Building and Permitting

COVID-19 NOTICE

Monroe County offices are closed to the public until further notice and will be reviewed continually.  All essential services, like solid waste, social services, animal control, and emergency management, will continue to operate.

COUNTY BUILDING DEPARTMENT 

Building Official Memo on Permitting Operations during COVID-19

Monroe County Building Department (the Department) is closed to the public. However a Drop-off and Pick-up system is already in place for the Ocean Reef, Key Largo and Marathon offices, and effective May 18, 2020 at the Stock Island office. Drop-off means, permit applications, plans, checks and all other documentation along with the Transmittal Form must be submitted in a sealed box or sealed envelope.  Please remember to practice social distancing between you and the County staff person during drop-off and pick-up.

Drop-Off and Pick-up services days/time/offices:

Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 3:00 pm at the Ocean Reef, Key Largo and Marathon Offices.  

Monday through Friday from 12 pm to 2:00 pm  at the Stock Island Office only. 

DO NOT LEAVE ANY BOXES WITH APPLICATIONS OR PAPERWORK UNLESS YOU SEE THE STAFF PERSON available to receive the submission.  A staff person inside the office at the front door will bring the box inside keeping social distancing protocol.  All submissions will be processed after a 24-48 hour “waiting period”. These times may fluctuate.

PERMIT APPLICATIONS (COVID-19 Drop Off System)

Beginning April 20, 2020, the Building Department is accepting new permit applications using the Drop-off /Pick-up system detailed above for the Key Largo, Marathon, and Ocean Reef offices, and effective May 18, 2020 at the Stock Island office.

Please use the MS Excel Fee Estimator to calculate the estimated fee amount for payment required with submittal at drop-off.  If the fee amount you submit isn’t exactly correct, if over paid this will be adjusted at permit issuance or if under paid you will be asked to mail in the difference needed.  The estimator tool is found on the Building Permit Fees, Forms and Applications web page.

PERMIT APPLICATION CORRECTIONS AND REVISIONS TO ISSUED PERMITS (COVID-19 Drop Off System)

Beginning April 20, 2020, the Building Department is accepting corrections to “in house” permit applications as well as revisions to issued permits using the Drop-off system detailed above for the Key Largo, Marathon, and Ocean Reef offices, and effective May 18, 2020 at the Stock Island office.  Please be sure to include:

  • Two (2) sets of plans for your plan corrections or revision permit application
  • A completed Transmittal Cover Sheet 

Submissions Via Mail

You may also mail (via US Mail) your correction or revision package to the Office where your permit is being reviewed by plans examiners:

  • Key Largo: 102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL  33037
  • Marathon: 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL  33050
  • Stock Island: 5503 College Road, Suite 203, Key West, FL  33040
  • Ocean Reef: 11601 CR 905, Key Largo, FL  33037

ISSUANCE OF PERMITS APPLIED FOR PRIOR TO OFFICE CLOSURE (COVID-19 Pick-up System)

Beginning on Monday, May 4, 2020, the Key Largo, Marathon, and Ocean Reef offices will offer pick-up of issued permit; Effective May 18, 2020 at the Stock Island office.  

Pick-up service is only available for those authorized individuals that have replied to the permit-related County- generated email and provided the location and date they will be present for the pick-up.   Boxes/ envelopes for pick-up will be identified with the name of the authorized individual, permit number, and pick-up date provided; placed in a clearly identified area outside the building for pick-up.

BUILDING PERMIT INSPECTIONS

The IVR inspection line (305-295-5160) is available as of 8 am Friday, April 10, 2020 for scheduling inspections.  County inspectors will be performing ALL inspections effective Monday, May 18, 2020, INCLUDING those inside occupied buildings. Please be mindful that:

  • We cannot guarantee a 24 hour turn around for inspections.  
  • For both your protection and that of our inspectors, we ask that you use electronic communication and social distancing before and during inspections. Inspectors will call the contact phone # associated with the permit prior to their arrival.  
  • Please have plans ready and open to pertinent pages for all inspections to occur at the site.  
  • Forms and affidavits will not be accepted in the field.  
  • Inspectors may ask for plans, permit conditions, and/or permit card, to be emailed to them in advance of the inspection.  
  • Inspectors may not sign permit cards.  
  • For items such as AC Change outs, size of breaker in panel, a photo may be requested by the inspector.

