They say you "Can't fight city Hall", but the Roberts family did and were awarded 121,000.00 by a court because the city of West Palm Beach Illegally demolished their home.
The Roberts had inherited the house from a family member and rented it out and intended to hold it to pass down in their family. The house was built in the 1920's and was located in the Freshwater Lakes Histroic district.
After a minor fire in 2002 , the Roberts pulled the necessary permits, but needed one more from the Historic Commision which had issued a Do not Demo order, while the Roberts were obtaining that the city building Director said the house was unsafe and ordered it torn down. The city claimed they followed procedure and notified the Roberts but the Roberts went to Court and ultimately won 121,000 PLUS interest for the illegal demolition.
While preservationists mourn the loss of the house , the action of the court it sends a clear message to cities across the country that city officials can not skirt procedures when demolishing private property.