30-year structural inspections Palm Beach & Boca Raton became the first to create a building recertification program on Tuesday. The day marked two months since the tragic fall of the Champlain Towers condo complex in Surfside.
The new ordinance will require buildings at their 30-year mark to submit a 30-year structural inspection report every 10 years. It does not include single-family homes and duplexes. The law will affect buildings that stand more than three stories high or ones that measure more than 5,000 square feet and hold more than 500 people.
“I don’t think this is a reaction solely to the Surfside tragedy,” Mayor Scott Singer said. “Obviously that got people thinking about it. But it caused me to look at, ‘Why doesn’t Palm Beach County have a recertification ordinance in place?’ Boca Raton has identified 242 buildings that will immediately be subject to recertification under the new ordinance. The city will follow a schedule for four years to eliminate the backlog in four areas starting east and west of Interstate 95.
Palm Beach may mail the first notice of required inspection in the next few months. The notice will be sent via certified mail at least one year before the deadline. If returned unclaimed, it will be posted at the building.
Under the new ordinance, building owners must submit a structural report and an electrical report, and identify any deficiencies that need to be solved. Building owners who submit an inadequate report will have 30 days to offer corrections and will have up to three opportunities to do so. After that, those who fail to get city approval will be referred to the Permitting and Construction Review Board for final determination.
Boca Raton will give building owners 30 days to put forward a repair plan, which must detail the proposed schedule to complete repairs and to submit applications for any required permits. Building officials will determine if the proposed schedule is reasonable and if the building is in any imminent danger.
Building owners who fail to submit the inspection report, get an approval of the repair plan, or complete the repairs within the timeframe outlined will be subject to fines or other penalties.