Building and Permitting

Monroe County offices are closed to the public until at least April 6 and will be reviewed continually. All essential services, like solid waste, social services, animal control, and emergency management, will continue to operate. County staff directory can be found at www.monroecounty-fl.gov/directory

County Building Department 

Monroe County Building Department (the Department) is closed for permitting, plan review and inspections until April 6, 2020 with extensions as needed. THIS INFORMATION MAY CHANGE AT ANY TIME. During this time, no building permit applications will be processed in any capacity, which includes issuance, revisions, updates, and corrections. In addition, the Department will not be conducting plan reviews or inspections during this time frame. 

In order to offer the ability for existing permitted work to continue we have three alternatives 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. The following 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.

Any permit holder (contractor or owner builder) who requires a 21-day elevation certificate and final elevation certificate, contact Karl Bursa at Bursa-Karl@monroecounty-fl.gov for upper keys or Mary Wingate at Wingate-Mary@monroecounty-fl.gov for lower keys.

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

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. Work on an active permit may NOT proceed if a Pre-Clearing Inspection (850) is required as identified on your permit conditions and issued permit card, and was not completed by a County Biologist prior to the closure of the County offices. This effort for ongoing inspections under COVID-19 is to provide a way for jobs already started to proceed. If a job hasn’t started it is on hold.

Other BIOLOGICAL and PLANNING inspections can be requested by email. Please send all requests (both Biological and Planning) to Environmental@monroecounty-fl.gov. Please indicate the Building Permit Number and the type of inspection(s) requested:

  • 863 Erosion/Sediment Control
  • 864 Pre Storm Bury
  • 865 Final Stormwater
  • 893 Final Landscaping
  • 894 Final Biological
  • 895 Final Planning

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.

Flood Inspections

The Flood 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.Please email Karl Bursa at Bursa-Karl@monroecounty-fl.gov for Upper Keys or Mary Wingate at Wingate-Mary@monroecounty-fl.gov for Lower Keys.

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.

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

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.