JACKSONVILLE— The 16-story Park Lane condominiums tower over the St. Johns River — it’s been this way for nearly 100 years, but now there’s a story of discontent among some residents.

“I don’t feel safe at all,” says Cinda Sherman of the historic building that is one of the oldest high high-rises in Florida.

In an Action News Jax investigation, Action News Jax Ben Becker discovered that the City of Jacksonville’s Fire Marshal slapped the Park Lane condo with two major fire code violations in November 2021.

The first is “the absence of sprinkler heads in each individual unit” that were supposed to be installed by Dec. 31, 2019,” and the second is ”the existence of a dead end on the terrace” that was created with the “removal of the fence” that is intended to keep people from exiting the building the wrong way in case of an emergency.

Sherman lives next to the terrace and says it’s not only a safety issue, but it’s become a party zone with the fence gone.

“One night I come out and this guy has one hand down his pants and a cocktail and a cigarette in his other hand outside my living room window,” says Sherman.

Sherman sent pictures of a person on the terrace railing with what appears to be a drink in their hand and a video of a woman who spots a camera and begins twerking in front of it.

Sherman took Becker up the elevator, so he could press members of the Homeowner’s Association board for answers, but there was no answer at the door of the board president or the HOA attorney.

The HOA eventually did provide Becker with USPS tracking records that show it never received the letter from the fire marshal that says “no access to delivery location” on both Nov. 8 and Dec. 18.

The HOA also sent a letter to the fire marshal on Jan. 28 stating it became aware of the Notice of Violation “through a third party,” going on to say, “the Association is currently reviewing the notice and will respond.”

“How serious are these issues?” Becker asked Jacksonville Fire Union President Randy Wyse. “Anytime you are out of code that can be a serious issue,” said Wyse.

The Jacksonville Fire-Rescue Department told Becker that since 2015, they “have responded to 10 calls there in that period of time that could be fire-related. Nine were fire alarms, one was an investigation for a sparking wire. There have been zero fires at that address in that time frame.”

Citywide, structure fires have been increasing. JFRD says it responded to 49 in January 2022, more than 50% above its monthly average.

Wyse says a building like the Park Lane poses a unique challenge.

“We’re behind the eight ball as it relates to a high rise fire anyway getting equipment and firefighters up,” says Wyse.

As for the violations, Sherman says safety first.

“Rules are there for a reason,” says Sherman. “Safety codes are designed for a reason to save lives.”

Becker emailed JFRD and asked if a condemnation order been issued, what options do they have and what JFRD is intending to do since there has not been a correction of the situation. JFRD responded by saying, “We are currently in some gray area and the legal team will need to handle to make sure everything is within the law,” adding that the violations are in the process of being turned over to the Office of General Counsel.

In August 2021, Sherman and another resident filed a lawsuit against the HOA over the fence issue. The Association says it can’t comment on that specific issue due to pending litigation.