Charlotte County condos and co-ops may soon see a change to inspections

Reporter: Olivia Jean
Published: Updated:

A potential new Charlotte County law will impact many condos and co-op owners.

In incorporated Charlotte County, there are a total of 279 condos or co-op buildings. 178 of these could be subject to take action this year because they are 25 years old or more.

By December, another 10 will be 25 years or older.

This is in response to a 40-year-old, 12-story condominium building collapse in Miami’s Surfside neighborhood. 98 lives were lost when it happened on June 24, 2021.

The collapse was the catalyst for statewide legislation requiring stricter inspections of older buildings.

Charlotte County Commissioners called this a public safety issue.

The county is doing everything in its power to prevent something like Surfside from happening there.

WINK News spoke with the Charlotte County Building Official and Floodplain Administrator, Shawn McNulty. He spoke to the commissioners on Tuesday about tweaking the law already in place.

“It is important for these larger buildings where a lot of people are living to be maintained, and in a way that something like Surfside doesn’t happen again,” McNulty said.

The program is called the Condo Milestone Inspection Program, which requires buildings over 30 years old to be inspected. And then again every 10 years.

In a workshop on Tuesday, Charlotte County Commissioners discussed changing the requirement for inspections to be conducted on buildings 25 years of age and within 3 miles of the coastline.

Commissioners all seemed on board for the change.

Now, staff must develop language for a vote. They hope to have a vote before June to give condo owners six months to complete their inspections.

“I think that one of the big things that we’re trying to drive home in the workshop was the county’s role is merely to notify that they need to go hire an architect or engineer. The county does not perform the actual inspections,” McNulty said.

As McNulty said, the cost of the inspections will be the responsibility of the building’s owners. The county will not do the inspections or fund them, but it will track them.

This only affects incorporated Charlotte County, as the county does not have jurisdiction over Punta Gorda condominiums. The city’s government will enact the law for structures located in the city.

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