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Posts tagged: miami-dade

Window & Door Permits

Window_Door_Permits_Miami_BeachMiami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties are all in the high velocity hurricane zone. This requires that all products installed  meet certain pressure requirements, depending on the height of the structure, the zone the openings are located in, and the exposure category of the building. The products will require a Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance (N.O.A.), or a State of Florida Product Approval that states that the product is approved for use in a high velocity hurricane zone (H.V.H.Z.).

Pressure requirements are site specific. A standard table, that is accepted by some building department in Broward County can be downloaded by clicking here.  If a building department does not accept the standard wind load chart you will need to acquire engineered wind pressures for your widow or door retrofit. Engineering Express is a resource that you can use for standard, engineered wind load charts, or site specific engineering. Structures over 40 feet in height will require site specific engineering. Standard, or generic wind load charts will not be accepted.

That gets you through the building department issues. Now you will need to deal with Zoning issues, and those issues can be related to historic districts. Many buildings in coastal areas, such as Miami, Miami Beach and Hollywood, have designated historical districts. Zoning will require conformity to the original architectural look of the building. Window grid patterns and mullion sizes will need to be consistent with the building design. This can be challenging! Trying to retrofitting windows to existing openings in a building built decades ago. Complying with current Building Code egress requirements, and then trying to meet the Zoning requirements may seem almost impossible. Typically, egress and safety requirements supersede Zoning design requirements, but it is a battle.

Permit Source is very experienced in assisting Contractors in their window and door building permit retrofitting issues. We can help you with the more demanding building departments like, Miami, Miami Beach, Hollywood, and Coral Gables.

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.

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.

REO Property Preservation

Maintenance_Dynamics

The second quarter of 2010 has seen a Fannie & Freddie Real Estate Owned inventory increase of 74% compared to the second quarter of 2009.  That is a year to year comparison.  In addition, RealtyTrac says there were 94,466 foreclosures in the first half of 2010 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, alone. This unprecedented number of foreclosures has created in increased demand for REO property preservation companies, permit processing services and foreclosed property maintenance services. Many of these property management and property preservation companies offer a limited selection of services.

Permit Source has joined forces with Maintenance Dynamics to offer a “One Stop Shop” for REO property maintenance and preservation services. We can offer you complete property maintenance services. We provide a comprehensive package consisting of  everything from simple trash-outs, lawn maintenance and re-keys all the way up to major renovations and new construction projects. The services we offer are for residential as will as commercial properties and we can supply everything from consulting services to full brick and mortar construction. In addition, there are numerous issues that can hold up the sale and occupancy by a new owner, such as open or expired permits, code enforcement liens, unsafe conditions like a faulty roof or exposed  plumbing and electrical wiring. We are here to help resolve these issues and more. We do everything from lawn care to unsafe structure resolution.

If you are a real estate broker, asset manager, or investor managing foreclosed properties in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County areas we can offer you a “One Stop Shop” for property maintenance and property preservation services. Please feel free to visit our websites, or contact our offices, for more information on our property preservation and property maintenance services for foreclosed properties. Private home owners are welcome too!