Neighborhood beautification, increasing property taxes goal of push to clean up north Tulsa

TULSA - Some north Tulsa residents are pushing the city to do something about overgrown grass and unsafe structures.

The work load on compliance officers this summer was overwhelming and north Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson says he's working closely with homeowners to get rid of eye sores.

Not only are city crews tearing down dilapidated houses, code enforcement officers are looking out for overgrown grass, boarded up houses and junk-filled yards.

Code enforcement officers say anytime there is an unsafe structure or tall grass, it represents a danger to residents who live nearby.

"Over the last couple of years, we've been able to eliminate over 300 dilapidated structures...," said Kevin Cox, City of Tulsa code enforcement officer.  "Funding, that's helped for a lot of neighborhoods that have had to live by burnt-out and dangerous dilapidated structures where someone might be trying to get into them."

Officials say those vacant homes can be a haven for criminal activity.

Since June, officers have received more than 4,500 complaints.

With only 11 officers to answer those calls, there's a 45-day delay before they get to the complaints with the lowest priority, and paperwork must be complete for action is taken.

Property owners who ignore the city can expect a fine up to $500.

Henderson says the overall goal is neighborhood beautification and increasing property values.

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