Dear fellow unit owners:
As I am sure most of you are aware, there have been many emails circulated regarding the railing replacement project that is required by the Lighthouse Point building department (“Building Department”).
The current walkway railings are supported by a brick lattice, which is part of the original construction of the building. As part of the Association’s required fifty (50) year inspection, the walkway railings and brick lattice support system of all five (5) buildings were inspected by CPM Real Estate Inspections, Inc. (“CPM”).
The CPM report (“CPM Report”) states:
“When pushing against the railings of this building (approximately 30 lbs. of force) we observed a slight movement of the railings…. We discussed this concern with the structural inspector of the Lighthouse Point Building Department. He stated there should be no movement.”
Based on the CPM Report and the above comments from the Building Department, the Association has to replace the brick lattice supporting the walkway railings.
After receiving the CPM Report, the Board contracted with Frank L. Bennardo, P.E., d/b/a Engineering Express (“Engineer”) to evaluate the existing railings and recommend a replacement. The Engineer concluded, in part:
Unreinforced brick construction is not recommended for structures that need to withstand lateral loading; inspected brick railing started to sway once a lateral loading was applied, installation of post to mitigate that movement is found to be insufficient to resist a potentially life safety event; therefore, this office has concluded that existing railing shall be replaced with a steel or aluminum structure compliant with Florida Building Code Fifth Edition (2014), and designed by a licensed professional. (Emphasis added.)
The Association Engineer is recommending replacing the existing brick lattice concrete railings with steel or aluminum railings. Based on this recommendation, our attorneys have informed us that the Board may continue to proceed as it has in this matter. The Board has determined that replacing the existing railings with a steel or aluminum railing system as recommended by the Association’ engineer is necessary for the maintenance, repair or replacement of the common element walkway railing.
While the Board understands and appreciates everyone’s input on this matter, the decision has been made by the Board on how to proceed. We hope the above will put all the unrest to rest so that we can all work together moving forward during this project.
LIGHTHOUSE POINT GARDENS NORTH CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC.