The Florida Home Builders Association is concerned that, if the Supreme Court upholds the appellate-level decision, builders could be forced to fix a subdivision's problematic streets and common areas even though engineering firms and other contractors designed, constructed and inspected them.
"In the home, if something breaks, the builder has to fix it," said David Carter, president of the builders' trade group, which has filed briefs in the case. "But now, with all the entities that are involved, there's an effort to push the blame and responsibility to the builder/developer [for things outside the house] when there are other professionals who have responsibility for what they designed, inspected and certified."
Local governments been privatizing public infrastructure for decades by requiring residential projects be under the jurisdiction of a mandatory membership homeowners association. Now Florida's top court will decide whether developers who build that infrastructure are responsible when it turns out to be defective.
This case has wide implications and as the story indicates could require developers to spend more on infrastructure. Frequently when there are problems with roads and storm water systems, property owners turn to local governments to take them over or impose property tax assessments to pay for maintenance and repairs, so they also have an interest in the outcome.