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City to Resident: You Can Tear Your House Down But You Can't Build a New One

The curious case of Cynthia Dunne in Ladue, Missouri, who was permitted by the city to tear down her house, and then subsequently informed that a lack of water pressure prohibited building a new one.
October 28, 2019, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Robert Patrick reports from Ladue, Missouri: "Officials here allowed Cynthia Dunne to buy a 4,400-square-foot home for $1 million and knock it down, but they won’t allow her to replace it because of an aging water line that feeds her community, a federal lawsuit filed this month says."

Dunne's plans for a new, 7,700-square-foot home that would accommodate her physical disabilities "were approved by Ladue’s architectural review board before she applied for and received a permit to demolish the old house in 2018," according to Patrick. Dunne’s building permit was blocked after she demolished the old house, and after Ladue officials said that fire hydrant water pressure was insufficient for any structure, the suit says.

According to a spokesperson for Missouri American Water, the cost of addressing inadequate water lines usually falls to developers. In this case, either the neighborhood would have to chip in to help pay for a new water line, or Dunne will have to pay the cost entirely on her own.

Dunne filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the city of Ladue and Building Commissioner Roger Stewart, seeking unspecified damages.

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, October 24, 2019 in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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