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Posts tagged: Broward

Broward County Uniform Permit Application

Broward County Unifrom Building Permit ApplicationThe Broward County Uniform Building Permit Application has been in effect for over a year now, and many of our Clients still think that it is the only document they need to submit with their permit package. That is not the case with the Town of Davie, City of Coconut Creek, City of Dania Beach, the City of Sunrise and a few other Cities. These Cities originally had two page Permit Applications. The second page was used for plan reviews or other acknowledgments that may have required the owner’s signatures. Those Cities have created an “Addendum Page” to supplement the Broward County Uniform Permit Application.

I always advise our Clients to go to the City website and download the Permit Application directly from their site. Be sure to look for any document that could be an “Addendum” to the Permit Application. Most of the time is is not a part of the Permit Application pdf file. I do not recommend storing Permit Application documents on your desktop, or printing them for future jobs.  The Cities are always changing procedures and documents, and the file, or document you have saved for future use could be outdated.

New 2010 Florida Building Code

2010_Florida_Buiilding _Code_Wind_Bebri_RegionsThe new 2010 Florida Building Code will be implemented on March 15, 2010, and it includes significant changes to areas of South Florida. Specifically, the High Velocity Hurricane Zone Areas have been increased to include a much larger land mass and now covers areas that were not in the 2007 Florida Building Code. How will these changes affect contractors, manufacturers and permitting in South Florida? Until the changes are fully implemented nobody really knows for sure.

Tom Johnston, president of the International Hurricane Protection Association has the opinion that, “this adoption of ASCE 7-10 places an unnecessary burden on manufactures to update their product approvals to reflect a new code version when very little material differences have occurred. In addition, a net result of slightly less stringent design pressures is not a step in the right direction. All of this occurring during these difficult economic times makes this code modification even more of an ill conceived decision.”

According to the Home Builders Assocition, for central and south Florida the WBDR is increased and now will include all of the following; Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard, Volusia, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Charlotte, Lee, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Okeechobee, and Highlands. The result of these changes will mean there will be new areas with requirements for opening protection in accordance with Chapter 16 of the code.

There are also changes to the Energy Code which will affect Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, but it seems, that the largest impact of the new Code from a cost and procedural stand point, will affect Central Florida more so than South Florida. By no means does that diminish the increased costs for building permitting. Procedural changes that building departments will institute will require contractors to produce additional paperwork and forms, and then there is  the increased costs incurred by manufactures that will be pasted on to consumers. Let’s not forget the additional costs that the local architects and engineers will need to pass on the their Clients.

To summarize, it is a good thing that the HVHZ areas have been increased. Yes! The Wind Born Debri Regions in the 2007 and earlier Codes never made any sense, but have the other changes made buildings any safer? Or, have the changes just added more costs to the consumer, created more bureaucratic procedures and paperwork, and made the process of designing, building and permitting a construction project more of a nightmare that it already is, in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties? Only time will tell!

Occupational License / Business Tax Receipt

Business_Tax_ReceiptAlmost every City and County in the State of Florida requires that businesses have a Business Tax Receipt, once known as the Occupational License. Basically it is just another revenue generator for the municipalities. Most municipalities require one or more inspections once the Business Tax Receipt application has been submitted, to verify that the business will be operating safely.

Permit Source offers businesses the service of acquiring the Business Tax Receipt. We can email you the forms, if it requires signatures. Assist with filling-out the application. Submit the application package. Track and manage the review process and deliver the issued Business Tax Receipt to your place of business.

Pompano Beach Building Permit Plan Review

Pompano_BeachIn the current times of a very difficult economy, and businesses struggling to survive, you would think that local governments would want to help businesses grow and survive by being business friendly. You would also think that local governments would want to streamline  their process, and regulations, to maximize their revenues and minimize their costs. That does not seem to be the case in Pompano Beach.

Many municipalities are instituting new procedures and process to minimize review time and reduce costs. Not in Pompano Beach! If you click on the picture to the left you will open a link to a pdf file of what Pompano Beach posts on their website as their review schedule. Remember, that as you read the flow chart, days mean business days. Zoning is the first stop and you can see they have 15 days, or three weeks, to review your application. It has been our experience that Zoning takes the full three weeks. Hopefully your application doesn’t have to go to Forestry and Fire. That is another 10 and 5 days respectively. After 6 weeks, if you have no comments from any of the above, you finally get to Building. Then! They have another 30 days. Do the math! That is three months just for the first review.

If you are planning on opening a business in Pompano Beach, beware. If you are a property owner maybe this will help you understand why it is taking your contractor so long to get the permit to do the improvements you hired them to do. Your government’s bureaucracy!

Proof of Ownership

sunbizA policy change that has occurred over the past couple of years that seems to have begun infecting Broward County building departments is the dreaded, “proof of ownership” policy. Miami-Dade County has just about been completely engulfed by this painful cancer, and their are some spot locations showing up in Palm Beach County. If you are not familiar with building permit procedures you are probably wondering what the hell I am talking about.

Almost every municipality has a place for the Owner’s signature on the building permit application.  Back in the day,  you could probably have Micky Mouse sign it, and as long as the signature was notarized, the building department accepted it. Not anymore! Whoever signs the permit application must show “proof of ownership”. Not a big deal for a property owned by an individual. You can go the Property Appraiser’s website, print-out the information, and submit it with the building permit application. If that information isn’t current because of a new buyer, typically, and depending on the building department, a recorded warranty deed, or a settlement statement works.

The real problem occurs with properties owned by corporations. The building permit application has to be signed by one of the officers of the corporation. A great resource is Sunbiz.org. It is the Florida, Division of Corporations website. You can track down corporations and their officers. It can be a real pain in the butt sometimes to find the information you are looking for, because of LLC’s and shell corporations. Once you find the officers, you may also find that they refuse to sign the building permit application. An option is the “power of attorney” letter, if the municipality accepts such a document, and they will have their own procedures for the format of that document.

I always suggest to my Clients, when you get a sales call, go to the Property Appraiser’s website first, and then if a corporation to Sunbiz.org. It is the best way to confirm ownership. The person signing your contract, the Notice of Commencement, and the building permit application needs to be the legal Owner of the property.  Our services include a review of our Client’s building permit packages, to verify the ownership.

There are the “runner” type of permit processers that will try to submit whatever you give them, and bill you for it. We do not! Our initial consultation and document review are included in our fees. Please feel free to contact us for your professional building permit processing needs.