‘Dilapidated house’ in Castaway Cove troubles the neighbors - 32963 Features, 32963 News, All News, Featured News Main, News - Vero News

2022-07-17 19:11:49 By : Ms. Camille Zhang

Progress has stalled again at 1215 Spanish Lace Lane, the house in Wave VI in Castaway Cove where the state of disrepair has been driving neighbors crazy for at least five years.

A group of neighbors who circulated a petition in March to have the house condemned due to persistent code violations is again flooding the county switchboard with calls.

The contractor hired by the homeowner to reroof the house has filed a mechanics lien against the property, which typically means a homeowner has not paid for contracted work.

“Our concern is that a roofless house continues to exist in our neighborhood and we don’t understand why,” Angelique Padulo, who lives across the street from 1215 Spanish Lace Lane, wrote in an email to Vero Beach 32963. “There hasn’t been a roof on it since we moved here in 2020.

“The neighborhood is made up of beautiful, highly sought after homes and this dilapidated house is lowering our property values.”

Suzanne Pirnie, who lives six doors down from the problem property and was involved along with Padulo in the petition effort, expressed the same concern: “I absolutely feel [the condition of the house] has been detrimental to our home values. It is the first thing you see when you pull down Spanish Lace Lane.”

Wave VI homeowners association president Garry Perkins wrote in his Spring 2022 VI Bulletin that the house was “left open to the weather for five years with several large holes in the roof. The rain and weather, as well as termites, damaged the structure of the house but nothing was done.”

County records show that ownership of the home was transferred by Dorothy Lucey to the Dorothy M. Lucey Living Estate in 2009, with her daughter Maureen as co-owner, set to inherit the property upon the death of her mother.

Building officials say Maureen has been managing the home repair process but that she has been hard to contact and mostly unresponsive to their inquiries.

Multiple attempts to contact Maureen Lucey by phone and email to get a comment for this article were unsuccessful.

Current problems at the house began in 2017, according to City of Vero Beach planning and development director Jason Jeffries.

He told Vero Beach 32963 in April that the house was first cited in March 2017 for “collapsing roof” and rotted soffits and facia. “They fixed it to some degree, so the code inspector passed it, but it was a patch job and the problems reoccurred,” Jeffries said.

The city got new complaints in 2018 about tarps on the roof where repairs had failed and cited Dorothy Lucey again.

In 2019, the Luceys applied for a reroof permit, which seemed like progress and caused the city to close the code enforcement case. But a year later, in March 2020, the HOA again complained to the city about the exposed roof and the case was reopened.

The Luceys asked for more time, citing covid difficulties, and a second reroof permit was issued in July 2020.

That permit expired in January 2021 with the roof still not finished and partially open to the weather.

Complaints continued and in April 2021, Indian River County building inspector Shawn Doutrich visited the property and filed a report that included this passage: “Most of the roof system has been removed from the home and a layer of peel and stick which is showing signs of deteriorating is installed, a section on the north elevation has tarps installed on the roof and at this area numerous sections of the sheathing, facia, sub fascia and sections of the truss tails have deteriorated or are completely removed and there is evidence of water infiltration into the house with drywall ceilings and insulation collapsed … there are numerous areas around the house where sections of the soffit is missing or is partially collapsing, allowing for possible pest infestations inside the structure. Possible further partial collapse of sections of the roof in this area are possible at any time.”

The next day, on April 22, 2021, the county building division issued a Notice of Violation, stating that the home was “an unsafe structure” and requiring the homeowner to either tear the house down within 60 days or complete all repairs within 180 days.

The 180-day time limit ran out in October with the roof still in disrepair, with tarps covering holes and blue peel and stick underlayment that is only meant to be exposed to sun, wind and rain for six months, at most, going into its third year as a community landmark.

The county did not enforce its order because, in the meantime, Maureen Lucey got a third re-roof permit, signing a $71,000 contract with Orchid Island Roofing for a new finished roof.

“As long as there is an active permit, we view it that progress is being made on the job,” said county Building Official Scott McAdam.

Orchid Island Roofing filed a Notice of Commencement on July 21, 2021, but could not start reroofing the home until structural repairs were made.

McAdam said structural repair work was finally undertaken in January and February when a local construction company pulled permits, replaced failed truss sections, and put new sheathing on rotted sections of the roof and exterior walls, closing the house to the elements. After that, work stalled again until April when Vero Beach 32963 published an article about the neighborhood petition.

Immediately afterward, Lucey finally got in contact with Orchid Island Roofing, which had already extended its July permit twice in an attempt to help the homeowner and keep the project viable.

With her belated permission, the company sent a crew that worked at the house for several days in mid-April, putting down new peel and stick underlayment to keep water out of the house.

But nothing has been done since then. “We went out there and dried it in and we are waiting for her permission to finish the job, as well as to pay for the work we have done,” said Orchid Island Roofing president Doug Leman, who appears to have bent over backward to work with Lucey and try to complete the job. “We have her metal roof already pre-bent and ready to go on a trailer in our warehouse.”

Leman filed a lien on the property on Friday, June 24, but as Monday had not heard from Lucey or received permission to complete the roofing job.

Even though the first reroof permit was taken out two years ago and there is still no finished roof on the house, McAdam said Lucey is technically in compliance with county regulations at this time because there are active construction and re-roof permits on file.

“A lien doesn’t have any impact on our enforcement,” he said. “That is between the contractor and the property owner.

“It isn’t a crisis for the building department at this point because they have made progress. We inspected the dry-in in April and the roof permit is good until October. The next inspection would be for flashing.

“I totally get the neighbors’ frustration, but a delay isn’t a violation.”

McAdam said that as long as some work is done between now Oct. 17 when the roofing permit expires, the permit can be extended again.

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