The Ambassador Bridge Company claims it's not demolishing any of its boarded-up homes on Indian Road in west Windsor.
Dan Stamper, president of the Canadian Transit Company, which owns the international border crossing, said abatement work, not demolition, is being done.
He said asbestos and other hazardous materials are being removed from inside the buildings.
The city's Sandwich Heritage Conservation District Plan requires a municipal permit for any construction or demolition work in the area.
Stamper claimed a permit is not needed for such work and that the issue is being reviewed by the bridge company's lawyer.
Windsor Mayor Eddie Francis said a watch remains on the activities of the bridge company:
"The Ambassador Bridge is just trying to push as much as they can push and skirt the rules as much as they can," Francis said. "I think the Ambassador Bridge is advancing their desire to twin the span. There's a formalized process in place in terms of what they need to do and what they need to follow. The more they can do without following the rules has been their style."
Bridge owner Matty Moroun wants to build a new span next to his existing border crossing.
Mayor Francis said the city wants bridge officials to submit plans for their project. There is a fear part of the plan includes converting the west-end neighbourhood into a truck plaza.