real estate news - In Oct. 24, 2011, a Cape Coral property was demolished by the city without proper notification. The owner of the property is looking at a possible settlement of approximately $40,000. Thomas Stewart of news-press.com said that this amount is an estimate of what the home was worth, the day before the city tore it down.
Ken Jones, a lawyer with the Fort Myers office of Roetzel & Andress said that his client is satisfied with the appraisal. Jones is Kenneth Koopman legal representative. Koopman once owned the property at 5109 Avalon Drive. The property landed on a list of nine condemned homes to be demolished by the city in late 2011.
According to Jones, the city sent the demolition notice to the home that was to be demolished and not to where Koopman lives. Koopman lives in Fort Myers. Jones said that the city code officers knew of Koopman’s Fort Myers address because they visited him there in the past to issue citations for code violations.
It appears that the city realized their mistake. However, it was too late. The city called to stop the demolition project as the Honc Destruction crew was finishing the six-hour job. Honc Destruction crew was paid about $5,000 to bring down the house and about $60,000 for all nine condemned homes on the list.
Based on the city records, Koopman's home at Avalon Drive was abandoned and code officers were alerted by neighbors of multiple issues, which include a collapsing pool filled with standing water, broken windows, pests and vermin. At one point, the city also had an $88,000 lien on the controversial property.
When Hurricane Charlie hit the state in 2004, neighbors said the house was severely damaged. The property was not repaired however, and the hurricane left a gaping hole in the roof.
Despite the fact that Koopman is satisfied with the $40,000 appraisal of his Southwest Florida Real Estate, his legal representative said that Koopman still wants to be compensated with an additional $3,500 because his personal belongings were wrecked during the demolition.
Once the issue is resolved, Koopman's legal representative said that there is a high possibility that the city council will approve the final settlement. According to Jones, Koopman's experience with the demolition was unbearable. He only hopes that the issue will be resolved so that he can move on with his life.
Connie Barron, the City spokeswoman referred questions to the city attorney’s office, however, did not provide any comments.