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City of Boise will pay to demolish sliding foothills homes

Posted at 9:20 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 00:35:24-04

The City of Boise will pay to demolish two unsafe homes that are sliding on Alto Via Court, but what some see as an act of altruism, others suggest it's an opportunity to destroy evidence.

Despite the fact that the worst of the homes have been fenced off, the city ruled the homes bust be demolished, citing unsafe conditions and a danger to public health and safety.

Initially the city was going to charge the homeowners who already suffered the indignity of losing their homes without compensation, but the city had a change of heart.

"It would have added insult to injury," homeowners' attorney Chad Nicholson said. "I'm very glad my clients didn't have to pay for that."

Still, counsel for the homeowners says the demolition could hurt his case against the city for allowing the homes to be built there in the first place.

"If the homes are destroyed and topsoil stabilization measures are put in place, is it going to alter the evidence? And if it does, does that impair our experts to go do testing to rebut what their defense is saying?" Nicholson questioned.

A judge recently gave until August 10 for the plaintiffs to gather evidence from the site, but after that the city can destroy a key piece of evidence, and Nicholson says he may use that in court.

"It's possible we'll request a judge instruct a jury that there's an adverse inference to be taken from the destruction because the city destroyed evidence," Nicholson said.

The homeowners' attorney would like until at least early October to gather evidence. The city is already taking bids to demolish the homes, although there's no timeline yet for destruction.