Sioux Falls man files federal lawsuit in attempt to save home from city demolition

Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 9:21 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -As a young man growing up in a blue-collar family, Vitaliy Strizheus dreamed of a better life.

“As a teenager, I would drive this place, I would drive this neighborhood, and I was like, one day,” said Strizheus.

He says hard work in his marketing business allowed him to bankroll the construction of his home.

“In 2013, we bought two lots, and we just wanted to build a dream house,” said Strizheus.

Instead of envisioning moving trucks and placing furniture, Strizheus says his dream has become a nightmare because of the city’s plans to demolish the house.

“Set a date for February 27th to bring an excavator here,” said Strizheus.

There has been a turbulent past with neighbors and the city.

“Because it was a nuisance at one point in time. It’s not right now. It hasn’t been for years. We fixed it up. I take full responsibility for it,” said Strizheus.

As a 2016 demolition order by the city moved through the state’s court system, improvements began.

Despite the demotion order in place, the city continued to approve building permit applications at the residence, located at 6800 S Westfield Trail, to finish the interior and exterior of the home in 2017 and 2021.

He says the sod is in, the trees planted, and the home has new exterior paint. Then, he shows us the progress inside.

“We need to paint it. So it’s fully drywalled. We need to put the flooring in and put the finishing touches on the kitchen,” said Strizheus.

He understands the neighbor’s frustration in the past with construction debris and being a target for vandals.

“Our intention was never for this place to be an eyesore in town or to cause neighbors frustrations. We would never intend that at all, not once,” said Strizheus.

Now the family of nine hopes to complete the home and move in by the end of the year.

“Can’t imagine an excavator coming in here and just ruthlessly, just tearing this place apart like this on Monday,” said Strizheus.

Past litigation has supported the city in its efforts to demolish the home. Strizheus is trying another attempt to keep his home, filing in federal court.

“And I don’t; I can’t even comprehend why can’t we finish it now that we have come so far,” said Strizheus.

On February 20th, our I-Team reached out to the city of Sioux Falls, asking why the city continued to approve building permits to finish the home in 2017 and 2021 while a 2016 demolition order was also in place. Unfortunately, as of 3:30 pm on February 21st, we had yet to receive a response.