Alternative inspection options available - Professional Engineers and Architects   Pursuant to the Updated Information from March 24, 2020 the County commenced an AFFIDAVIT OF INSPECTIONS FOR ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS form.  This Affidavit process is no longer in effect as May 18, 2020..

Effective May 18, 2020, County inspectors will be performing ALL inspections.  Affidavits of Inspection by Engineers and Architects for inspections therefore will no longer be accepted unless requested by Monroe County or for inspections completed prior to May 18, 2020.

If a permittee utilized a private provider, engineer, or architect between 3/23 and 5/18, they no longer need to continue using a private method of inspection.   The permittee may now switch back to having the County perform inspections requesting inspections via the IVR 305-295-5160.

FLOOD INSPECTIONS AND CERTIFICATE OF ELEVATION

Floodplain inspections may not be conducted by an Engineer, Architect or Private Provider.  The IVR inspection line is available as of 8 am Friday, April 10, 2020 for scheduling inspections.  Flood inspections can be called into the IVR system. 

At this time, in order to facilitate the continued essential services provided by the construction industry and to limit potential work stoppages on in-progress construction projects, Floodplain Management Staff will be accepting and reviewing electronic copies of Under Construction Elevation Certificates and Final Elevation Certificates for all permits currently applied for or issued.  

Please note the documents must be provided EXACTLY as noted below: 

  1. All documents must be LEGIBLY scanned in color and sent in PDF format.
  2. All signatures and handwritten dates must be LEGIBLE and in BLUE INK.
  3. For Final Elevation Certificates, any additional required documents (i.e. smart vent  product approvals, etc.) must be scanned and attached as part of the submittal.
  4. All electronic submittals must be e-mailed to Karl Bursa, Senior Floodplain Administrator, at bursa-karl@monroecounty-fl.gov.  A confirmation e-mail will be sent when the submittal is received.  
  5. Once the Applicant has e-mailed the submittal, the Applicant must submit the physical copy of the elevation certificate to the Monroe County Building Department’s office via regular mail.  PLEASE NOTE:  THE ORIGINAL COPY OF THE FINAL ELEVATION CERTIFICATE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE ON FILE PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF ANY CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY.

County staff will make every attempt possible to provide services as staff resources are available for permits with Elevation Certificate requirements.

Please contact Karl Bursa with any questions or concerns regarding this Elevation Certificate update:  Karl Bursa at Bursa-Karl@monroecounty-fl.gov .

PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES BIOLOGICAL INSPECTIONS

The Planning & Environmental Resources Department inspections may not be conducted by an Engineer, Architect or Private Provider. County staff will make every attempt possible to provide inspection services as staff resources are available for issued active permits. 

The IVR inspection line is available as of 8 am Friday, April 10, 2020 for scheduling inspections.  Planning and Environmental (Bio) inspections can be called into the IVR system. The Planning Director will determine if inspections can be provided on a case by case basis. We will do our best to complete inspections as staff resources are available.

FIRE INSPECTIONS

Fire inspection on building permits may not be conducted by an Engineer, Architect or Private Provider.  The Fire Marshal’s Office is available to perform inspections for building permits. 

The IVR inspection line is available as of 8 am Friday, April 10, 2020 for scheduling inspections.  Fire inspections can be called into the IVR system.  Any concerns, please email Ms. Zully Hemeyer at Hemeyer-Zully@MonroeCounty- FL.Gov . 

6 MONTH PERMIT EXTENSION RELATED TO COVID-19

Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-52 on March 9, 2020 declaring a state of emergency because of COVID-19 which allows the Building Official to extend Building Permits and the Planning Director to extend Development Orders.   

All Building Permits and Development Orders active on March 9, 2020 are eligible to receive an additional 6 months to receive a passed inspection (once a passed inspection occurs then the permit would again be subject to the continuing 180-day passed inspection cycle.) 

The permit holder is required to notify the county in writing (email is acceptable) and identify the specific permit / development order of their intent to exercise this extension within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration. The termination date will be forwarded once it is known.

