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E Permitting & Electronic Plan Review

EPermit_Permit_SourceBuilding Departments, like all local Government agencies, are looking at way to keep costs down. With the internet and the digital era in full swing, some are instituting electronic permitting and electronic plan review as a cost saving, more efficient way to process building permits and construction documents. Miami-Dade County was one of the first to start electronic plan review, several years ago. Boca Raton followed shorty after. Just recently, Pompano Beach, Town of Davie, Village of Wellington and Broward County initiated electronic plan review. As time goes on, more municipal building departments will be taking advantage of this technology.

Policies and procedures on E-Permitting (Electronic Permitting) and electronic plan review differ from municipality to municipality. This creates a new learning curve as apart of the Building Permit process. In most cases it does not eliminate the need for you to actually make a trip to the Building Department. Applications still need to be hand delivered, or in the case of Miami-Dade, electronic documents have to be physically submitted on a disc. They all do still allow manual submissions of paper documents, but they charge to have them scanned into a pdf digital format.

With electronic plan review the review time is less, since the plan can be reviewed by different disciplines simultaneously. There is also the advantage of not having to print, drag around, and microfilm the hard copies for achieving. For large projects this is a huge cost savings for the City, architect, contractor and owner. Large contracting, architectural and engineering firms all ready have the hardware and software for processing digital construction documents.

Electronic plan review has few advantages for the small contractor. The guy who does driveways, fences, windows or anything involving minor renovations that require plans. He may not have the hardware, or software to scan documents into a pdf  file format. He will also need to have the ability to print the full sized plans from a digital file. In addition, he will need someone in his office to have the computer savvy to be able to learn and understand the electronic plan review software and the policies for each municipality on E-Permitting. Another issue that pops-up for the small jobs, is an architect or engineer that does not have the ability to electronically sign and seal construction documents, but that is a discussion for another day.

If you need help, or you want someone to manage your E-Permitting. Give us a call. Permit Source has the experience and knowledge. Big jobs or little jobs!

New ADA Pool Lift Regulations

ADA_Approved_Pool_Chair_LiftAs of March 15th, new ADA. (Americans with Dissabilities Act) regulations went into effect. The new regulations require all public pools and spas, or if a fee is charged to access the pool or spa, an ADA compliant swimming pool lift or sloped entry must be installed. The penalty for not being compliant is $50,000. The DOJ (Department of Justice) granted a sixty day extension to allow additional time for public access pool and spa owner to become compliant. The DOJ did not extend the deadline on other new ADA requirements, including those involving the space required around fitness equipment at gyms and counter heights in restrooms. To review the new regulations visit the ADA website.

The cost of pool lifts are anywhere from $5000 – $8000. With fines of $50,000 and ADA advocacy groups running around the country with their attorney’s filing lawsuits against businesses, that are not ADA compliant, it would behoove all business owner’s to perform an ADA compliance survey for their entire property. Not just the pool or spa areas.

One of our Clients, JR Young Builders, specializes in offering services to individuals, organizations and companies that assist persons with disabilities and is versed in the new ADA regulations.  JR Young Builders has offices in Michigan and South Florida.

Contractor’s Permitting Database

Contractor_Municipal_Database_Permitting

We are pleased to announce that phases I and II of the Permit Source Contractors Permitting Database are operational. Phases I and II includes the municipal Building Departments in Broward  and Miami-Dade Counties.  This is our new resource for contractors permitting their construction projects in the South Florida area. A “One Stop Shop” for the contractor’s building permitting needs. No more wasting valuable time sifting through municipal websites looking for forms and permitting information. We have done the work for you, and in addition, we offer our permit processing knowledge database for our member Clients. This service is designed for contractors but it can be useful to developers, engineers architects, and home owner’s applying for Owner/Builder permit.

The photo above is a screen shoot of the Contractors Permitting Municipal Database main page. In addition to the building permit forms and permitting information, you get inspection information and procedures. Notices on closings, new forms or changes in permitting procedures. You can even follow us on Twitter to get this information sent to you in real time. If you are a specialty contractor we are adding tips and procedures on your specific permitting needs.

We are offering this service at a low monthly cost of only $6.00. That is less than $100 per year. As we add additional phases and services that monthly fee will increase, but not for existing member Clients. Please visit  our Permit Source Municipal Permitting Database to take advantage of our new service.

South Florida Permitting Database

Over the years, many of our Clients and building contractor contacts have requested a centralized informational resource database for the South Florida building departments. With over 100 building departments in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, it can be a very time consuming process sifting through hundreds of websites and thousand of pages trying to find information on obtaining a building permit for a construction project.

We are pleased to announce our first phase of creating that information database. On October 30th, Permit Source, will have the informational resource for  Broward County  building departments up and running. We will have permitting forms for each municipality, contact information, and offer our knowledge database with permitting tips and commentary on the individual building departments in Broward County. Please bookmark our “Helpfull Links” page so you can take advantage of this new service for all your building permitting needs.

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.