City Attorney's Office Says of Lower Greenville Demolition: "It's a Surprise That Someone Was Living There."

The house on the corner of Vickery and Greenville Wednesday night.
The house on the corner of Vickery and Greenville Wednesday night.
Patrick Michels

Neighbors say the house on the corner of Greenville Avenue and Vickery Boulevard has been needing some serious repairs for years, but now, as you can see from the photo above, the place is a genuine fixer-upper.

We checked out the place Wednesday night because word was someone had still been living in the place and had just come back for the night to find his home torn down.

Known around the neighborhood as "J.B.," he spends most days wandering up and down Lower Greenville, but he's lived in the house for years and, from the looks of things, J. B. Foster has been the owner of record for at least a decade.

Which begs the question, just how did the city decide to demolish a house while the owner still lived inside?

According to Andrew Gilbert in the City Attorney's Office, the demolition came only after months of notices and invitations to court hearings, which were sent via the mail and posted at the property.

"It is a surprise that someone was living there," Gilbert told us. "One would think that someone who's living in a house would repsond to notices that their house was being demolished."

Gilbert didn't have specifics on the reasons behind the city's lawsuit against Foster -- we're waiting to hear back on that -- but said the suit was filed last September. After Foster's no-show for an October 13 hearing in municipal court, a default order for demolition went out, notifying him to either make the necessary repairs or tear it down himself.

Another notice went out a month later, Gilbert says, and in early December, a judge signed off on an order to demolish the place.

"All those notices were mailed to the record owners of the property, and posted on the property, and published in the newspaper," Gilbert said.

Whether or not he understood those notices, the city machinery finally caught up with J.B. He spent much of Thursday walking the neighborhood in the rain, occasionally ducking from the weather at Terilli's Restaurant and Bar, next door to where his house used to stand.

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