Executive Order 20-52 Extension Form

Please send Building Permit extension requests to Crystal Sebben via email at Sebben-Crystal@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov or via US Mail to:  Monroe County Building Department,  102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037,  Attn: Crystal Sebben – Permit Extension.

CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY (CO)

Beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020, Building Department staff will commence processing Certificates of Occupancy (CO).  Currently assigned to this task are:

Please call or email them directly with any questions you have.  Staff will be contacting those Permit Holders who are ready to receive COs. Contact will primarily be made via email.

Those that require payment of solid waste fees will receive an email with a form, “Condition Imposed Upon Issuance of Certificate of Occupancy – Prorated Solid Waste Fee”.  This form must be completed (including a notarized signature) and sent via email (scanned) back to the staff person who emailed it to you.  

Send the original with notarized signature and with payment via US mail to:  Solid Waste Management,  Attn: Mary Marks, 1100 Simonton St. Rm 2-231, Key West, FL 33040.  

Following receipt of the emailed form the staff person will finalize processing the CO.  The CO will be emailed to the Permit Holder as a PDF.

PERMIT INVESTIGATIONS

For those requesting Permit investigations to determine whether permits can be closed, we are performing this service. During this time when the offices are closed you must submit both the request form and payment (only check payments accepted) via U.S.  Mail only to:  Monroe County Building Department,  Attn:  Permit Investigation, 11601 CR 905, Key Largo, FL 33037.  

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Effective December 31, 2017

All building plans submitted must comply with the Florida Building Code SIXTH Edition. Details on flood provision changes in the new edition.

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Permit Expiration Related to Hurricane Irma

Executive Order(s): 17-235, 17-287, 17-330, 18-51, 18-122, 18-149, 18-182, 18-213, 18-237, 18-280, 18-361, 19-34 UPDATE: May 29, 2019, February 5, 2019, December 10, 2018

Governor Ron DeSantis issued an additional extension to Executive Order 17-235, therefore, all building permits active on Sept. 4, 2017 in Monroe County will receive a total of 600 days related to Hurricane Irma. There is no action required on behalf of the permit holder. 

For those seeking an additional six-month extension in addition to the 600 days, a written request for this extension is required. 

If the permit has been awarded the six-month extension these additional 60 days will be added to your extension without the need for you to contact County staff.

PLEASE NOTE: If a permit has received a passed required inspection during the granted extended time then the extension is no longer applicable and the permit is subject to the normal Florida Building Code 180-day passed inspection cycle.

Permit Extension Notice

Florida Legislature may annually provide law to allow extensions to issued building permits. In order to be eligible, the permit must have an expiration date as noted for the specific legislative extension, and application for the extension to the authorizing agency must be received by the specified due date in the legislation. See Extension Summary and available application on our Building Department Webpage under Extension Requests.

This authorization of permit extension is for any development order or a building permit issued by a local government (county or municipality) and permits issued pursuant to part IV of Chapter 373 Florida Statutes by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), or a water management district.

Not covered by this extension are permits determined to be in significant noncompliance with the conditions of the permit as established through action by the authorizing agency or permits that, if granted an extension, would delay or prevent compliance with a court order.

Other Resources for Hurricane Impacted Permitting

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Responsibilities

The Building Department is responsible for administering and enforcing all ordinances applicable to building, construction, blasting, and explosives as defined in the Monroe County Code.

Building officials are charged with administering and ensuring compliance with building codes. They issue building and construction permits and certificates of occupancy and supervise blasting within the county.

Inspections

Inspectors are assigned to county offices in Marathon and Key Largo. At specified stages during building construction, the builder/contractor must request an inspection. Inspections are necessary before proceeding with construction and prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

Federal Rules for Renovating & Painting Older Buildings

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has new rules regarding the renovation and repair of painted surfaces in buildings built prior to 1978 or in buildings with children. Contractors removing windows or painting must be certified and must follow certain safety procedures. Fortunately, these rules only require safety procedures, not testing or removing lead-based paint. However, property managers and contractors can be fined $38,000 a day for violating these new rules.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Building Department is to protect public health and safety, property, and the environment by providing an efficient, effective, and considerate permitting and code administration system, in accordance with the Monroe County Code and Florida statues that is consistent with and furthers the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan.