Building and Permitting

COVID-19 NOTICE:  

Monroe County offices are closed to the public until further notice and will be reviewed continually.  All essential services, like solid waste, social services, animal control, and emergency management, will continue to operate. 

County Building Department 

Monroe County Building Department (the Department) is closed to the public for permitting, plan review and inspections until further notice with extensions as needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THIS INFORMATION MAY CHANGE AT ANY TIME.

ISSUANCE OF PERMITS APPLIED FOR PRIOR TO OFFICE CLOSURES:

Beginning Monday April 13, 2020, if a permit applied for prior to the County office closures is in Ready (meaning all plan reviews have been completed and it has been prepared for issuance by a Customer Service Representative), County Staff will email the contractor / owner / agent information, as usual, indicating whether any additional documents are needed and the fee required for permit issuance.

  1. The contractor/owner/agent should mail (US Mail) in the original documents required with a check in the amount requested.
  2. County staff, upon receipt, will print the permit via U.S. mail to the contractor/owner/agent to sign and return.
  3. The contractor/owner/agent should mail the signed permit package to the County.
  4. County staff, upon receipt, will print the permit hard card and mail to the contractor/owner/agent.

 Building Permit Inspections

The IVR inspection line will open on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 8 am for scheduling inspections.  

However, at this time we Final Building Inspection Codes 04082020are only performing FINAL INSPECTIONS on NEW CONSTRUCTION (not for jobs related to repairs / replacement / remodels) that are lacking passed inspections for closure or the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.).





  • No inspections will be performed in occupied buildings.  
  • We cannot guarantee a 24 hour turn around for these inspections.  
  • For both your protection and that of our inspectors, we ask that you use electronic communication and social distancing before and during inspections. Inspectors will call the contact phone # associated with the permit prior to their arrival.  
  • Please 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.  
  • If an inspection is requested that does not meet the guidelines (e.g. you call in an inspection on an occupied dwelling that requires entry into an occupied structure), the inspection will be cancelled.  
  • Inspectors may ask for plans, permit conditions, and/or permit card, 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 breaker in panel, a photo may be requested by the inspector.

Alternative inspection options available:

  • PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS
  • ARCHITECTS
  • PRIVATE PROVIDERS

The Building Official hereby requests that Professional Florida Engineers and Architects provide inspection services only for job sites with active existing permits for purposes of satisfying F.S. 471.045 and 481.222, if owners chose this option. Private Providers may also offer inspection services as defined below if owners chose this option.

In order to accommodate our customers and their intentions to safely proceed with inspections during this time. These options are available for active building permits.  Inspections may be resumed by the Department once normal operations are reinstated; if a permit holder retains a professional engineer or architect to conduct inspections. Inspections will not be resumed by the Department, if a private provider takes over inspections.

If you are interested in having your existing job sites inspected under these three alternatives, while the County inspections are closed, please contact Elba Ramirez at  (305) 295-3993.  The following email accounts are available for these services only:

  • upperkeysinspections@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov
  • lowerkeysinspections@MonroeCounty-FL.Gov

Flood Inspections and Certificate of Elevation

Floodplain inspections may not be conducted by an Engineer, Architect or Private Provider. Contact the Building County staff noted below and they will make every attempt possible to provide inspection services as staff resources are available for issued active permits.   Additionally, any permit holder (contractor or owner builder) who requires a 21-day elevation certificate and final elevation certificate must contact:

  • Karl Bursa at Bursa-Karl@monroecounty-fl.gov for upper keys or 
  • Mary Wingate at Wingate-Mary@monroecounty-fl.gov for lower keys.

Planning and Environmental Resources Biological Inspections

The Planning & Environmental Resources Department inspections may not be conducted by an Engineer, Architect or Private Provider. County staff will make every attempt possible to provide inspection services as staff resources are available for issued active permits. 

The IVR inspection line will open on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 8 am for scheduling inspections.  Planning and Environmental (Bio) inspections can be called into the IVR system. The Planning Director will determine if inspections can be provided on a case by case basis. We will do our best to complete inspections as staff resources are available.

Fire Inspections

Fire inspection on building permits may not be conducted by an Engineer, Architect or Private Provider.  The Fire Marshal’s Office is available to perform inspections for building permits. 

The IVR inspection line will open on Friday, April 10, 2020 at 8 am for scheduling inspections.  Fire inspections can be called into the IVR system.  Any concerns, please email Ms. Zully Hemeyer at Hemeyer-Zully@MonroeCounty- FL.Gov . 

6 Month Permit Extension Related 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.

Executive Order 20-52 Extension Form

PERMIT INVESTIGATIONS

For those requesting Permit investigations to determine whether permits can be closed, we are performing this service. During this time when the offices are closed you must submit both the request form and payment (only check payments accepted) via U.S.  Mail only to:  Monroe County Building Department, 11601 CR 905, Key Largo, FL 33037.  

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Effective December 31, 2017

All building plans submitted must comply with the Florida Building Code SIXTH Edition. Details on flood provision changes in the new edition.

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Permit Expiration Related to Hurricane Irma

Executive Order(s): 17-235, 17-287, 17-330, 18-51, 18-122, 18-149, 18-182, 18-213, 18-237, 18-280, 18-361, 19-34 UPDATE: May 29, 2019, February 5, 2019, December 10, 2018

Governor Ron DeSantis issued an additional extension to Executive Order 17-235, therefore, all building permits active on Sept. 4, 2017 in Monroe County will receive a total of 600 days related to Hurricane Irma. There is no action required on behalf of the permit holder. 

For those seeking an additional six-month extension in addition to the 600 days, a written request for this extension is required. 

If the permit has been awarded the six-month extension these additional 60 days will be added to your extension without the need for you to contact County staff.

PLEASE NOTE: If a permit has received a passed required inspection during the granted extended time then the extension is no longer applicable and the permit is subject to the normal Florida Building Code 180-day passed inspection cycle.

Permit Extension Notice

Florida Legislature may annually provide law to allow extensions to issued building permits. In order to be eligible, the permit must have an expiration date as noted for the specific legislative extension, and application for the extension to the authorizing agency must be received by the specified due date in the legislation. See Extension Summary and available application on our Building Department Webpage under Extension Requests.

This authorization of permit extension is for any development order or a building permit issued by a local government (county or municipality) and permits issued pursuant to part IV of Chapter 373 Florida Statutes by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), or a water management district.

Not covered by this extension are permits determined to be in significant noncompliance with the conditions of the permit as established through action by the authorizing agency or permits that, if granted an extension, would delay or prevent compliance with a court order.

Other Resources for Hurricane Impacted Permitting

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Responsibilities

The Building Department is responsible for administering and enforcing all ordinances applicable to building, construction, blasting, and explosives as defined in the Monroe County Code.

Building officials are charged with administering and ensuring compliance with building codes. They issue building and construction permits and certificates of occupancy and supervise blasting within the county.

Inspections

Inspectors are assigned to county offices in Marathon and Key Largo. At specified stages during building construction, the builder/contractor must request an inspection. Inspections are necessary before proceeding with construction and prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.

Federal Rules for Renovating & Painting Older Buildings

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has new 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. Fortunately, these rules only require safety procedures, not testing or removing lead-based paint. However, property managers and contractors can be fined $38,000 a day for violating these new rules.

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 statues that is consistent with and furthers the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan.