GCBOCC approves permit fee amendment for private providers

Posted 9/17/21

MOORE HAVEN -- Contractors can now hire their own building inspectors in Glades County thanks to a new ordinance …

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GCBOCC approves permit fee amendment for private providers


MOORE HAVEN -- Contractors can now hire their own buildng inspectors in Glades County thanks to a new ordinance the GCBOCC approved Sept. 14, 2021.

The ordinance passed with a 5-0 vote by commissioners and allows a 10% reduction  of the county's orignial building permit fee for contractors wishing to hire their own inspectors over a public one.

Community Development Director Susan BuChans drafted the proposal which follows a newly minted Florida statute that became effective in July that permits these reductions under some circumstances.

BuChans said she looked at neighboring counties' policies regarding the new statute before choosing a discount amount, stating that some didn't make any changes while others granted up to a 25% reduction.

Those with larger reductions were larger communities with more development taking place, BuChans said.

Based on her research and discussion with building officials, she recommended the 10% reduction.

"The building official still has to monitor the project, go on site and make sure everything is posted and occurring directly," BuChans said. "The building official will have to take steps if there are any infractions."

Commissioner Donna Storter Long asked what the advantages to the county were for the discount.

One benefit is that the private inspectors aren't limited to particular working hours or even days of the week.

"Their people work until 10 p.m. at night, they can work on weekends, send images to the engineer, they can work on holidays," BuChans said. 

The statute is the result of revisions made by the 2021 Florida House Bill 401, allowing for alternate plan reviews and inspections in the state which became effective July 1.

In part, it states that "if an owner or contractor retains a private provider for purposes of plans review or building inspection services, the local jurisdiction must reduce the permit fee by the amount of cost savings realized by the local enforcement agency for not having to perform such services."