Storm damage results in permit fee waiver at Treasure Island | Beaches
TREASURE ISLAND – City commissioners have issued a temporary moratorium on the collection of certain building permit fees due to damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
Community development staff advised commissioners that a moratorium until Nov. 17 is needed as business people and residents need more time to assess damage to their property and report it to the city.
“Hurricane Ian created wind damage across the city between September 27 and 29. Due to Hurricane Ian’s high winds, commercial and residential structural repairs may be required,” Kathy said. Gademer, director of community development.
After a preliminary inspection around town, community development staff recommended temporarily waiving building permit fees for water and wind damage on specific types of construction and repair.
Gademer told the commissioners that a damage assessment team from the Department of Community Development conducted a survey and found residential and commercial structures damaged by the storm. Most structural repairs and replacements require a building permit.
She said waiving building permit fees “is in the best interest of the city…to help make permitting easier and faster and to help homeowners restore their property.” Permit fees will be waived until Nov. 17 to give building inspectors more time to document storm damage.
Gademer told commissioners that an initial damage assessment survey conducted from a city truck and looking only at the front of buildings, reported minimal damage, mostly to fences, soffits, fascias and gutters. “These may require a permit to fix or repair.”
However, she added, “While our damage assessment team was just in their truck driving around and looking at the front of the building, there is always the back of the buildings, the back- courtyards and waterfront courtyards, which we don’t know if there is any damage. We would like to have enough time to waive the construction fee until November 17th in case the owners want to come and talk to us of their storm damage, if any,” she added.
Commissioner John Doctor asked Gademer about the permit process for tree cutting. She said if a tree is still standing in the ground, depending on the tree and the health of the tree, they may or may not have to get a permit. If a tree is on the ground, no permit is required to cut it down.
Gademer said some trees are invasive, or some trees can be unhealthy and diseased, and possibly a danger to public safety. An arborist can cut down these trees, “but if it’s a healthy tree and a native tree, it needs a permit.”
Mayor Payne asked if staff should determine the damage was caused by Hurricane Ian or if someone putting up new fencing could apply for a permit and have it waived, ‘even if it wasn’t damaged. by the storm?”
Gademer said there must be ‘substantial evidence’ that it was damaged by the storm, and what will likely happen is that a building official will come out and inspect the damage before the permit is applied for. .
Commissioner Saleene Partridge has decided to temporarily waive building permit fees applied for building and repair items such as repairing and replacing walls, installing fences, removing trees, installing soffits, fascias and gutters, roof repair and replacement, electrical for meter bases and appliance surges.
The motion to declare a building permit moratorium on certain building permit fees until November 17 passed unanimously.