Resident: Debris, humans dangling from scaffolding are new norm for Sarasota construction sites

HOA President worried debris will kill someone
Posted at 11:15 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-10 23:15:57-04

Essex House HOA President Lottie Varano says his building is under attack from falling debris and the city has done little to protect the 150 residents that live in his condo community.

“We've had multiple episodes of large items falling from the upper levels of Echelon which is now called 624 Palms,” Varano said. “The doorway that they use has signs on them that says ‘“careful falling debris.’”

Varano wants to know how many close calls it will take before the city requires builders to have more safety measures.

“We have 150 residents that live in his building,” Varano said. “It won't end until our government does its primary duty, and that is to keep the citizens safe.”

Varano showed ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska photos of debris that fell from the construction site narrowly missing several residents. The photos show concrete blocks, metal support columns, 2x4’s, and other construction materials that feel from the 18 story building. In one instance, Varano said a piece of rebar shot into a 7th story window where a resident was in her living room.

“Scaring the bejesus out of the poor lady that lived there,” Varano said.  “That lady was so shook up, that eventually after living her for 13 years, she left. We’ve had metal support post fall from the eight floor that narrowly missed three of our residents, hitting one of them could've easily killed them or maimed them.”

The construction worker was rescued from the scaffolding without incident. on June 11, at another construction site two other workers were rescued when their scaffolding malfunctioned.

We reached out to city leaders, but as of news time, have not heard back.