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CS/CS/SB 704 — Building Construction and Inspection

by Budget Subcommittee on General Government Appropriations; Community Affairs Committee; and Senator Bennett

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Community Affairs Committee (CA)

This bill amends a number of provisions related to building construction and inspection in Florida. The bill:

  • modifies how local government code enforcement boards serve notices on property owners;
  • requires public bodies to open sealed bids for construction and repairs to public buildings at a public meeting;
  • revises permitting measures, establishes title transfer procedures, and provides for the applicability of rules governing on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems;
  • authorizes building and fire code administrators to accept electronically transmitted construction plans and related documents for permit approval purposes;
  • includes fire safety inspectors among those eligible to take the building code inspector or plans examiner certification exam and shortens the time length of a provisional certificate for newly employed or promoted inspectors or examiners;
  • includes landscape architecture in the mold assessment exemption;
  • clarifies that a landscape design practitioner may submit planting plans independent of, or as a component of, construction documents;
  • creates an owner-as-contractor licensure exemption for persons engaged in solar panel projects through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sunshot Initiative; provisions to facilitate the electronic submission of permitting applications for these solar projects are created;
  • expands the meaning of ‘demolish’ as it is used to define licensed contractors;
  • modifies plumbing contractor scope of services to include drain cleaning and clearing, and installation or repair of rainwater catchment systems;
  • expands the roofing contractor licensure scope of work to include skylights;
  • expands air conditioning and mechanical contractor licensure to include the testing and evaluation of ventilation systems and duct work;
  • clarifies the responsibilities of certified contractors and registered contractors, specifically clarifying that contractors can perform and supervise all work which falls within the scope of their license, whether that work is performed by a subcontractor or a business entity hired by and supervised by the licensed contractor;
  • eliminates the division II glass and glazing contractor license;
  • establishes the remedial nature and retroactive application of contracts related to the sale of manufactured or factory-built buildings;
  • specifies that certain Florida Building Code permit fee surcharges be allocated to fund the Florida Building Commission and the Florida Building Code Compliance and Mitigation Program; beginning in fiscal year 2013-2014, funds allocated to the Compliance and Mitigation Program shall be $925,000;
  • exempts specified hunting structures from the Florida Building Code;
  • when denying a building permit, requires local enforcing agencies and local building code administrators and inspectors to provide denied applicants with the specific building codes or sections that were out-of-compliance;
  • extends an expiration provision from the 2010 Florida Building Code to the 2013 Florida Building Code related to exposed mechanical equipment or appliances fastened to a roof or installed on the ground;
  • directs the Florida Building Commission to adopt a rule outlining an alternative method of screen enclosure design and establishes a workgroup to assist the commission in developing a rule for implementing the design.

If approved by the Governor, except as otherwise expressly provided in this act and except for section 20, which shall take effect upon this act becoming a law, this act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 114-0