- Planning and Zoning must confirm that your new proposed change for the building or space is approved for the type of business use.
- A request for Change of Occupancy or Use must be submitted along with design drawings showing the current life safety plan. This initial application may eventually require additional permits to make modifications to the building or space in order to comply with current codes.
- Upon receipt of a sufficient application and payment of required field safety evaluation inspections ($80.00), the Fire Marshal and Chief Building Official will conduct a field safety evaluation of the subject property.
- If the field safety evaluation reveals deficiencies or code violations, they must be corrected before a new Certificate of Occupancy or Use will be issued.
- Any remodeling or renovations require separate permit application(s).
- Trade permits may be required to be obtained by qualified licensed contractors to bring mechanical, electrical and/or plumbing systems up to code.
- A Change of Occupancy or Use may result in handicapped accessibility requirements related to entrances, accessible route to altered areas, at least one accessible restroom, accessible telephones and drinking fountains, and when possible, accessible parking.
- All violations/corrections shall be corrected prior to re-inspection AND/OR prior to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy or Use.
POLICY/PROCEDURE: In granting a Change of Occupancy or Use, the following steps indicate the sequence of approvals before a new Certificate of Occupancy can be issued:
- Land Use Verification Compliance
- Change of Occupancy /Use Application
- Safety Field Evaluations
- Certificate of Occupancy/Use Final Inspection
NO OCCUPANCY MAY OCCUR UNTIL THE CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY/USE FINAL INSPECTIONS ARE COMPLETE AND APPROVED.
In some cases this is a change to a completely different use than that which previously occupied the building. For example, a single-family dwelling conversion into a commercial office or a warehouse space into a restaurant. In other instances, this is a change in use within the same occupancy classification, but at a different occupancy level; for example, a new restaurant with an increased number of seats. It is important for these changes to be reviewed by the Planning and Development Department to ensure that the site can accommodate the type of use that is proposed, and most importantly, that the building meets all requirements for public health, safety, and general welfare.
Why Do I Need Drawings and a Design Professional? I Am Not Doing Any Work.
We often get this question, especially when a new tenant/owner does not anticipate any work to be performed.
When the scope of work includes a “change of use”, either in part or in whole, Chapter 10 of the Florida Building Code, Existing Building includes Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing requirements for a change of use. Compliance with these requirements must be demonstrated in the permit documents.
Field Safety Evaluations are performed between 11am and 2pm on Wednesdays. There are no specific or assigned times for inspections. You (or a duly designated representative) must be available on site when the inspectors arrive. If not, the inspection will be failed and a $40 re-inspection fee will be charged and must be paid prior to re-inspection.