Colony mid-rise deemed unsafe
The Town of Longboat Key has declared the Colony’s five-story tower unsafe, and no one is permitted to enter the building due to its unsafe conditions.
While investigating a mold related issue in the Colony’s central five-story tower where Dr. Murray Klauber once resided, ProNet Group, Inc. discovered an exposed steel bar joist on the fifth floor that was severely corroded, had pulled away from the wall support and is tilted downward. The joist is right below the fifth floor swimming pool.
ProNet Group was sent by Citizens Property Insurance, the Colony Association’s insurance company, to perform an inspection at the Colony tower in regard to mold that had accumulated after Tropical Storm Debby.
During the investigation, the corroded joist was discovered.
“The corrosion of these bar-joists is severe enough that it has allowed the joists to pull away from the east wall support and moved downward. The current condition at these joists indicates that the floor framing system is no longer adequate to support the loads as originally designed. Since this level of corrosion is consistent with long-term exposure to rain water/moisture migration, it is reasonable to conclude that this condition occurs at other areas and floors of the building, which were not available for observation during our inspection,” stated a letter to the town from ProNet Group on Sept. 5.
The group also noted that other steel braces on the roof level had corrosion, and that these provide support to the parapet walls. ProNet Group concluded by stating that the town should have these problems inspected and repaired by a licensed engineer as soon as possible since “there is potential failure of these floor bar-joists.”
Town Planning and Zoning Director Robin Meyer says that the town will be working hand in hand with the Colony to resolve all situations regarding deteriorating buildings.
“They need to make sure it is secure. Whether that will be renovating the existing structure or tearing it down and rebuilding it, either way we will work with them,” said Meyer.
The Town’s Building Official, Wayne Thorne, subsequently wrote a letter dated Sept. 12 to all Colony parties informing them of the requirements to make the five-story tower safe. The requirements mainly consist of the entire building floor and roof systems being inspected and tested by a Florida licensed professional engineer, and that a licensed general contractor submit an application for permit by October 8, 2012.
President of the Colony Beach and Tennis Association Jay Yablon said, “We will make immediate remediation on any buildings that the town requests, on or before the deadline.”
Recently, the Colony has contended with other problems as well, including ongoing lawsuits, how to redevelop the Colony, angry neighboring condominium owners who are tired of the Colony eyesore, and the town’s deadline for a plan to rebuild the Colony.
The Colony Association of unit owners petitioned the town of Longboat Key requesting an 18-month extension to allow the grandfathering of the resort’s use and 237 units past a town-imposed Dec. 31 deadline. Last March the town commission extended the right for unit owners to grandfather the resort use until the end of 2012. Town ordinance says an abandoned use can only be grandfathered for one year or the zoning of the property reverts to the current, or in the case of the Colony, the underlying zoning.
At the Colony site, that underlying zoning is 6 units per acre, which would effectively reduce the historical unit count from 237 to about 90 on its near-18 acre site.
The Colony and its request for an extension of the grandfathering of its units past the Dec. 31, 2012 deadline to June 30, 2014 will be discussed at the next town workshop on Monday, Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. in town hall commission chambers.