Pasco County, Fla. subdivision plagued by environmental and safety concerns
Residents and lawmakers alike are up in arms over a Pasco County subdivision that was recently revealed to have been built over a landfill.
Now, state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, says he may file a piece of legislation to prevent developers from hiding certain facts about a home’s construction from potential buyers.** **Fasano has also penned a letter to state Attorney General Pam Bondi, asking her to look into the matter.
Suncoast Meadows, a subdivision built by Lennar Homes in Land O’ Lakes, contains about 50 homes — all of which, it appears, were built over an area that was once a landfill. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has since installed monitoring wells to check gas levels in the area, and the results are disconcerting. Methane and ammonia from the ground beneath the community have been reported at very high levels, and signs of unstable ground below both sidewalks and driveways is becoming all too visible.
Fasano aide Greg Giordano says the cracks are likely due to the settling of the landfill materials. ****
According to state records obtained by The Tampa Tribune, Lennar notified the Department of Environmental Protection once it discovered the landfill on nearly 12 acres of the property.
The department advised the builder to remove the junk and clean up the area. Lennar installed a pool and cabana on that part of the property. Any junk under the area where the soccer field is was to remain.
Lennar said it notified the DEP when it found more trash on about six additional acres where it planned to build homes. The builder said it waited months, and when it didn’t hear back from DEP it buried the junk.
By the time DEP called to discuss the plans nine months later, the material, including tires, glass and other trash, had been moved to the area that became a soccer field.
Florida law requires that a homeowner must disclose any unusual facts about the home to a prospective buyer. But the law on what a developer or homebuilder must disclose to a potential buyer says nothing of the sort.
“[Fasano] believes that if people knew the homes were built over a landfill many or most would not have purchased their homes,” says Giordano. “He is looking at the possibility of filing legislation to address this issue.”
Fasano’s letter to Bondi asks her to “look into the actions of the developer and whether or not there is any grounds for legal action.” According to Giordano, Bondi’s office received that letter yesterday morning.
Giordano says he believes the majority of the homes within the subdivision, which was built over five years ago, are currently inhabited.