Manatee County commissioners ask for report on problems at Willowbrook condos

MANATEE -- After pleas from homeowners, the Manatee County Commission on Tuesday asked its legal and building department staff to compile a detailed report about what residents said were serious construction deficiencies at the Willowbrook condo community in East Manatee.

About 10 homeowners from the condo community were at the commission meeting, seeking help for what they described as prolonged problems with their condos, built by KB Home.

They told the board they had serious water intrusion and resulting mold in their homes, which made the buildings barely habitable, or uninhabitable, and had compromised their families' health.

"Our baby sits in the living room everyday with 100 percent water intrusion," said homeowner Dan Koehler. "He gets sick every two weeks."

Koehler said the homeowners face multiple issues and don't know who to turn to for help. They asked if the board could stop other KB Home projects under construction in Manatee County.

Commissioners were sympathetic, but decided not to act in haste; they promised the group quick action, and full report at their next land-use meeting.

"This is a travesty," said Commissioner Carol Whitmore. "These people need to be held accountable for it."Commissioner Michael Gallen called it "tragic."

No one appeared from KB Home to discuss the situation.