Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Builder wins reprieve in settlement on unfinished homes south of Brooksville

Unfinished home on Dog Leg Court in the Rivard subdivision located south of Brooksville shown in  October.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Unfinished home on Dog Leg Court in the Rivard subdivision located south of Brooksville shown in October.

BROOKSVILLE — Paul Bakkalapulo and his home-building business, Costa Homes, have won another temporary reprieve from the wrecking ball.

In a settlement between the builder and Hernando County, Bakkalapulo will get another shot at pulling new building permits and completing work on six homes that have sat unfinished for several years in the Trails at Rivard subdivision, south of Brooksville.

Residents have been pushing county officials to get the homes razed. Two years ago, Bakkalapulo was given a deadline that he didn't meet. Last year, county officials tagged the buildings as unsafe. The county tore one down, then ordered that the other six be completed or they would be bulldozed.

Again, Bakkalapulo missed a deadline, arguing that the county could not force him to provide a $10,000 escrow account for each unfinished home. He sued the county, and the judge ordered the parties to resolve the issue.

The outcome was a settlement in which Bakkalapulo must pick up completion permits from the county building department by Jan. 21. For five of the six structures, exterior work must be done within 120 days of the Dec. 20, 2013, pre-construction meeting. He has 210 days for the sixth structure, which is now little more than partial walls.

Within 180 days after the county inspects and approves the exteriors, Bakkalapulo must obtain certificates of occupancy. If he fails on any point, the county can resume the unsafe building abatement process and commence demolition.

The builder has several appeal and deadline extension options outlined in the settlement.

"Obviously, we're extremely disappointed,'' said Rivard resident Al Mayles, who has spearheaded efforts to get the unfinished homes removed from the community.

"We're extremely disappointed that the county has not abided by a fair standard and has not taken care of the citizens of this county and instead was biased toward unscrupulous builders.''

While Mayles said residents understand that county officials tend to look favorably on the building industry, "we also understand that they have a broad responsibility to take care of the needs of the citizens, and they haven't complied with that.''

Costa Homes attorney Joe Mason said completion of the homes will proceed in the manner outlined in the agreement.

"It's probably a pretty tight timeline,'' Mason said, "but it's doable."

Builder wins reprieve in settlement on unfinished homes south of Brooksville 01/13/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 13, 2014 7:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over "inappropriate conduct"

    College

    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels' overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. World's plastic waste could bury Manhattan 2 miles deep

    Environment

    WASHINGTON — Industry has made more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and there's enough left over to bury Manhattan under more than 2 miles of trash, according to a new cradle-to-grave global study.

    Plastic trash is compacted into bales ready for further processing at the waste processing dump on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus.
  4. Sen. John McCain's type of cancer did not slow Tampa woman

    Health

    TAMPA — When 35-year-old Beth Caldwell heard about Sen. John McCain's brain tumor this week, she hoped he would stay positive.

    That's what helped her, she said.

    Throughout her battle with brain cancer, Beth Caldwell, 35, keeps her sons Gavin, 10, and Triston, 7, on her mind.
  5. A week later, the lengthy, costly rebuilding plan for the Pasco sinkhole begins

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — A week after a massive sinkhole opened in Pasco County, county officials have begun planning the long-term cleanup, which could take months and millions of dollars.

    A sinkhole in Land O'Lakes, Fla., is seen Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The sinkhole ?‘ already one of the largest in Pasco County in decades ?‘ measures about 235 feet in width and 50 feet in depth, with the potential to expand further.