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CS/HB 1151 — Residential Master Building Permit Programs

by Business and Professions Subcommittee and Rep. Ingoglia (CS/SB 1486 by Community Affairs Committee and Senator Brandes)

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)

The Legislature has specified that local governments have the power to inspect all buildings, structures, and facilities within their jurisdictions in protection of the public’s health, safety, and welfare. It is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or governmental entity to construct, erect, alter, modify, repair, or demolish any building without first obtaining a permit from the appropriate enforcing agency or authority delegated to issue permits upon the payment of fees. Typically, the appropriate enforcing agency is the local building department in the county or municipality in which the property is located. The builder is required to obtain a site-specific building permit for each individual site-specific building intended to be constructed, even if the builder expects to build multiple identical structures on a repetitive basis. A builder is required to provide building plans and specifications at the time of application for a site-specific building permit, along with a structural inspection plan and additional supporting documents sufficient for the building code administrator or inspector to determine whether the building will be built according to the code.

The bill provides for the creation of local residential master building permit programs to assist builders who construct certain dwellings and townhomes on a repetitive basis. The bill directs each local government to create a residential master building permit program within 6 months of a written request made by a licensed contractor to a local building code administrator. Under the program, a builder obtains a master building permit by submitting certain documents, such as a general construction plan, to the local building department. Within 120 days after receiving a complete application, the local building department must review the general construction plan to determine compliance with the building code and approve or deny the master building permit application. If the local building department approves the general building plan, and all documents provided with the master building permit application are verified, the builder receives a master building permit and permit number. After approving a master building permit application, the bill provides that the local building department may only require the builder to submit the limited documents for a site-specific building permit for a single-family or two-family dwelling. The governing bodies of local governments set fees according to s. 553.80(7), F.S.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2015.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 116-0