clearn.png
Thursday September 29th, 2022 6:53AM

Florida gov signs condo safety bill after building collapse

By The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida will require statewide recertification of condominiums over three stories tall under new legislation Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday as a response to the Surfside building collapse that killed 98 people.

But while the measure was hailed by lawmakers, the senator who represents Surfside, Democrat Jason Pizzo, warns there's a lot more to do — and the state doesn't have enough structural engineers to handle the workload required to make sure all the state's high-rise condominiums are safe.

“Tell your nieces and daughters and sons to go study engineering,” Pizzo said.

The governor's signature came the day after the House unanimously passed the bill during a special session originally called to address skyrocketing property insurance rates. The condominium safety bill was added to the agenda Tuesday and immediately passed by the Senate.

Recertification will be required after 30 years, or 25 years if the building is within 3 miles (5 kilometers) of the coast, and every 10 years thereafter. The Champlain Towers South was 40 years old and was going through the 40-year-recertification process required by Miami-Dade County when it collapsed last June.

At the time, Miami-Dade and Broward counties were the only two of the state’s 67 that had condominium recertification programs.

There are more than 1.5 million condominium units in Florida operated by nearly 28,000 associations, according to a legislative analysis conducted earlier this year, Of those, more than 912,000 are older than 30 years and are the home to more than 2 million residents.

Pizzo said there are about 650 certified structural engineers in Florida. And there's a high demand for them on new construction alone. Most of the provisions of the law will take effect in 2024, so there is some time to prepare, Pizzo said.

“We're going to be back in regular session at least one more time before any of this really kicks in, which gives ample time to tweak, amend, hear from the public and people on the ground,” said Pizzo, who is hosting a public forum on the new law with other legislators next month.

He said that the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation doesn't have enough staff to handle condo regulation.

“They're operating on bare bones,” he said. “When it comes to life safety issues, I'm just not comfortable that the same agency that licenses manicurists are also licensing engineers for buildings ... They need to be well resourced.”

The bill would require that condominium associations have sufficient reserves to pay for major repairs and conduct a study of the reserves every decade. It would also require condominium associations to provide inspection reports to owners, and if structural repairs are needed, work must begin within a year of the report.

Similar legislation failed during the regular session that ended in March.

Meanwhile, a final settlement agreement is expected Friday that will pay at least $96 million to homeowners with condos in the Surfside building but whose families suffered no loss of life.

The condominium legislation was attached to a bill that would forbid insurers from automatically denying coverage because of a roof’s age if the roof is less than 15 years old. Homeowners with roofs 15 years or older would be allowed to get an inspection before insurers deny them coverage.

