A Colorado Springs accountant, Antonio Villa, has avoided a return to jail for now. He has until July 31 to complete court-ordered demolition of additions he made to his house without permits or inspections.
He spent nearly a week in jail in January, and was fined $20,300, for contempt of court after he failed to comply with demolition ordered by a judge in May 2007, and for failing to even show up at court status hearings. The fine was the culmination of a $100 a day penalty the judge imposed to get Villa to comply.
Villa says he is being harassed for building additions to his home without getting permits or inspections.
But after avoiding jail on June 2, Villa said he will not risk returning. In the future, he will get all the necessary permits when he contemplates an addition.
Here is a look at his house from www.FlashEarth.com
Villa was ordered to remove the workshop, patio enclosure and office, as well as the large parking lot he built. Here is a view of the front of his house from Circle Drive. The office addition, built from plywood, is on the left.
They said he needed permits and used unsafe construction practices, such as using 4-by-4 posts in five-gallon buckets of cement as a foundation. They also say he illegally tapped a neighbor’s sewer for a bathroom he built.
There was no permit for the curb-cut on Winnepeg Drive or for the parking lot, which he built for customers of his accounting business, which the city said was not allowed in a home. The city said his additions violated “setback” rules — the amount of space a building must sit from a street or property line. Here are photos of his office and parking lot, deemed illegal by the city.
At a hearing June 2, Villa risked going back to jail if the additions were not torn down.
He started removing the office on May 28 in hopes of satisfying the judge. Here, a worker began demolition of the office that day.
By June 2, he had completed the removal of most of the additions. Here’s a photo of his yard, where they stood. In the second photo, his office is visible as well as steel walls of a building he intends to erect in his parking lot.
Villa said he is being harassed and discriminated against by the city and courts. He blames a contractor for bad advice about the need for permits and for poor construction of his additions.