While coastal real estate is highly esteemed wherever you look, building upon that real estate can often mean following an added layer of rules and regulations. If you’re interested in building or renovating a home or business on coastal real estate in Florida, there are some guidelines you must follow in order to be considered up to code.
In this article, we break down several Frequently Asked Questions about coastal construction in Florida so you can move forward on your real estate plans with confidence.
While Coastal Construction is broken down by individual counties in Florida, it is regulated by the Coastal Construction Control Lines (CCCL) which articulate beaches and dunes in the area.
The CCCL exists as a means of protecting dunes, beaches, and subsequent wildlife from “imprudent construction” which may threaten the ecosystem, cause untimely erosion, and create unstable and unsustainable upland structures.
It’s important to note that you don’t always need a permit for repair or maintenance projects on existing buildings. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers existing structures the option to apply for a Request for Verification of Exemption form if they believe the work is within acceptable limits.
All construction that takes place seaward of the CCCL requires certain considerations for storm surges and inclement weather. For example, all structures built seaward of the CCCL must be built on piles deeply embedded in the ground that will remain structurally stable even after losing several feet of the surrounding earth. Called the “design storm elevation,” the structure must be high enough above sea level that any wind-driven waves will not make contact with the first horizontal beam, even during a tropical storm.
Before closing a deal on any structure or land seaward of the CCCL, it’s recommended that you have a surveyor assess the area to make sure everything is up to code. It’s also worth looking into the 30-Year Erosion Project Line. This line was created by looking at site-specific erosion data over time in coastal regions; seaward construction from the 30-Year Erosion Project Line is prohibited.
In order to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, local buildings must pass Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulations. The National Flood Insurance Program helps local homeowners to rebuild after a natural disaster, so it’s worth making sure your general contractor adheres to their building codes in order to be viable. For more information on building in flood zones in Florida, click here.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to answer some of your FAQ about coastal construction projects in Florida. While construction projects on the coast of Florida are not without their challenges, by adhering to national and local guidelines already put in place, you can build something to last for years to come. Curious to know more about storm-proofing Florida construction projects? Check out our recent article on the topic!
If you’re looking for a general contractor for your next big project, click here to get started!