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2 builders ordered to stop work in Holmes Beach

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Holmes Beach Mayor Carmel Monti provides documentation on two construction sites issued stop work orders. Islander Photo: Mark Young

Two developers renovating property in Holmes Beach received stop work orders when inspections revealed construction issues, as well as a broader scope of work being performed than what was permitted by the city building department.

Construction on properties at 626 Key Royale Drive and 108 39th St. have come to a halt. As of press time, one of the owners is working with the city to resolve the issues in the stop work order, while the other property remains in limbo, according to building official Tom O’Brien.

Shawn Kaleta is the listed applicant on the permit for the duplex at 39th Street behind Skinny’s Place. He paid about $1,700 for a building permit to renovate the property in October 2013.

Florida Gulf Coast Vacation Homes LLC is listed as the property owner on the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s website.

The permit was approved based on the application, but during a December 2013 inspection, the building department found no foundation and work to the roof that encompassed 100 percent of the building.

According to O’Brien’s report, the original structural drawings show a foundation that is not there.

In an email exchange between O’Brien and Kaleta attorney Louis Najmy, O’Brien wrote, “The critical issue is that the work in place far exceeds the scope indicated on the documents they submitted for the permit.”

O’Brien said the applicant could submit new plans showing the extent of the proposed work but, until then, “Due to the gross misrepresentation of the scope of work actually intended, and due to the lack of proper engineering investigation and assessment of the existing foundation conditions, and due to the lack of documents prepared by a licensed architect, the building permit is hereby revoked.”

On Jan. 23, O’Brien said Kaleta and Najmy were expected to begin submitting the appropriate documents.

The Key Royale property is on hold while O’Brien awaits further contact from Kamila Yavalar of Yavalar Built Inc. in Bradenton. Leah Marie Enterprises LLC with a post office box in Anna Maria is listed as owner on the MCPA website.

The stop work order was issued in December 2013, when a roof inspection revealed the contractor removed more of the original roof than was permitted.

A letter from Yavalar dated Jan. 6 indicated a desire to clear up the issue and move forward.

At a Jan. 16 work session, Commissioner David Zaccagnino said the city lacks a “set rule on the 50 percent rule” and defended the builders.

“They just want to know what is going on, instead of having a moving target,” he said.

Zaccagnino was mentioned in the documents supplied by the mayor as having received a call from Kaleta complaining to him that the city was forcing builders from renovating ground-level homes into doing what the city doesn’t want done — building big-box homes.

O’Brien disagreed with that assessment, saying feelings and emotions had nothing to do with violations of the Florida Building Code and the evidence is clear that work exceeded the building permit.

Mayor Carmel Monti, who previously said the stop work orders are a message to developers that the codes will be enforced, agreed with O’Brien.

“The two red tags are blatant violations,” he said.

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