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Preparing a dock or other in-water project can be both exciting as well as intimidating. There’s a lot that goes into constructing a new dock, and half of it takes part before any of the actual building even starts! This is where FDEP Permits come in.

Unless you want to get slapped with a hefty fine and endure other unpleasant consequences, having the proper permits is an absolute necessity. In fact, you can’t even obtain a building permit until several others are first approved! The Florida Department of Environmental Protection requires that you obtain their FDEP permit before you begin construction on your project, but what other reasons make this type of permit a must-have?

FDEP Permits are Required for Building Permits

Before you can even think about starting construction, you will need to secure a building permit from your local or city building department by applying for one. However, there’s another hurdle you need to overcome even before that, which is obtaining an FDEP permit. This is just one of several permits that are needed for any in-water works. You’ll also need an Army Corp Permit and a Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Permit. 

The land under the water where your dock will be built is owned by the state, so their approval of your project is required. Even in the very rare case where this land is owned by an individual, an FDEP Permit is still required as they have jurisdiction over the water itself. Most standard projects within reason are generally approved, but there can be exceptions. The FDEP will review your project to ensure that everything is up to their standards, and if all goes well, they will approve your project to proceed. Without securing the state’s approval, you won’t be getting anything from the building department, and your project will never see the light of day.

FDEP Permits Determine Your Building Guidelines

DEP permits come in a variety of different options, some of which might be better for your project than others. These parameter specifications regulate project builds, so you’ll need to figure out which one suits yours best.   

Types of DEP permits:

  • Exemption: This type of DEP permit is by far the easiest one to obtain, covering all the basic requirements like meeting certain size parameters based on square footage codes and height guidelines. Single-family residences most often use this type of permit because they are usually quick and simple to get, typically not taking more than thirty days.
  • General: General DEP permits are slightly more difficult to obtain, as well as being more expensive than Exemption Permits. However, they allow for greater flexibility in terms of what can be done, like the ability to build up to 2,000 square feet on open water as opposed to the standard 500 on open water and 1,000 in a canal, plus more dock shapes are accepted, allowing for a wider variety of building options.
  • Individual: Being mostly reserved for commercial projects that well exceed the shape and size restrictions, these permits are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. These projects might include structures like marinas.

Obtaining the right type of FDEP permit for your project will give you accurate parameter specifications based on the scope of your dock or other projects.

Need to Get an FDEP Permit?

FDEP Permits are crucial to obtain before starting construction on your project. Not only are they legally required, but they give you a basic guideline to follow before construction begins and also ensure the safety of the surrounding area on all fronts. The importance of acquiring these permits cannot be overstated, as the rest of your project is reliant upon their approval.

Want to know more about all the required permits you need to get your next Florida Keys project approved? We’re here to help. Suncoast Permits has years of experience and strong relationships that can get your project built. Contact us today to get started now!