Demolition opponents say city used loophole

Demolition began at four properties in a Union Plaza neighborhood on Sept. 12, 2017 despite a court order that was issued the night before. Protesters gathered and police arrived to block off the area. Credit: KFOX14 / CBS4

Those against the construction of a multipurpose facility in a Union Plaza neighborhood said the city created a loophole to start demolition.

Protesters remain in the neighborhood more than 24 hours since they set up camp.

They’re blaming the city for having control over what they’ve called a hit-and-run demolition.

An attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid said the city is requiring sellers to demolish the buildings on purchased lots before the city can get the title and before sellers can get paid.

Protesters are saying this created a loophole for the private property owners to not follow the first court order.

“(The city) lied not only to the public, it lied to the court, it lied to the property owners when it said we have no control over you, hopefully you'll follow the order. Clearly that was violated, clearly these owners want their money,” said Veronica Carbajal of Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid.

The city attorney couldn’t go into specifics about purchasing contracts, but did say some property owners had to make the land suitable for construction before contracts were fulfilled.

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