LONGBOAT KEY, FLA.- — Longboat Key leaders are recommending inspections on older, multi-story buildings in the Town of Longboat Key.
Last week, a condominium building partially collapsed near Miami. Search and rescue crews continue to look for survivors in the debris and rubble.
"We don't have any reasons to feel concerned about any of the buildings here within the town, but that issue, obviously, what came out of Surfside has brought our attention on the subject," said Allen Parsons, Planning, Zoning & Building Director for the Town of Longboat Key.
Leaders with the Town of Longboat Key sent a letter to condominium boards, managers and residents. The letter stated, "The Town would like to encourage owners and property managers to consult with structural engineers to have a proper inspection completed, especially if the building is older and has not been recently evaluated."
The letter also stated, "Buildings on or near the ocean are especially vulnerable because they are constantly exposed to the increased effects of saltwater oxidation and corrosion, as well as minor concrete and masonry cracks. Stucco left exposed to the elements can cause rebar to expand up to seven times its original size, exerting a force of 10,000 pounds per square-inch (PSI). This condition—commonly referred to as spalling—can necessitate extremely expensive concrete restoration."
Currently, town leaders said there are no laws requiring structural inspections of high-rise buildings. Tom Harmer, the Town Manager for the Town of Longboat Key, said they are reviewing codes and procedures.
"We inspect new buildings and they have to be built to the building code here in Florida, but once a building is complete and occupied, we have life safety inspections that occur on an annual basis with our fire marshal, but we don't inspect the structural integrity of the building," said Harmer.
Town leaders urge property owners to hire professionals to review the structural integrity of older, multi-story buildings.
For the complete letter visit: https://www.longboatkey.org/Home/Components/News/News/354/17.
Town leaders said the Town’s Planning, Zoning & Building Department is available if residents have any questions or concerns. Please call (941) 316-1999.