Florida Senate - 2021                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 1146
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Appropriations (Brodeur) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 425 - 428
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 6. Present subsections (10) through (19) of section
    6  553.791, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as subsections (11)
    7  through (20), respectively, a new subsection (10) and subsection
    8  (21) are added to that section, and subsection (1), paragraph
    9  (b) of subsection (2), subsections (3), (4), and (6), paragraphs
   10  (b) and (d) of subsection (7), subsections (8) and (9), and
   11  present subsections (10), (11), (12), (14), and (15) are
   12  amended, to read:
   13         553.791 Alternative plans review and inspection.—
   14         (1) As used in this section, the term:
   15         (a) “Applicable codes” means the Florida Building Code and
   16  any local technical amendments to the Florida Building Code but
   17  does not include the applicable minimum fire prevention and
   18  firesafety codes adopted pursuant to chapter 633.
   19         (b) “Audit” means the process to confirm that the building
   20  code inspection services have been performed by the private
   21  provider, including ensuring that the required affidavit for the
   22  plan review has been properly completed and submitted with
   23  affixed to the permit documents and that the minimum mandatory
   24  inspections required under the building code have been performed
   25  and properly recorded. The local building official may not
   26  replicate the plan review or inspection being performed by the
   27  private provider, unless expressly authorized by this section.
   28         (c) “Building” means any construction, erection,
   29  alteration, demolition, or improvement of, or addition to, any
   30  structure or site work for which permitting by a local
   31  enforcement agency is required.
   32         (d) “Building code inspection services” means those
   33  services described in s. 468.603(5) and (8) involving the review
   34  of building plans as well as those services involving the review
   35  of site plans and site work engineering plans or their
   36  functional equivalent, to determine compliance with applicable
   37  codes and those inspections required by law, conducted either in
   38  person or virtually, of each phase of construction for which
   39  permitting by a local enforcement agency is required to
   40  determine compliance with applicable codes.
   41         (e) “Deliver” or “delivery” means any method of delivery
   42  used in conventional business or commercial practice, including
   43  delivery by electronic transmissions.
   44         (f) “Duly authorized representative” means an agent of the
   45  private provider identified in the permit application who
   46  reviews plans or performs inspections as provided by this
   47  section and who is licensed as an engineer under chapter 471 or
   48  as an architect under chapter 481 or who holds a standard
   49  certificate under part XII of chapter 468.
   50         (g)Electronically posted” means providing notices of
   51  decisions, results, or records, including inspection records,
   52  through the use of a website or other form of electronic
   53  communication used to transmit or display information.
   54         (h)“Electronic signature” means any letters, characters,
   55  or symbols manifested by electronic or similar means which are
   56  executed or adopted by a party with an intent to authenticate a
   57  writing or record.
   58         (i)“Electronic transmission” or “submitted electronically
   59  means any form or process of communication not directly
   60  involving the physical transfer of paper or another tangible
   61  medium which is suitable for the retention, retrieval, and
   62  reproduction of information by the recipient and is retrievable
   63  in paper form by the receipt through an automated process. All
   64  notices provided for in this section may be transmitted
   65  electronically and shall have the same legal effect as if
   66  physically posted or mailed.
   67         (j)(f) “Immediate threat to public safety and welfare”
   68  means a building code violation that, if allowed to persist,
   69  constitutes an immediate hazard that could result in death,
   70  serious bodily injury, or significant property damage. This
   71  paragraph does not limit the authority of the local building
   72  official to issue a Notice of Corrective Action at any time
   73  during the construction of a building project or any portion of
   74  such project if the official determines that a condition of the
   75  building or portion thereof may constitute a hazard when the
   76  building is put into use following completion as long as the
   77  condition cited is shown to be in violation of the building code
   78  or approved plans.
   79         (k)(g) “Local building official” means the individual
   80  within the governing jurisdiction responsible for direct
   81  regulatory administration or supervision of plans review,
   82  enforcement, and inspection of any construction, erection,
   83  alteration, demolition, or substantial improvement of, or
   84  addition to, any structure for which permitting is required to
   85  indicate compliance with applicable codes and includes any duly
   86  authorized designee of such person.
   87         (l)(h) “Permit application” means a properly completed and
   88  submitted application for the requested building or construction
   89  permit, including:
   90         1. The plans reviewed by the private provider.
   91         2. The affidavit from the private provider required under
   92  subsection (6).
   93         3. Any applicable fees.
   94         4. Any documents required by the local building official to
   95  determine that the fee owner has secured all other government
   96  approvals required by law.
   97         (m)(i) “Plans” means building plans, site engineering
   98  plans, or site plans, or their functional equivalent, submitted
   99  by a fee owner or fee owner’s contractor to a private provider
  100  or duly authorized representative for review.
  101         (n)(j) “Private provider” means a person licensed as a
  102  building code administrator under part XII of chapter 468, as an
  103  engineer under chapter 471, or as an architect under chapter
  104  481. For purposes of performing inspections under this section
  105  for additions and alterations that are limited to 1,000 square
  106  feet or less to residential buildings, the term “private
  107  provider” also includes a person who holds a standard
  108  certificate under part XII of chapter 468.
  109         (o)“Qualified private provider” means a private provider
  110  who has previously performed plans review and inspection
  111  services in the local jurisdiction and has registered with the
  112  local enforcing agency by providing the local building official
  113  with the private provider’s name, firm, address, telephone
  114  number, and e-mail address; his or her professional license or
  115  certification number, qualification statements, or resumes; and,
  116  if required by the local building official, a certificate of
  117  insurance demonstrating that professional liability insurance
  118  coverage is in place for the private provider’s firm, the
  119  private provider, and any duly authorized representative in the
  120  amounts required by this section. This information must be
  121  submitted on an annual basis to the local jurisdiction in order
  122  to maintain qualifying status. If at any time any of the
  123  information submitted to the local jurisdiction changes, the
  124  private provider must contact the local jurisdiction and update
  125  the information within 10 business days after the change. The
  126  local jurisdiction is required to keep a registery of active
  127  qualified private providers.
  128         (p)(k) “Request for certificate of occupancy or certificate
  129  of completion” means a properly completed and executed
  130  application for:
  131         1. A certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion.
  132         2. A certificate of compliance from the private provider
  133  required under subsection (12) (11).
  134         3. Any applicable fees.
  135         4. Any documents required by the local building official to
  136  determine that the fee owner has secured all other government
  137  approvals required by law.
  138         (q)“Single-trade inspection” means any inspection focused
  139  on a single construction trade, such as plumbing, mechanical, or
  140  electrical. The term includes, but is not limited to,
  141  inspections of door or window replacements; fences and block
  142  walls more than 6 feet high from the top of the wall to the
  143  bottom of the footing; stucco or plastering; reroofing with no
  144  structural alteration; HVAC replacements; ductwork or fan
  145  replacements; alteration or installation of wiring, lighting,
  146  and service panels; water heater changeouts; sink replacements;
  147  and repiping.
  148         (r)(l) “Site work” means the portion of a construction
  149  project that is not part of the building structure, including,
  150  but not limited to, grading, excavation, landscape irrigation,
  151  and installation of driveways.
  152         (s)(m) “Stop-work order” means the issuance of any written
  153  statement, written directive, or written order which states the
  154  reason for the order and the conditions under which the cited
  155  work will be permitted to resume.
  156         (2)
  157         (b) If an owner or contractor retains a private provider
  158  for purposes of plans review or building inspection services,
  159  the local jurisdiction must reduce the permit fee by the amount
  160  of cost savings realized by the local enforcement agency for not
  161  having to perform such services. Such reduction may be
  162  calculated on a flat fee or percentage basis, or any other
  163  reasonable means by which a local enforcement agency assesses
  164  the cost for its plans review or inspection services It is the
  165  intent of the Legislature that owners and contractors pay
  166  reduced fees related to building permitting requirements when
  167  hiring a private provider for plans review and building
  168  inspections. A local jurisdiction must calculate the cost
  169  savings to the local enforcement agency, based on a fee owner or
  170  contractor hiring a private provider to perform plans reviews
  171  and building inspections in lieu of the local building official,
  172  and reduce the permit fees accordingly. The local jurisdiction
  173  may not charge fees for building inspections if the fee owner or
  174  contractor hires a private provider to perform such services;
  175  however, the local jurisdiction may charge a reasonable
  176  administrative fee.
  177         (3) A private provider and any duly authorized
  178  representative may only perform building code inspection
  179  services that are within the disciplines covered by that
  180  person’s licensure or certification under chapter 468, chapter
  181  471, or chapter 481, including single-trade inspections. A
  182  private provider may not provide building code inspection
  183  services pursuant to this section upon any building designed or
  184  constructed by the private provider or the private provider’s
  185  firm.
  186         (4) A fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor using a
  187  private provider to provide building code inspection services
  188  shall notify the local building official in writing at the time
  189  of permit application, or by 2 p.m. local time, 2 business days
  190  before the first scheduled inspection by the local building
  191  official or building code enforcement agency that for a private
  192  provider has been contracted to perform the performing required
  193  inspections of construction under this section, including
  194  single-trade inspections, on a form to be adopted by the
  195  commission. This notice shall include the following information:
  196         (a) The services to be performed by the private provider.
  197         (b) The name, firm, address, telephone number, and e-mail
  198  address facsimile number of each private provider who is
  199  performing or will perform such services, his or her
  200  professional license or certification number, qualification
  201  statements or resumes, and, if required by the local building
  202  official, a certificate of insurance demonstrating that
  203  professional liability insurance coverage is in place for the
  204  private provider’s firm, the private provider, and any duly
  205  authorized representative in the amounts required by this
  206  section.
  208  However, the notice is not required to include such information
  209  for private providers who are qualified private providers within
  210  the local jurisdiction and have renewed such designation
  211  pursuant to this section.
  212         (c) An acknowledgment from the fee owner in substantially
  213  the following form:
  215         I have elected to use one or more private providers to
  216         provide building code plans review and/or inspection
  217         services on the building or structure that is the
  218         subject of the enclosed permit application, as
  219         authorized by s. 553.791, Florida Statutes. I
  220         understand that the local building official may not
  221         review the plans submitted or perform the required
  222         building inspections to determine compliance with the
  223         applicable codes, except to the extent specified in
  224         said law. Instead, plans review and/or required
  225         building inspections will be performed by licensed or
  226         certified personnel identified in the application. The
  227         law requires minimum insurance requirements for such
  228         personnel, but I understand that I may require more
  229         insurance to protect my interests. By executing this
  230         form, I acknowledge that I have made inquiry regarding
  231         the competence of the licensed or certified personnel
  232         and the level of their insurance and am satisfied that
  233         my interests are adequately protected. I agree to
  234         indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the local
  235         government, the local building official, and their
  236         building code enforcement personnel from any and all
  237         claims arising from my use of these licensed or
  238         certified personnel to perform building code
  239         inspection services with respect to the building or
  240         structure that is the subject of the enclosed permit
  241         application.
  243  If the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor makes any changes
  244  to the listed private providers or the services to be provided
  245  by those private providers, the fee owner or the fee owner’s
  246  contractor shall, within 1 business day after any change or
  247  within 2 business days before the next scheduled inspection,
  248  update the notice to reflect such changes. A change of a duly
  249  authorized representative named in the permit application does
  250  not require a revision of the permit, and the building code
  251  enforcement agency shall not charge a fee for making the change.
  252  In addition, the fee owner or the fee owner’s contractor shall
  253  post at the project site, before the commencement of
  254  construction and updated within 1 business day after any change,
  255  on a form to be adopted by the commission, the name, firm,
  256  address, telephone number, and facsimile number of each private
  257  provider who is performing or will perform building code
  258  inspection services, the type of service being performed, and
  259  similar information for the primary contact of the private
  260  provider on the project.
  261         (6) A private provider performing plans review under this
  262  section shall review the plans to determine compliance with the
  263  applicable codes. Upon determining that the plans reviewed
  264  comply with the applicable codes, the private provider shall
  265  prepare an affidavit or affidavits on a form reasonably
  266  acceptable to the commission certifying, under oath, that the
  267  following is true and correct to the best of the private
  268  provider’s knowledge and belief:
  269         (a) The plans were reviewed by the affiant, who is duly
  270  authorized to perform plans review pursuant to this section and
  271  holds the appropriate license or certificate.
  272         (b) The plans comply with the applicable codes.
  274  Such affidavit may bear a written or electronic signature and
  275  may be submitted electronically to the local building official.
  276         (7)
  277         (b) If the local building official provides a written
  278  notice of plan deficiencies to the permit applicant within the
  279  prescribed 20-day period, the 20-day period shall be tolled
  280  pending resolution of the matter. To resolve the plan
  281  deficiencies, the permit applicant may elect to dispute the
  282  deficiencies pursuant to subsection (14) (13) or to submit
  283  revisions to correct the deficiencies.
  284         (d) If the local building official provides a second
  285  written notice of plan deficiencies to the permit applicant
  286  within the prescribed time period, the permit applicant may
  287  elect to dispute the deficiencies pursuant to subsection (14)
  288  (13) or to submit additional revisions to correct the
  289  deficiencies. For all revisions submitted after the first
  290  revision, the local building official has an additional 5
  291  business days from the date of resubmittal to issue the
  292  requested permit or to provide a written notice to the permit
  293  applicant stating which of the previously identified plan
  294  features remain in noncompliance with the applicable codes, with
  295  specific reference to the relevant code chapters and sections.
  296         (8) A private provider performing required inspections
  297  under this section shall inspect each phase of construction as
  298  required by the applicable codes. Such inspection may be
  299  performed in-person or virtually. The private provider may have
  300  shall be permitted to send a duly authorized representative to
  301  the building site to perform the required inspections, provided
  302  all required reports are prepared by and bear the written or
  303  electronic signature of the private provider or the private
  304  provider’s duly authorized representative. The duly authorized
  305  representative must be an employee of the private provider
  306  entitled to receive reemployment assistance benefits under
  307  chapter 443. The contractor’s contractual or legal obligations
  308  are not relieved by any action of the private provider.
  309         (9) A private provider performing required inspections
  310  under this section shall provide notice to the local building
  311  official of the date and approximate time of any such inspection
  312  no later than the prior business day by 2 p.m. local time or by
  313  any later time permitted by the local building official in that
  314  jurisdiction. The local building official may not prohibit the
  315  private provider from performing any inspection outside the
  316  local building official’s normal operating hours, including
  317  after hours, weekends, or holidays. The local building official
  318  may visit the building site as often as necessary to verify that
  319  the private provider is performing all required inspections. A
  320  deficiency notice must be posted at the job site by the private
  321  provider, the duly authorized representative of the private
  322  provider, or the building department whenever a noncomplying
  323  item related to the building code or the permitted documents is
  324  found. Such notice may be physically posted at the job site or
  325  electronically posted. After corrections are made, the item must
  326  be reinspected by the private provider or representative before
  327  being concealed. Reinspection or reaudit fees shall not be
  328  charged by the local jurisdiction as a result of the local
  329  jurisdiction’s audit inspection occurring before the performance
  330  of the private provider’s inspection or for any other
  331  administrative matter not involving the detection of a violation
  332  of the building code or a permit requirement.
  333         (10) If equipment replacements and repairs must be
  334  performed in an emergency situation, subject to the emergency
  335  permitting provisions of the Florida Building Code, a private
  336  provider may perform emergency inspection services without first
  337  notifying the local building official pursuant to subsection
  338  (9). A private provider must conduct the inspection within 3
  339  business days after being contacted to conduct an emergency
  340  inspection and must submit the inspection report to the local
  341  building official within 1 day after the inspection is
  342  completed.
  343         (11)(10) Upon completing the required inspections at each
  344  applicable phase of construction, the private provider shall
  345  record such inspections on a form acceptable to the local
  346  building official. The form must bear the written or electronic
  347  signature of be signed by the provider or the provider’s duly
  348  authorized representative. These inspection records shall
  349  reflect those inspections required by the applicable codes of
  350  each phase of construction for which permitting by a local
  351  enforcement agency is required. The private provider, upon
  352  completion of the required inspection before leaving the project
  353  site, shall post each completed inspection record, indicating
  354  pass or fail, at the site and provide the record to the local
  355  building official within 2 business days. Such inspection record
  356  may be electronically posted by the private provider or the
  357  private provider may post such inspection record physically at
  358  the project site. The private provider may electronically
  359  transmit the record to the local building official. The local
  360  building official may waive the requirement to provide a record
  361  of each inspection within 2 business days if the record is
  362  electronically posted or posted at the project site and all such
  363  inspection records are submitted with the certificate of
  364  compliance. Unless the records have been electronically posted,
  365  records of all required and completed inspections shall be
  366  maintained at the building site at all times and made available
  367  for review by the local building official. The private provider
  368  shall report to the local enforcement agency any condition that
  369  poses an immediate threat to public safety and welfare.
