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.