While some Democratic lawmakers complained that the special session on insurance didn’t go far enough to help relieve homeowners, they did praise the addition of the condominium safety legislation.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Financial Services
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Indian novel 'Tomb of Sand' wins International Booker Prize
Indian writer Geetanjali Shree and American translator Daisy Rockwell have won the International Booker Prize for “Tomb of Sand.”
6:56PM ( 27 minutes ago )
US general: No need to add ground forces in Sweden, Finland
The U.S. general nominated to take over European Command tells senators that Sweden and Finland’s push to join NATO won’t require putting more U.S. ground forces into either country
6:53PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Kevin Spacey to face 4 sex assault charges in Britain
British prosecutors say they have authorized police to charge actor Kevin Spacey with four counts of sexual assault against three men
6:46PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Police: Texas gunman was inside the school for over an hour
Texas authorities say the gunman who massacred 21 people at an elementary school was in the building for over an hour before he was killed by law enforcement officers
6:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Russia slams sanctions, seeks to blame West for food crisis
Russia is pressing the West to lift sanctions over the war in Ukraine, seeking to shift the blame for a growing food crisis
5:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ray Liotta, 'Goodfellas' and 'Field of Dreams' star, dies
Ray Liotta, the actor best known for playing mobster Henry Hill in “Goodfellas” and baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson in “Field of Dreams,” has died
5:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Justices won't block Biden policy on 'social cost of carbon'
The Supreme Court has allowed the Biden administration to use a higher estimate than Republican-led states want for calculating damages to people and the environment from greenhouse gas emissions
2:46PM ( 4 hours ago )
Senate GOP blocks domestic terrorism bill, gun policy debate
Democrats’ first attempt at responding to the back-to-back mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, has failed in the Senate
2:14PM ( 5 hours ago )
Blinken: US to leverage Russia-Ukraine bloc against China
Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the Biden administration is aiming to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order from China
2:01PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
UK touts help for energy bills; seeks to forget 'partygate'
Britain's Conservative government has unveiled a $19 billion package to ease a severe cost-of-living squeeze
10:57AM ( 8 hours ago )
Trump ally Zinke fights claim he's too 'liberal' for Montana
When Republican Ryan Zinke first ran for Congress, the former Navy SEAL faced false accusations his military career had ended in disgrace
8:55AM ( 10 hours ago )
Pakistan's ex-premier calls off planned sit-in, demands vote
Pakistan’s defiant former Prime Minister Imran Khan cancelled a planned, open-ended sit-in in Islamabad on Thursday, temporarily assuaging fears of protracted civil conflict after he led thousands on a march toward Parliament demanding the government’s resignation
7:42AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Canada rallies in 3rd, tops Sweden 4-3 in OT in world hockey
Drake Batherson scored on a power play 43 seconds into overtime to give Canada a 4-3 comeback victory over Sweden on Thursday night in the world hockey quarterfinals
5:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
Twitter shareholders sue Musk, say he 'deflated' stock price
Twitter shareholders have filed a lawsuit against billionaire Elon Musk, accusing him of unlawfully sowing doubt about his bid to buy Twitter
4:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
More Memorial Day travel expected, despite high gas prices
Pandemic-weary U.S. residents are confronting high gas prices as they decide whether to travel this Memorial Day weekend
3:27PM ( 3 hours ago )
Sri Lanka PM stresses urgency for economic reform plan
Sri Lanka’s prime minister says that he will quickly prepare an economic reform program and seek approval from the International Monetary Fund
2:22PM ( 5 hours ago )
At Davos, climate activists say major issues ignored
Climate activists are reflecting on discussions during this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
12:41PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Live updates | Ukraine reports people killed in east, north
Ukrainian governor of the eastern Luhansk region says Russian bombardments killed 3 people while strikes in the region had hit various targets including private houses and a humanitarian aid center
8:12AM ( 11 hours ago )
Japan's troubled Toshiba proposes outside directors to board
Troubled Japanese technology giant Toshiba has announced some additions to its proposed leadership ahead of a shareholders’ meeting next month
7:37AM ( 11 hours ago )
Live updates | Germany's Scholz says Putin won't win war
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated his conviction that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine
7:31AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Financial Services
Indian novel 'Tomb of Sand' wins International Booker Prize
Indian writer Geetanjali Shree and American translator Daisy Rockwell have won the International Booker Prize for “Tomb of Sand.”
6:56PM ( 27 minutes ago )
US general: No need to add ground forces in Sweden, Finland
The U.S. general nominated to take over European Command tells senators that Sweden and Finland’s push to join NATO won’t require putting more U.S. ground forces into either country
6:53PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Kevin Spacey to face 4 sex assault charges in Britain
British prosecutors say they have authorized police to charge actor Kevin Spacey with four counts of sexual assault against three men
6:46PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Lease terms for California offshore wind projects released
The Biden administration is advancing plans for offshore wind projects that would place hundreds of turbines in California's coastal waters
6:45PM ( 39 minutes ago )
Daughter and her best friends 'are all gone now,' dad says
Jacklyn Cazares hadn’t yet reached her 10th birthday, but her father described her as a tough-minded “firecracker” always looking to help people in need
6:26PM ( 57 minutes ago )