I found today's Daily Journal article titled "Alleged Shoddy Construction Brings Lawsuits" interesting to B'gamers for two reasons. First, I constantly hear comments about how rigorous the single-family residential building inspections can be in B'game during construction. 100+ units appear to be a different story. Second, we could easily be looking at one or more projects like this on the Post Office site or nearby. So this excerpt about the Millbrae big condo projects' inspections caught my eye
Two Millbrae condominium developers with units between $599,000 to $1.28 million recently faced lawsuits over shoddy construction that includes severe structural issues, water damage and cracking — and although city inspectors signed off on the projects, they are immune from legal action.
The two developments each have more than 100 units along El Camino Real — 88 Broadway and Park Broadway. With Peninsula housing demand growing, land at a premium and a regional goal of transit-oriented multi-unit development, such housing is becoming more popular but can lead to a series of legal tangles once problems are revealed in time. While one group was able to reach a settlement, mediation continues for the other. But there may be a trend in the need to seek lawsuits.
Building up comes with different challenges than single-family homes. California has building codes, most recently adopted in 2010, regulating anything built in the state. Cities that have issued building permits are charged with inspecting the buildings to meet those codes. However, the employees and the city are immune from legal action if problems are found with that construction.
Millbrae officials declined to comment on the requirements of building inspectors. Neighboring cities also declined to comment about the requirements of their inspectors. Experts say the challenge appears to be the inability to really watch over every detail on such large projects. Ultimately, California law puts the need to fix problems to the developer. Developers are also given a chance to address the issues under California law and must be invited to mediation before legal proceedings can really begin. Mediation has become a clearly defined process.
Something to think about as we perhaps will looking at something of this scale in our downtown