Demolition crews tore down a vacant two-story house at 50 Grenada Drive in Kenner on Saturday morning, ending a nearly 20-year battle between the property owners and the city over the blighted property.
The Louisiana Supreme Court on Sept. 12 refused to hear an appeal filed by owners Placide and Jan Jumonville, ending their legal battle to reverse the Kenner City Council’s April 2013 vote to demolish the property.
Three days later, Mayor Mike Yenni announced that the building would come down, but his office would not say when the demolition would occur. The city issued a news release Saturday afternoon saying the deed was done.
“I am proud to be able to say that the promises made by myself and District 3 Councilman Keith Reynaud have been fulfilled — even though there were doubters — and even though our promises were the same as those made by other Kenner officials for nearly two decades,” Yenni said in a written statement.
Kenner’s fight with the Jumonvilles over the house goes back to 1995, when the city took its first legal action against the property. Neighbors in the Driftwood Park subdivision off Williams Boulevard often complained about the condition of the vacant property, and the owners were cited and fined for more than 50 code violations over the years, according to the city.
The Jumonvilles paid their fines on time and asked the city for more time to fix up the house at the April 2013 hearing, but City Council members said they had heard it all before and unanimously ordered the demolition.
The Jumonvilles challenged the decision in court, but a 24th Judicial District Court judge upheld it, as did an appellate court and finally the Supreme Court.
The city tore down another home owned by the Jumonvilles on nearby Martinique Avenue in 2009.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.