By Noelle H. Lowery
The City of Marco Island’s Building Services Division is a very busy place. On any given day, the office is bustling with contractors and property owners applying for building permits, while phones ring and building officials meet to discuss plans and inspections.
In fact, the department is on track to receive more building permit applications this year than in any of the last five years, including for those permits pulled for new single-family homes which now stand at 71. Last week, Roy Lansdown, President of Panorama Home Services Inc., was on hand to receive a permit for a small condominium remodel his company is performing on Marco Island. His is the 5,000th building permit applied for in 2013.
At least 33 different types of permits are handled by Building Services, as well as countless inspections and plan reviews. According to Kim Ferris, the city’s Chief Building Inspector, permits are required for everything from building a new structure to replacing an air conditioning unit and a hot water heater. If you are going to put up a new fence or a screen enclosure, you better get permits for those projects too.
“We are busy all year,” notes Ferris.
To make the process easier, the city launched http://energov.cityofmarcoisland.com/CitizenAccess in February of 2012. This Citizen Access Portal allows contractors and residents to follow a project from design plan review to permit application to inspection and close-out. Folks can search for permits by address, permit number or project name and also see which projects will be inspected on a daily basis. In July 2012, the portal added a feature which automatically emails project inspection results to all contractors and subcontractors listed on a project. Soon, contractors will be able to apply for permits through the portal as well.
“All of the forms are on line as well as what is required,” explains Lisa Lee Loewer, the Customer Service Supervisor for Building Services. “Through the citizen access portal, you can look at permits and see the status of the permit and inspections.”