Judge: Ingleside demolition can go on

Demolition of Ingleside Mobile Home Park for a new student housing complex is free to continue after the developer obtains a city permit, said Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael on Thursday.

Ishmael lifted a temporary restraining order against Lexington developer Neal Evans that prevented him from razing any homes in the park until he obtained a demolition permit from the city’s code enforcement office.

Residents of the mobile home park and their attorney, Ed Dove, filed the restraining order in response to Evans failing to obtain a city demolition permit before he began destruction at the end of February.

The 10-day order was issued March 11 but was dissolved Thursday because Dove had failed to submit a motion for a new restraining order, Ishmael said.

Evans will have to follow all guidelines for obtaining a city demolition permit, Ishmael said.

Before a permit can be issued, sewer lines have to be capped, owners of neighboring properties have to be informed of the construction, and the Division of Historic Preservation has to approve of the demolition. The Division of Historic Preservation can take up to 30 days to research the structures before they are torn down.

As of Friday, Evans had not applied for a permit, said John Bryant, the city’s deputy director of code enforcement.

Ten families still live at the mobile home park.

“They can bring in the bulldozers, but I’ll still be here,” said Fred Thomas, an Ingleside resident who is not one of the restraining order plaintiffs. “I think that’s how it is for most of us still living here. The developers can have a thousand permits; it doesn’t matter to us, because this will still be our home.”

The remaining Ingleside residents will appear at a second eviction hearing Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. in Fayette District Court. Ishmael will not be the judge.

“It’s hard not to feel like it’s all over, like we don’t have a chance left,” said Francis Barrera, an Ingleside resident since 2005. “It was such a victory to hear about demolition stopping, and now just the same old feeling of defeat.”