  370         (12)(11) Upon completion of all required inspections, the
  371  private provider shall prepare a certificate of compliance, on a
  372  form acceptable to the local building official, summarizing the
  373  inspections performed and including a written representation,
  374  under oath, that the stated inspections have been performed and
  375  that, to the best of the private provider’s knowledge and
  376  belief, the building construction inspected complies with the
  377  approved plans and applicable codes. The statement required of
  378  the private provider shall be substantially in the following
  379  form and shall be signed and sealed by a private provider as
  380  established in subsection (1) or may be electronically
  381  transmitted to the local building official:
  383         To the best of my knowledge and belief, the building
  384         components and site improvements outlined herein and
  385         inspected under my authority have been completed in
  386         conformance with the approved plans and the applicable
  387         codes.
  389         (13)(12) No more than 2 business days after receipt of a
  390  request for a certificate of occupancy or certificate of
  391  completion and the applicant’s presentation of a certificate of
  392  compliance and approval of all other government approvals
  393  required by law, the local building official shall issue the
  394  certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion or provide
  395  a notice to the applicant identifying the specific deficiencies,
  396  as well as the specific code chapters and sections. If the local
  397  building official does not provide notice of the deficiencies
  398  within the prescribed 2-day period, the request for a
  399  certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion shall be
  400  deemed granted and the certificate of occupancy or certificate
  401  of completion shall be issued by the local building official on
  402  the next business day. To resolve any identified deficiencies,
  403  the applicant may elect to dispute the deficiencies pursuant to
  404  subsection (14) (13) or to submit a corrected request for a
  405  certificate of occupancy or certificate of completion.
  406         (15)(14) For the purposes of this section, any notice to be
  407  provided by the local building official shall be deemed to be
  408  provided to the person or entity when successfully transmitted
  409  to the e-mail address facsimile number listed for that person or
  410  entity in the permit application or revised permit application,
  411  or, if no e-mail address facsimile number is stated, when
  412  actually received by that person or entity.
  413         (16)(a)(15)(a) A local enforcement agency, local building
  414  official, or local government may not adopt or enforce any laws,
  415  rules, procedures, policies, qualifications, or standards more
  416  stringent than those prescribed by this section.
  417         (b) A local enforcement agency, local building official, or
  418  local government may establish, for private providers and duly
  419  authorized representatives working within that jurisdiction, a
  420  system of registration to verify compliance with the licensure
  421  requirements of paragraph (1)(n) (1)(j) and the insurance
  422  requirements of subsection (17). Such registration must be
  423  distinct from the registry of qualified private providers (16).
  424         (c) This section does not limit the authority of the local
  425  building official to issue a stop-work order for a building
  426  project or any portion of the project, as provided by law, if
  427  the official determines that a condition on the building site
  428  constitutes an immediate threat to public safety and welfare.
  429         (21)Notwithstanding any other law, a county, a
  431  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  432  And the title is amended as follows:
  433         Between lines 43 and 44
  434  insert:
  435         revising and defining terms; providing requirements
  436         for qualified private providers; requiring local
  437         jurisdictions to reduce permit fees under certain
  438         circumstances; deleting legislative intent; specifying
  439         that contractors using private providers to provide
  440         building code inspections services must notify local
  441         building officials in writing; revising notice
  442         requirements; deleting a provision requiring fee
  443         owners or fee owners’ contractors to post certain
  444         information at a project site before commencing
  445         construction; authorizing certain affidavits to be
  446         signed with electronic signatures and be submitted to
  447         local building officials electronically; authorizing
  448         certain inspections to be performed in-person or
  449         virtually; authorizing certain reports to be signed
  450         with electronic signatures; authorizing certain
  451         notices to be electronically posted; authorizing
  452         private providers to perform certain replacements and
  453         repairs without first notifying local building
  454         officials under certain circumstances; authorizing
  455         certain forms to be signed with electronic signatures;
  456         authorizing certain inspection records to be
  457         electronically posted and electronically submitted to
  458         local building officials; authorizing certificates of
  459         compliance to be electronically transmitted to local
  460         building officials; specifying that a certain registry
  461         must be distinct from the registry of qualified
  462         private providers; conforming provisions to changes
  463         made by the act;