DeRidder landmark demolished before permit issued

DeRidder landmark demolished before permit issued
W.D. West House (Source: City of DeRidder)

DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - Some in DeRidder are upset about an old house bought last week and torn down almost immediately-- without the public having any say.

The realtor and developer in DeRidder had the building demolished without a permit and without an inspection required by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

The home was once a magnificent mansion that stood on Pine Street.  But since being demolished, only rubble remains.

Some citizens like Steve Delia are upset and have questions.

"A lot of citizens, particularly people that have ties to generations of our town are extremely upset about this building being demolished. There are a number of issues that people are asking, would like some questions answered," he said.

Questions like did the city issue a demolition permit. Realtor and developer Wayne Hall says he didn't know he needed one.  He says he purchased it retroactively on Monday.

Also, La. DEQ received several complaints about whether the building was inspected for asbestos before it was torn down.  DEQ inspectors went there and determined-- no it was not inspected ahead of time-- which means Hall will pay the price. DEQ says debris is assumed to contain asbestos and must be handled as such.

Delia is upset the rules weren't followed:

"The City of DeRidder has a book of a code of ordinances that should be followed and they should be the same for everyone," he said.

Again, purchaser Hall denies knowing a demolition permit or asbestos inspection were required.

DEQ officials say Hall has stopped work on the project until the situation is properly addressed.

The house was sold by the W.D. West House of Care which is run by the Hope Village Board of Directors.

A spokesman says the building was no longer used for tenants due to aging electrical and plumbing, roofing and structural issues-- and no handicapped accessibility.

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