Building and Permitting

Permit Applications and Review

The Building Department intakes and issues permits for all types of development, including plan reviews by planning, environmental, structural, plumbing, mechanical, electric, floodplain, and fire. 

Use the plan review matrix to see permit types, the various disciplines that review each permit type, and estimated turnaround times for permit submittals.  

MONROE COUNTY BUILDING DEPARTMENT TO OPEN FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES ON APRIL 12

The Monroe County permitting offices will be replacing the permit drop-off/pick-up and mail-in system with in-person permitting services, starting on Monday, April 12. The reopening plan of in-person intake and issuance will try to minimize delivery delays. COVID-19 precautions will be in place at all four permitting offices. Three offices have insufficient space and will be open with limits to maintain the Center for Disease Control (CDC) distancing guidelines. All customers must wear facial coverings in all offices. There are no restrictions on the number of permit applications a person can submit.

Due to space limitations, meetings with plans examiners, inspectors, planners, and biologists will continue via phone, email, and Zoom. Please plan appropriately. Pre-COVID-19, staff tried to assist all customers who arrived before 3 p.m., but now all customers who arrive before or at 3 p.m. may not be served.

Resulting from COVID-19, there may also be a backlog of dropped-off permit applications when we make this transition. Staff is working to eliminate the backlog. Date and time order may be disrupted until all backlogged drop-off applications are processed.

“We are working very hard to alleviate the backlog, but the construction industry is very busy,” said Administrative Director of Permitting Ed Koconis. “As conditions change, we will continue to make changes to improve services proactively.”

Key Largo: Two Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) at front counter 6 feet apart with the ability to do intake and issuance. There will be one line for customers with 6 feet of distance between customers. Those waiting can likely be accommodated indoors.

Key Largo is the only office where sufficient space will allow for a separate area outside of the permitting line to submit applications for Planning & Environmental Resources, including but not limited to variances, conditional uses, and ROGO applications. Submittal of these Planning & Environmental Resources applications will occur at a marked location in the lobby near the CSRs. Planning & Environmental Resources applications will then be sent to Marathon for processing.

Marathon: Two CSRs at front counter 6 feet apart with the ability to do intake and issuance. Due to space limitations, there will be a sign indicating only two people at one time inside the permit lobby. There will be one line for customers with 6 feet of distance between customers. Waiting will likely occur indoors and outdoors. Planning & Environmental Resources applications will be accepted and processed upstairs in the Planning & Environmental Resources Department. 

Ocean Reef: While in the temporary trailer, drop-off will continue. When the new building opens, one CSR at the front counter with customers 6 feet apart. Waiting will occur outside. Planning & Environmental Resources applications will be submitted in the same manner then sent to Marathon for processing.

Stock Island: One CSR at the front counter with customers 6 feet apart. Waiting will occur outside the office in an indoor hallway. Planning & Environmental Resources applications will be submitted in the same manner then sent to Marathon for processing.

Moving toward more efficiency, County staff will be seeking Board of County Commissioner approval to replace the outdated permitting software system with an online system for permitting, plans review, and inspections. The new system will allow staff to review the applications and plans simultaneously throughout the four permitting offices, lessening the 35-day-minimum plan review process. The earliest the system will go live is tentatively April 2022.

Commissioner Craig Cates proposed forming a committee or working group with the construction industry to discuss future improvements.

COVID-19 Updates Through April 12

Permit Applications

Services will be provided, as indicated below, between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Key Largo, Marathon, Stock Island, and Ocean Reef permitting offices. 

A Drop-off and Pick-up System is in place for all offices, accepting all permitting-related documents including permit applications, corrections, revisions, and post-issuance-related items including but not limited to roof truss plan and permit clarifications. Face coverings are required for entry and 6-feet social distancing will be enforced.

Documents and payments (checks) can be mailed to the office where your permit is or would be reviewed by plans examiners:

  • Key Largo: 102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037
  • Marathon: 2798 Overseas Highway, Suite 300, Marathon, FL 33050
  • Stock Island: 5503 College Road, Suite 203, Key West, FL 33040
  • Ocean Reef: 11601 CR 905, Key Largo, FL 33037

Calculate the estimated amount of your payment using the fee estimator. If the fee amount you submit isn’t correct, it will be adjusted at permit issuance or you will be asked to mail in the difference.

