Nokomis residents want answers for mysterious holes

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 7:18 PM EDT
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NOKOMIS, Fla. (WWSB) - Nokomis residents near Kenwood Avenue and surrounding streets want answers from Sarasota County and Pulte Group Homes, about the holes popping up in their neighborhood. Victor Kokorin explained the whole situation is frustrating with holes popping up on and around his property since January.

Kokorin said his son flew to Nokomis from Los Angeles, California to help with construction on his property. Kokorin’s brother-in-law was supposed to be building a house on the land right next to his and now they are stuck because of the holes. He said during the early phases of building a construction vehicle started sinking into the ground that revealed the hole.

“Everything was kind of like in order and when this started and continues like it can pop up everywhere, of course, he feels like “oh my God,” you know, what’s going to happen to our project? He is also like wow, because I’m not sure, he’s not sure, his wife is not sure. His wife is even terrified you know what to do,” explained Kokorin.

His son Michael, is heading back to L.A. next week. Michael explained he is scared to leave his father here alone with the situation the way it is.

“There’s a bit of anxiety for sure. It’s just like an unsettling feeling now going back knowing that this is not going to be resolved and who knows how long it’s going to be until it is resolved,” said Michael Kokorin.

Jim Dimascio has lived on Orange Grove Avenue, just a street over from Kokorin, for 40 years. He explained a similar situation happened almost 30 years ago when the land was still an orange grove.

“They tried to dig a ditch around it for irrigation of the pond and that didn’t work out so they stopped and then these guys come in and dug it open again... We all think there’s a spring there but they say no,” said Dimascio.

Dimascio also explained even if the project continues, he would never buy a home there.

“Not where it might collapse. I wouldn’t spend $400,000 on a home there,” said Dimascio.

Sarasota County Commissioner Joe Neunder stated he’s watching the situation closely and released this statement to ABC 7.

“Sarasota County staff continue to monitor ongoing construction activities at the former Nokomis Groves site. Public Works have worked with the developer to minimize impacts to homeowners in the immediate project area and have filled in several of the subsidence areas that unexpectedly populated in the right of way. We recognize the concern and frustration from homeowners in the area. County staff have been informed the developer’s analysis of geological data has been completed and are expected to review the results with Planning and Development Services staff in the near future. I am continuing to watch the situation closely,” stated Neunder in a email.

According to Pulte Group Homes, they are still consulting with experts. Their spokesperson Macey Kessler stated the following.

“We are currently consulting with the experts to determine if there is a connection between prior land development work and the natural events that have occurred in nearby neighborhoods,” said Kessler in an email.

Other residents stated on May 20th, the first hole came 72 hours after Pulte Group started pumping groundwater on the construction site next to their properties. The developer is building Legacy Cove at the corner of Albee Farm and Edmondson Road, at the site of the old orange grove.