San Antonio’s answer to a problem property: demolish it
Board orders destruction of structures that had become center to criminal activity
A warehouse and four dilapidated mobile homes on a property in San Antonio that had become a hotbed of criminal activity, so local officials found a Texas way of dealing with the problem.
They tore it down, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
The structures, which sat on a 7-acre parcel at 5000 West Military Drive, had been the site of more than two dozen criminal cases over the past two years, and child protective services had been called there as well, the outlet reported.
After the owner, Rose Garcia, and her son, Henry Garcia Jr., declined to do anything about the issue, the city’s Building and Standards board voted unanimously to demolish the structures.
The Garcias had given permission to have people live at the mobile homes even though that wasn’t a permitted use for the property under zoning laws.
The mobile homes had extension cords running out to the warehouse, and boarded up windows.
Henry Garcia Jr. said the issues began when his father, Henry Garcia Sr. died, making it difficult to maintain the property. He said he didn’t know people were living on the property and he wanted to evict them.
“I extend my apologies to law enforcement, code division and to the board for it getting to this point,” Henry Garcia Jr. said, according to the outlet.
But board members were unmoved, noting that an enforcement officer testified that the younger Garcia had been told in 2022 that people were living on the property and he did nothing about it.
“I’m sorry. I don’t trust what you’re saying,” board member Evelyn Brown said. “You’re saying one thing and another and that’s kind of hard to believe.”
— Ted Glanzer