Infinite Enterprises, the construction company behind the development of 9402 Meadowbrook Avenue, was hit with $9,000 in fines and a three-month suspension after it “intentionally violated" city code.
Infinite Enterprises, the construction company behind the development of 9402 Meadowbrook Avenue, was hit with $9,000 in fines and a three-month suspension after it “intentionally violated” city code by skirting two stop-work orders issued by the city’s Department of Licenses & Inspections.
“His behavior at this site was obviously unacceptable,” said Will Fernandez, director of L&I’s Audits and Investigations unit.
Fernandez told the Local that the company’s owner, Dane Roland, has appealed the three-month suspension. “But we are confident that we will prevail,” he said.
The Local first wrote about the property in October, when readers alerted the paper about the contractor’s numerous violations of the city’s building code. Ongoing construction there alarmed community stakeholders, who said that Infinite’s repeated violations raised questions about whether the city’s process for overseeing development had enough resources to meet the city’s recent development boom.
“It certainly seems to me that it’s an indication of a city that cannot police itself,” Celeste Hardester, development review facilitator for the Chestnut Hill Community Association said at the time. “If there's not proper monitoring of development projects then that means anything can be built. Corners can be cut and buildings can be not built to code, so buyers beware.”
During the suspension, which is expected to begin after the appeal process, the city will not issue the company new permits. It also means the company can’t work on existing permits, and the suspension will be publicly disclosed on L&I’s website.
In an interview in October, Roland told the Local that his mistakes were due to his inexperience with city codes, and that his company’s action’s were “unacceptable,”
“I’m taking responsibility for the whole project,” he said. “I want it built right.”
Roland said at the time that he had worked primarily in the suburbs and was therefore unfamiliar with the city’s permitting process.
“It was a lack of my experience in Philadelphia and procedures with L&I,” he said. “I had to get acclimated.”
The risk to public safety created by a contractor’s violations and a contractor’s culpability in violating the city code are the two main considerations L&I takes into consideration when determining whether to suspend a contractor and how long the suspension should last.
Fernandez told the Local that L&I issued a relatively short suspension because Roland cooperated with the investigation and “credibly showed that he was attempting to correct his violative behavior.” More to the point, he didn’t create any risk to public safety through the violations, L&I determined.
In addition, Fernandez said, the company had submitted a new construction permit application for the project prior to the investigation being launched.
“This means that he intended for the project to ultimately be inspected by the Department for code compliance and certified for occupancy,” Fernandez said.