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. South Florida poaches debris pickup trucks once slotted for Tampa, officials say

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — A week into the job of picking up an estimated 300,000 cubic yards of Hurricane Irma debris from its streets, Tampa City Hall is finding to its dismay that the challenge is more competitive than expected.

    A city of Tampa truck loaded with debris from Hurricane Irma pulls into a temporary storage yard on N Rome Avenue Friday morning. There, workers from Tetra Tech, the city's debris monitoring contractor, photograph and check the load from an elevated platform to create a record that the city can use later to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  2. Wisniewska: I protected our students and USFSP campus

    Columns

    Throughout my tenure in academia, my focus has always been on putting students first.

    The USF St. Petersburg Campus, Thursday, June 19, 2014.
  3. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Along the Alafia River, the grateful extend a hand to the Irma-sodden weary (w/video)

    Hurricanes

    LITHIA — The things that make a house a home dried in the afternoon sun Thursday in a front yard on Williams Street.

    Volunteers from FishHawk Fellowship Church helped Brian Hood (left) clean up debris from his yard in Valrico, Fla. Last week the Alafia River reached a depth of almost 23 feet, about 10 feet above its flood stage. Many homes were damaged, some became uninhabitable. Hood's home is 6 inches above Lithia Pinecrest Road, and did not sustain flood damage, though not all of his neighbors were as lucky.   [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]