The Leon County Commission voted to move forward with a revised building fee methodology and a building permit fee study.
More specifically, the Commission voted to implement a flat fee methodology for the issuance of residential building permit fees to further expedite the plan review process and simplify how fees are calculated and to proceed with an overall building fee study.
The results of the fee study and recommendations would be addressed as part of next year’s budget development process.
The agenda item notes that the Tallahassee Builders Association’s (TBA) Government Affairs Committee gave a unanimous endorsement at their October 3, 2019 meeting to both the proposed new methodology and proceeding with an updated building fee study.
The new approach implements a two part process to modify the current fee structure.
The first part would increase permitting efficiencies by implementing a flat fee structure based on the square footage of the residential unit immediately. While this methodology change would normally be associated with an overall fee study, given the significant benefits to the builders it is recommended to proceed immediately with the new method.
Also, as part of the analysis, a review was conducted of other Florida jurisdictions to identify best practices regarding the permit fee methodology. The analysis concluded that most jurisdictions in Florida use the flat fee assessment methodology based on square footage of the structure.
The second part involves conducting a building fees study to ensure the fees are properly set to recover the cost of the program. In addition to reviewing the residential fees, the fee study would address all building fees, including commercial, roofs, pools, etc.
The proposed building inspection flat fee and plan review fee assessment methodology is anticipated to:
•Reduce the time-frames associated with building plan review;
•Expedite, streamline and clarify the calculation of building permit fees;
•Provide transparency to the public by allowing the means to calculate the permit fees before submitting a building permit application; and
•Be revenue neutral.
The Leon County Commission has a goal of eight (8) working days for new single-family building permit issuance.