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Boca Raton leaders discuss improving building safety

Condominiums in Boca Raton on July 26, 2021.jpg
Posted at 4:40 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 09:27:10-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The city of Boca Raton may become the first in Palm Beach County to have a building certification ordinance following the deadly condominium collapse in Surfside.

City officials met on Monday for the first time since the tragedy to discuss the details of the new building certification requirement.

The new ordinance would require a 30-year-old building to submit an engineer and electrical report every 10 years.

Any building over 50 feet tall or larger than 5,000 square feet or more than 500 people falls under the ordinance.

During a workshop on Monday, the city council discussed details about the new certification process, something Emily Gentile said she is excited to see happen.

"I think that will be very positive, very comforting certification for the people," Gentile said.

Gentile is president of the Beach Condominium Association in Boca Raton and said they have been working with the 50-plus condos along the beach to start getting ready for this requirement.

"The faster we can distribute it to the membership and to the barrier island membership," Gentile said.

The city would be the first in the county to implement this new ordinance. County leaders are still discussing how and when they'd create a similar one.

"We hope that what we do here in Boca will help be a guidepost for other cities and perhaps the county," said Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer.

Singer said they want to start working with building owners to find any issues that need to be fixed.

City council will introduce the ordinance during their Tuesday meeting. There will be public comment in August when the council would vote on the new ordinance.