issuing kennel licenses and move forward to establish a particular zone for the matter, and the issue was tabled and handed to the Planning Commission for zoning purposes.

More unsafe properties have come to the council's attention, but abatement processes are stalled while the City attempts to serve owners notice.

Other items before the board:

Approved a Keno grant of $1,000 for the Kimball Fireworks Fund.

Approved a Keno grant for the Kimball Longhorn Booster Club in the amount of $2,100.

Approved a request for a liquor license addition from Nate Entingh, owner of Beer and Loathing.

Approved Mayor Keith Prunty's appointment of Danielle Marks to the Library Board in place of Pam Heidemann, and to reappoint Randy Gunn and Ken Mars.

Received an update on recent nuisance abatement actions.

Considered abatement processes for two unsafe buildings with unfound/unknown owners.


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