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Wednesday, 25 September 2013 19:47

Zoning and Permitting an Accessory Dwelling Unit in Florida

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Are you considering putting an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on your home property in Central Florida?  An ADU is a technical term for a “mother-in-law suite” or “guest house”, and these building structures are regulated by cities and counties throughout Florida.  All ADUs must be in compliance with zoning laws and meet building codes.

The following is an introductory guide that will help you through the zoning and permitting process for your Accessory Dwelling Unit.  In addition we always recommend consulting a contractor licensed in the State of Florida.  Use MyFloridaLicense.com to verify a contractor’s license.

Our expertise in local zoning ordinances comes from our 25 years of experience as a licensed Florida contractor.  We have performed work and site reviews for homes in many municipalities from Hernando to Sarasota County.  Most of our experience is within the City of Tampa and throughout Pinellas County.

Our #1 resource for all local zoning information is MuniCode.com.  Follow the link and click on the municipality in which you are building your ADU.  You can find relevant ordinances by searching for the term “Accessory Dwelling”.  We also maintain a healthy dialogue with the zoning officials to further understand unique zoning issues.

First step is to complete the permit application.  The application can be found online on the City’s website.  The City of St. Petersburg’s permit application requires standard information requested by most applications:  Project Address, Property Owner, Contractor, Architect/Engineer, Occupancy or Use, and Scope of Work description.

You will have to signify that you are building an ADU.  This is done by declaring the Occupancy Group as “Residential” and stating in the Scope of Work description that you are building an ADU.

Along with the application, you will be required to submit signed and sealed building plans, three site plans.  These should all be generated by your contractor.

Of course, there is always a fee.  The fee will be determined by the Building Type and square footage of the ADU.  The building type will most likely be a Type III; this is a traditional wood frame construction.  The square footage will likely be over 250 but under 600, which is the maximum in many zoning jurisdictions.

Once the application is submitted, the building department will commence a site review.  If any issues arise, the building department will typically notify you to take action.  Otherwise, the permit will become approved after the site review.

Finally, a Notice of Commencement (NOC) will be filed with the clerk of the court.  The NOC will serve as a legal document which states the parties involved (homeowner and contractor).  It also identifies parties who will ultimately be liable for payments to contractors and sub-contractors.

From the time the application is submitted to the time of approval, a builder can expect to wait roughly two weeks assuming there are no permit holds.

Once the application is fully approved and the NOC has been filed, you will be ready to prepare the site for ground breaking!

Contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your property’s zoning.

Read 57322 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 14:47

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