Longtime Colony Beach & Tennis Resort owner Dr. Murray “Murf” Klauber’s home of almost 40 years has been deemed “potentially hazardous and unsafe” by a licensed engineering firm.
The news has led Longboat Key Planning, Zoning and Building Department officials to deem the building potentially unsafe, post warning signs around the building and ban people from entering it.
Longboat Key Building Official Wayne Thorne sent a letter to affected Colony Beach & Tennis Resort officials on Wednesday, informing them that ProNet Group Incorporated, a firm hired by Citizens Property Insurance to inspect the units, inspected the mid-rise condominium tower and discovered major concerns.
ProNet Group officials observed steel bar beams and joists sticking out above the roof, “which no longer support their intended design loads.”
In a letter to the town dated Sept. 5, ProNet Group explains that steel bar joists supporting the southeast portion of the fifth floor are severely corroded, allowing the steel joists “to pull away from the east wall support and move downward.
“The current condition at these joists indicates that the floor framing system is no longer adequate to support the loads as originally designed,” the letter states. “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.”
Klauber, who had residential and office units on the fifth and sixth floors of the building for 38 years, moved out of the building in July and told the Longboat Observer he had three buckets in his unit to catch water when he left and water damage to artwork and furniture.
The assessment by the company has prompted the town, in accordance with its codes, to place warning signs around the building, which explain the property is potentially unsafe and needs a building permit for repairs before it can be used again. The notice states that any use or occupancy of the building is restricted and must be approved by the town’s building official.
In the meantime, to make sure the building is not a danger to other structures, the town is mandating that Colony officials hire an engineer to test the building’s floor and roof to assess its structural integrity. The engineer will provide recommendations to shore up the building where the steel beams that hold up the building have been compromised.
In his letter to Colony officials, Thorne also states a contractor must submit an application for a permit to fix the structure by October 8, with work commencing on the building within 10 days of the permit being issued. Extensions needed to fix the building can only be submitted in writing to Thorne.
Thorne also notes that a remediation plan to remove mold from the building is in the works and also requires a building permit.
For more information, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Sept. 20 Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].