Detroit International Bridge Company owns hundreds of boarded up homes but can’t tear them down
More west-end residents of Windsor have joined a lawsuit against the Ambassador Bridge company.
A meeting at Mackenzie Hall on Tuesday night attracted approximately 60 people. Lawyer Harvey Strosberg spoke about a $10-million lawsuit that’s already been filed by two west-end residents.
They claim boarded-up, empty buildings owned by the bridge have decreased the value of their homes.
Strosberg alleged the bridge owners “believe they are above the law.”
“They have to comply with the Windsor minimum housing standards, and they don’t do it. The property owners will make them do it or pay for it,” he said.
“We say they should have taken the steps to keep the properties according to the bylaws while they’re waiting to do whatever they want to do with that [land]. They want to put a bridge? Fine. But until such a time that a bridge is built or not on those properties, they have to keep the properties in a way that complements the neighbourhood,” lawyer Sharon Strosberg added.
The lawyers say residents who’ve signed a form to join the lawsuit will be interviewed to determine if they have a claim.
Dan Stamper, the president of the Detroit International Bridge Company, was at the meeting handing out business cards and asking people to give him a call.
He continues to maintain the residents are pawns in an attempt by the city to handicap the bridge company and prevent it from building a second span next to the existing and aging border crossing.
“We’ve never condemned a piece of property. We’ve never expropriated a piece of property,” Stamper said. “Everything we’ve ever bought was a willing seller, willing buyer.
“We all know why is the city has refused to let them come down, and these people are being pawns in that effort.”
Lawyers say it could take years for the lawsuits to be decided by the courts.