After posting last night, I thought I would haunt the digital deed records to see if I could find something about the city condemning the house on the lot. It took a bit of sleuthing (simply typing in the property address was not good enough; needed to find book and page numbers, and then names, and then, finally, landed on searching on the last name and first initial of a previous owner), but I found it: the order to remove the house and the subsequent demolition (documented via a lien) by the city! I sent an email to the city planner with the information, and he agreed that a demo permit would not be required (in other words, there's no demo permit on file because the city demo'd the house, and the city don't need no damn permit!).
There you go.