Best of 2019: Highland Park’s Squabble with Homeowner

When the staff of People Newspapers began compiling a list of best stories and biggest stories of 2019, one that almost immediately came up was the ruckus between Highland Park and a homeowner over the condition of a home on Mockingbird Lane.

The town called Scott Brei’s home unsafe, and made moves to begin the demolition process. Brei disagreed rather vehemently and sued the town.

“Town officials began investigating the property March 11, issued a notice of violations March 26, and asked Oncor to shut off power to the property on April 11,” People Newspapers editor William Taylor wrote in June. “A wide range of issues include a bowing roof along with deteriorating walls and fencing in danger of collapse.”

In September, a story related the account of neighbors who said Brei threatened them, and “described Brei’s property as a used car lot and site of frequent garage sales.”

Brei said he never threatened them.

At a September town council meeting, Brei said he was beginning work on the repairs needed to bring the home up to code.

“I do have a certain amount of skepticism,” Mayor Margo Goodwin told Brei. “We will be watching.”

Read more about the situation here.

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