Some permitting processes may be expedited after a hurricane or other disaster if Lee County Commissioners declare an emergency and enact the county’s Emergency Permitting Procedure. This is outlined in Administrative Code 7-8, and specific accommodations depend on the extent of damage after the disaster.
In general, post-hurricane permitting is streamlined to allow the replacement of existing structures with limited review. However, most construction is still subject to meeting updated building codes. Permitting of projects related to storm damage may be given priority over the processing of other work.
During a named hurricane or other declared emergency, property owners may immediately secure their structures to ensure safety and to prevent additional damage before applying for a construction permit. As soon as possible, Community Development will post details about construction permitting on the department homepage or at the office at 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers; or call 239-533-8329.
Summary of Emergency Permitting Procedure for Storm Damage Repair
This procedure is made available to homeowners and contractors seeking building permits for storm damage repair as a result of a declared disaster. Homeowners may perform their own repairs. However, anyone hired to do repairs for the homeowner must be a properly licensed contractor. The homeowner should contact the Lee County Contractor Licensing Office (239-533-8895) prior to hiring a contractor, to assure the contractor is properly licensed to perform the work being requested.
Building Permit Procedure for Minor Damage (damage total less than $20,000)
Permits for minor damage, consisting of roof covering, screen enclosures, wood decks, doors, windows and other non-structural components may be obtained as follows:
A permit may be obtained upon the submission of an itemized list from the contractor or owner-builder stating the items to be repaired, with an accurate cost estimate of the repairs. It will be the responsibility of the owner-builder or contractor to request the required inspections from the Lee County Inspections Office (239-533-8997), or use an approved architect or engineer to perform the inspections and provide inspection reports to the Lee County Building Inspections Office.
Building Permit Procedure for Major Damage (damage total greater than $20,000)
Permits for minimal structural components such as damaged glass rooms, trusses on single family houses, cladding (roof and wall sheathing) and non-structural components, including mechanical (air conditioning), electrical and insulation, may be issued to a contractor or owner-builder upon submission of an itemized list signed and sealed by an approved architect or engineer.
Major Structural Damage
Building permits for collapsed roofing systems, destroyed walls, foundation damage, damage to beams, and other major structural components, will only be issued upon submission of detailed construction drawings prepared and sealed by an approved architect or engineer.
These procedures are designed to facilitate permitting during a major catastrophic event. These procedures may be subject to change, without notice, depending on circumstances which may occur during recovering from the catastrophic event.