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Starting
October 1, 2021, Florida’s County and Municipal building departments will be
subject to new building permit application requirements which aim to make the process more transparent and easier to navigate for
Florida contractors and homeowners. These changes are thanks to HB 1059, a
House of Representatives Commerce Committee Bill, which was passed by the
Florida State Legislature and approved by Governor DeSantis this year.

Under
the provisions of HB 1059, Florida cities and counties that issue building
permits are now required to list on the building department website all types
of building permits issued in the jurisdiction and all attachments, drawings, or other requirements for each type of permit. This expands
the earlier requirement of just the types of permits available in the
jurisdiction to be listed. Requiring building departments to list all permit
application attachments will help eliminate any “surprise” requirements
during the building permit application process and reduce the number of
requests for additional information after submitting an application.

If,
however, there is a need for additional information on a building permit application, HB 1059 places new requirements and deadlines on building
officials that will make the process more transparent and run more smoothly. If
there is a request for additional information by a building official and the
contractor responds with the requested information within 30 days,
the building official must review the application for completeness and issue a
letter indicating the application is complete or specifying with particularity
any remaining deficiencies within 30 days of receiving the requested information. On the second request for additional information,
the building official only has 10 days to issue a letter of completeness or
deficiency after receiving the requested information. On the third request, the
building official must offer a meeting to the permit applicant
before the request is made and then must deem the application complete within
10 days of receiving the requested information and move the permit application
on to plan review. These new requirements will help keep permit applications moving through the process and make month-long waits for the review of applications a rarity.

Additionally,
HB 1059 requires Florida’s building officials to increase the functionality of
their online services.  Florida counties and cities are now required to post and update the status of every received building permit
application on the building department website until the permit is issued,
allowing contractors and homeowners the ability to keep track of their permit
applications. This is another move that adds transparency to the
application process by making permit status information easily available. HB
1059 also clarifies the electronic application submission requirement. 
Building departments now must be able to accept all applications, payments, attachments, or parts of the permit application electronically,
expanding the earlier requirement that only completed applications must be
accepted electronically. This will streamline the application process and make
the process easier to track. 

HB
1059 is in part the result of a series of conversations the FSPA
government relations team had with the staff of the Florida House of
Representatives Commerce Committee in the lead-up to the 2021 legislative
session. FSPA expressed your frustrations with the lack
of consistency and lack of transparency in the application process. HB 1059 is
a step in the right direction to reduce the complication of the building
permitting process and make it easier for you to navigate and easier for your
clients to understand.

If
you have any questions about HB 1059 or any other government affairs issues
please reach out to FSPA Government Affairs Manager Dallas Thiesen at
Dallas@FloridaPoolPro.com or at 941-952-9293.