How Do I Start My Project?

Depending on its complexity, the building project will require that the City’s Planning & Zoning, Public Works, Fire Prevention and Building Departments review and approve the project.

The Planning & Zoning Department prepares, updates, and maintains neighborhood and Citywide plans and technical data for the City pursuant to Florida Statues and City Codes. The Division is divided into four distinct sections: Planning, Zoning, Design and Historic Preservation. A project may require approval from the Design Review Board, Historic Preservation Board, Planning Board or Board of Adjustment.

For more information please visit the Planning & Zoning Department.

Public Works – Engineering Division performs design and drafting for plans and prepares specifications for improvements to the City’s infrastructure. The division maintains engineering and utility records. It performs inspections on the City’s bridges, seawalls, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water, and street lighting systems. The Survey Section within the division provides surveys, legal descriptions, construction layouts, line and grade for water and sewer, streets, streetlights, and storm water improvements. The division also issues utility construction permits, reviews Planning and Zoning Board issues and also conducts building plans reviews.

For more information please visit the Public Works Department.

Fire Department – Fire Prevention Division is responsible for enforcing the Florida Fire Prevention Code by providing plan review and inspection services. In order to ensure occupant safety and property protection, the Fire Department is involved in the majority of all Building Permits issued by the City. This Division also issues permits for any work performed pertaining to fire protection systems.

For more information please visit the Fire Prevention Department.

Permitting and Inspection permit is the document that issues consent to move forward on a building project. Qualified professionals have examined the impact a project is likely to have on available resources and infrastructure. Roads, bridges, water, sewer and fire services are examples of the services a project may impact.

The permitting process begins with the review of plans and ends with a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion. The City of Miami Beach Building Department administers most of the processes for projects occurring within the City of Miami Beach.

Permitting involves four main parts:

  • Application Process
  • Plans Review Process
  • Getting the Permit
  • Inspections

Application ProcessThe City of Miami Beach is guided by the Florida Building Code.

Section 105.1 states:Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit.

Exemptions are as follows:
Section 102.2 states:The provisions of the Florida Building Code shall apply to the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every public and private building, structure or facility or floating residential structure, or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings, structures or facilities. Additions, alterations, repairs and changes of use or occupancy group in all buildings and structures shall comply with the provisions provided in FBC (Existing Buildings Volume).The following buildings, structures and facilities are exempt from the Florida Building Code as provided by law, and any further exemptions shall be as determined by the legislature and provided by law:

  • Building and structures specifically regulated and preempted by the federal government.
  • Railroads and ancillary facilities associated with the railroad.
  • Nonresidential farm buildings on farms.
  • Temporary buildings or sheds used exclusively for construction purposes.
  •  Mobile or modular structures used as temporary offices, except that the provisions of Part V(Section 553.501-553.513, Florida Statutes)relating to accessibility by persons with disabilities shall apply to such mobile or modular structures.
  • Those structures or facilities of electric utilities, as defined inSection 366.02, Florida Statutes, which are directly involved in the generation, transmission, or distribution of electricity.
  • Temporary sets, assemblies, or structures used in commercial motion picture or television production, or any sound-recording equipment used in such production, on or off the premises.
  • Chickees constructed by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida or the Seminole Tribe of Florida. As used in this paragraph, the term “chickee” means an open-sided wooden hut that has a thatched roof of palm or palmetto or other traditional materials, and that does not incorporate any electrical, plumbing, or other non-wood features.

The following is required for submission of a complete Permit Application:

  1. Fill out a Work Permit Application, including a folio number (13 digit number from property tax statement or Miami-Dade County Property Appraisers) or online at Miami-Dade Property Information.
  2. Submit (2) sets of plans for review at the Permit Counter to obtain a processing number. Plans submitted must be considered 100% complete to qualify for plan review.Click here to obtain a list of Projects Required to be Signed and Sealed by a Design Professional.
  3. A non-refundable upfront permit fee is due prior to the review of any applications or plans submitted.  The upfront fee is 20% of the permit fee. Once all reviews have been completed and your plans signed off, the outstanding balance of your permit must be paid prior to the issuance of your permit and permit card.
    Please click on  Permit Application Submittal Checklist to get a copy of the permit submittal requirements for your review.

Plans Review The City of Miami Beach Development Review Departments which include the Building Department, Planning & Zoning Department, Public Works Department and the Fire Prevention Department aim for a 30-day review time for residential projects and 60 days for multi-family and commercial projects. Review periods will vary depending on the City’s workload.

Deficiencies in plans will cause delays in the issuance of permits. Customers must remedy deficiencies, resubmit revised plans and obtain approval from the required agencies.

When building a new structure or remodeling an existing structure in the City of Miami Beach, plans may have to undergo the following reviews:

  • Building/Accessibility;
  • Structural;
  • Mechanical;
  • Electrical;
  • Plumbing;
  • Flood Plain Compliance;
  • Elevator;
  • Planning & Zoning;
  • Public Works;
  • Fire Prevention.

In addition, plans may be reviewed by the following external agencies:

  • Environmental Resource Management (DERM);
  • Department of Environmental Protection (DEP);
  • Miami-Dade Water & Sewer;
  • Florida Department of Health;
  • Army Corp of Engineers;
  • South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD);

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

If the plans are rejected (3) three times, the Owner, design team and the reviewers must meet with the Building Official before any further reviews are allowed.