Frequently Asked Questions

When Is A Permit Required?​

Although a building permit is required for most construction related work, various improvements of real property may not require a Building Permit. The work exempted must still be constructed in accordance with minimum code standards. In addition as required by Section 105.1 of the Florida Building Code, any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit. The following will help clarify the Building and Zoning Division requirements for non-permitted work.

​Items Not Requiring a Permit:

  • Replace Window A/C unit, electrical existing
  • Ceiling Fan - Replacement using existing outlet box and wiring
  • Ceramic Tile - Floor and Wall
  • Appliance - Replacement Residential
  • Door - Replace any interior residential door within the individual unit
  • Drywall Repairs (Residential, Non-Fire Related, small areas - not to exceed two sheets of drywall)
  • Window Repair
  • Heating Unit - Repair
  • Carpet Installation
  • Painting/Wallpaper
  • Playground equipment - Residential only
  • A/C Repair

If you have any questions, just ask. If you don't need a permit, we'll be happy to let you know. In the event of a conflict between this document and a specific rule or regulation, all applicable codes shall apply.      

NOTICE TO OWNER: A NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT MUST BE RECORDED AND POSTED ON THE JOB SITE BEFORE THE FIRST INSPECTION IS PERFORMED. IF YOU INTEND TO OBTAIN FINANCING, CONSULT WITH YOUR LENDER OR AN ATTORNEY BEFORE COMMENCING WORK OR RECORDING YOUR NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT.

FAILURE TO RECORD A NOTICE OF COMMENCEMENT MAY RESULT IN YOUR PAYING TWICE FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR PROPERTY.

What are the requirements for temporary construction fencing?

All construction sites are required to have a 6-foot chain link fence with windscreen. At the base of the chain link fence a silt screen fence is also required. On waterfront lots the construction fence on the waterside shall be only 3 foot high with windscreen and silt fence at the base.

Before any permit for a new or major addition project can be issued, a Temporary Construction Fence permit must be issued and inspected. Also, before any permit for a complete or partial demolition can be issued, a Temporary Construction Fence permit must be issued and inspected. This requirement is retroactive; all permits that are currently in plan review will have to meet this requirement before the building permit can be issued.

What is the required wind-load design speed for the Village of Palmetto Bay?

As per the Florida Building code the wind loads are as follows:

SECTION R4403.9
HIGH-VELOCITY HURRICANE ZONES — WIND LOADS

R4403.9.1
Buildings and structures, and every portion thereof, shall be designed and constructed to meet the requirements of Section 6 of ASCE 7, as more specifically defined in this section, based on a 50-year mean recurrence interval.

R4403.9.2
Wind velocity (3-second gust) used in structural calculations shall be 140 miles per hour (63 m/s) in Broward County and 146 miles per hour (65 m/s) in Miami-Dade County.

R4403.9.3
All buildings and structures shall be considered to be in Exposure Category C as defined in Section 6.5.6.3 of ASCE 7.


What are the new site drainage plan requirements?



All new projects, major additions, and new swimming pools (with no coinciding construction) are now required to submit a site drainage plan when submitting for their building permit. This plan will show the permanent drainage for the property after construction is completed, and will require steps to be performed in order to keep water from draining on to the neighbor's property.

What about the construction site management plan?

All building permits being submitted for plan review must include a Construction Site Management Plan. There is an application that must be accurately completed and attached to your plans. A site plan must also be submitted detailing the location of the various construction supplies (ex: dumpsters, fences, temporary toilets, temporary trailers, and parking). For minor interior commercial and multi-family alterations, this site plan is usually waived.


How can a general contractor make sure everything meets the flood level requirements?



Be sure to inform all of your subcontractors of what the flood level of your job site are (i.e. N.G.V.D.). Often, water heaters, electrical devices and air conditioners are installed below Flood simply because of a lack of communication between the job superintendent and the subcontractors.

Okay, so what does N.G.V.D mean?
National Geodetic Vertical Datum


Why is obtaining a building permit of benefit to me as a homeowner?



When a permit is submitted to the Building Division, it is reviewed to see that it meets established minimum criteria. The review and approval process allows problems to be identified and corrected before any non-complying work occurs. During the process of submitting a permit, a contractor’s licensing and insurance are verified.

Having a permit allows a person knowledgeable in construction, the opportunity to inspect and confirm that minimum codes prescribed construction requirements are met.

The transfer of property could be delayed when non-permitted work is discovered. Work completed without permits and/or inspections is deemed to be unsafe.

Work that is done without a permit is subject to double permit fees and may have to be partially or completely demolished.


As a homeowner, can I apply for my own building permit?



Yes, if you are competent to perform the work and if you meet the owner/builder exemption. You will be required to   read, understand and certify compliance through the completion of the Owner/Builder Affidavit and Disclosure Statement. Our experience is that most Owner/Builders do not comply with these requirements on large or complex jobs but  may on small miscellaneous permits. (Patio slabs/decks, fences, walkways, etc.)

WARNING: If you are allowed the exemption, you take all the responsibilities and liabilities as a contractor.


Can I start work when I submit a permit application before it is approved?



No – not usually. In an emergency such as air-conditioning replacement with the approval of the Chief Inspector, work up to the first required inspection will be allowed.


How much time do I have to get the work done once a permit is issued?



Permits expire and become null and void if work is not started and an inspection requested within 180 days from the issuance date of the permit. After such work has commenced, the permit will expire when work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 90 days. Lack of an approved inspection within 90 days will validate the job has been suspended or abandoned.

Who is responsible for calling for an inspection when work is ready?

The permit holder or his/her agent.


I do not want to make final payment until I know all inspections have been approved. How do I find out if all of the required inspections have been approved?



You may call 305-259-1250 to find out if all inspections have been approved or you may check online under Permit Status.


How do I find out if I have any expired permits on my property?



You may call 305-259-1250 to inquire about expired permits that have been issued by the Village of Palmetto Bay. For expired permits before 2002 you would have to check with Miami-Dade County Building Department.


​What are the most important thing I should know about hiring a contractor?



It is important to know if the contractor has a valid License/Certificate of Competency, if he can provide recent references, or if the contractor has expired permits.

Other important information you should also know:

  • You can check with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for complaints against a contractor’s license. www.state.fl.us/dbpr/ Click on license search.
  • Use a contractor that will fulfill their contract and return after completion of the job for warranty issues.
  • Compliance with the Code is ultimately the responsibility of the property owner. Be sure that all inspections have been approved and that you are satisfied with the work before making final payment to a contractor. Make sure your contract does not conflict with this.


What do expired permits mean for property owners?



Expired permits are a violation against the property, and the current property owner is responsible for making any corrections to close the expired permit(s). Also, if the contractor you hire has expired permits for another location or property in the Village of Palmetto Bay, they may not be able to obtain a permit for your project. Call 305-259-1250 to inquire about expired permits.


What is a C.O.?



C.O. is the abbreviation for Certificate of Occupancy, which is the legal document that permits the human occupancy of a building. All new construction, additions or building that changes occupancy classifications requires the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy before the space is inhabited. The Village's Building Official is the only person authorized by law to issue a Certificate of Occupancy.