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The city of Little Rock asked a judge Monday to order a man to vacate his property while the city demolishes a burned house there.

Assistant City Attorney Sherri Latimer filed a complaint for emergency injunctive relief in Pulaski County Circuit Court, asking that a judge set an expedited hearing and give Mark Hursey Jones three days' notice before allowing the city to demolish Jones' house.

The structure at 3715 Elam St. in Little Rock burned during a March 14 fire. The fire left the house "dilapidated, unsightly, dangerous and unsafe," according to the city's complaint.

The city Board of Directors voted unanimously Sept. 15 to add the house to the city's demolition list and authorized the city attorney to seek the court order to remove Jones.

At that meeting, Jones said he is living in a makeshift structure next to the house. He also said he has made some progress by painting the exterior of the home and purchasing some lumber.

"I don't have any money set aside, any retirement," he told the board. "What I make, I earn every day. So I'm throwing myself at the Board of Directors' mercy, as I will the court, to see me through this."

Jones has years of construction experience, he said, noting that he helped remodel City Director at-large Dean Kumpuris' home.

Code enforcement officers notified Jones on March 17 and April 14 that the building would need to be demolished. Both times, Jones insisted that he would rebuild the house and told the officers they were not welcome on his property, the city's complaint said.

He then put up no trespassing signs and barricade tape.

Code officers posted an unsafe notice at the address on April 17 and directed Jones to demolish the burnt house within three days. The officers went back Sept. 3 and warned Jones again.

The city's court complaint stated that Jones hasn't taken any action on the property and that he continues to live there.

"The city should be allowed to raze and remove the structure and to prevent Mr. Jones from interfering with said activities," the complaint said.

The court will set a hearing date on the matter but had not done so by the end of the day Monday.

Metro on 09/29/2015

Print Headline: LR files to oust man, raze his burned home


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