Issuance of Approved Permit Applications

Pickup service is only available for authorized individuals who have replied to the permit-related County-generated email and provided the location and date they will be present for the pickup.

Boxes/envelopes for pickup will be identified with the name of the authorized individual, permit number, and pickup date provided; and placed in a clearly identified area inside each office/building for pickup.

Inspections

County inspectors are performing all inspections including those inside occupied buildings. Call 305-295-5160 to request an inspection. 

For the safety of you and our inspectors:

  • Please use electronic communication and social distancing before and during inspections. Inspectors will call the contact phone number associated with the permit prior to their arrival.  
  • Have plans ready and open to pertinent pages for all inspections to occur at the site.  
  • Forms and affidavits will NOT be accepted in the field.  
  • Inspectors may ask for plans, permit conditions, and/or permit cards, to be emailed to them in advance of the inspection.  
  • Inspectors may not sign permit cards.  
  • For items such as AC change-outs, size of the breaker in the panel, a photo may be requested by the inspector.

Flood Certification of Elevation

Floodplain Management Staff will continue to accept and review electronic copies of Under Construction Elevation Certificates and Final Elevation Certificates for all permits currently applied for or issued.

The documents must be provided EXACTLY as noted below: 

  1. All documents must be LEGIBLY scanned in color and sent in PDF format.
  2. All signatures and handwritten dates must be LEGIBLE and in BLUE INK.
  3. For Final Elevation Certificates, any additional required documents (i.e. smart vent product approvals, etc.) must be scanned and attached as part of the submittal.
  4. All electronic submittals must be e-mailed to bursa-karl@monroecounty-fl.gov.  A confirmation e-mail will be sent when the submittal is received.  
  5. Once the applicant has e-mailed the submittal, the applicant must submit the physical copy of the elevation certificate to the Monroe County Building Department’s office via regular mail. THE ORIGINAL COPY OF THE FINAL ELEVATION CERTIFICATE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE ON FILE PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OF ANY CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY.

County staff will make every attempt possible to provide services as staff resources are available for permits with Elevation Certificate requirements.

6-Month Permit Extension Due to COVID-19

Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order Number 20-52 on March 9, 2020 declaring a state of emergency because of COVID-19 which allows the Building Official to extend Building Permits and the Planning Director to extend Development Orders.   

All Building Permits and Development Orders active on March 9, 2020 are eligible to receive an additional 6 months to receive a passed inspection (once a passed inspection occurs then the permit would again be subject to the continuing 180-day passed inspection cycle.) 

The permit holder is required to notify the county in writing (email is acceptable) and identify the specific permit/development order of their intent to exercise this extension within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration. The termination date will be forwarded once it is known.  

Building Permits, for example, if the permit had an inspection due by April 2 (after March 9,) then the requirement to have that inspection would be extended 6 months to October 2.

Please send Building Permit extension requests to Sebben-Crystal@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov or Monroe County Building Department, 102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037,  Attn: Crystal Sebben – Permit Extension.

Certificate of Occupancy (CO)

Staff will contact permit holders who are ready to receive a CO via email.

Additional Information on Permitting

Applying for a Permit

Prior to commencing construction, the contractor, owner, or builder must first apply to obtain a permit. Obtaining a permit may require the interaction and approval of several agencies outside of the Building Department; with small exceptions, each of these agencies charges fees for their review procedures. The Building Department works to coordinate the involvement of other agencies in the permitting process to obtain a building permit in the most expedient manner while maintaining the county’s high level of quality. This service is not a substitute for a customer’s responsibility to interact with all participating agencies.

Asbestos

Permitting Process for Sewer Tie-In

Public (Commercial) Swimming Pools

Parking of Vehicles/Watercraft

Shipping/Storage Containers

 

Federal Rules for Renovating & Painting Older Buildings

The Environmental Protection Agency has rules regarding the renovation and repair of painted surfaces in buildings built prior to 1978 or in buildings with children. Contractors removing windows or painting must be certified and must follow certain safety procedures. These rules only require safety procedures, not testing or removing lead-based paint. Property managers and contractors can be fined $38,000 a day for violating these rules.

Additional Agencies

Depending upon the location and use of the proposed improvement, the following agencies may also be involved in the processing of a permit

Mission Statement

The mission of the Building Department is to protect public health and safety, property, and the environment by providing an efficient, effective, and considerate permitting and code administration system, in accordance with the Monroe County Code and Florida statutes consistent with and furthering the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan.