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How to Build on Your Lot in Orlando

    • 1). Present sketch plans to the city planning office for review. Following the review, make any setback, height or any other changes to the plan recommended by the planning staff. Obtain a building permit and all other applicable permits such as electrical and plumbing, pay the required fees and start building. During constructioin, the building will require periodic inspections.

    • 2). Develop a sketch plan for submission to the city planning office for their informal review if you are planning a significant development such as a subdivision, a high-rise apartment complex or commercial development. Upon completion of their review make any necessary revisions and schedule a formal technical review meeting with your architect and engineer, the city planning staff and the public. This meeting is scheduled two weeks before the formal planning commission meeting. Orlando law requires property owners within 300 yards of the proposed development be notified by mail of the technical review so they may attend to provide input. Additionally, the land must be posted with a notice of the technical review meeting, according to Karl Wielecki, Orlando planning manager for land development.

    • 3). Attend the technical review meeting and present preliminary development plans to the planning staff and public. Both the planning staff and public will provide any additional input regarding the plan. Ask to be placed on the agenda of the next Planning Commission meeting.

    • 4). Present your final plans to the 11-member Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will hear your presentation and review the plans, taking into consideration planning and zoning laws, the planning staff's formal review and recommendations and hear additional input from residents. The Planning Commission is an advisory body so it will make a recommendation for approval or disapproval to City Council, which must provide final approval of the plan to develop your property. The Planning Commission can also make a conditional recommendation to City Council. In other words, it can approve the plans provided some final, usually minute, details are changed on the plans.

    • 5). Request to be placed on the next City Council meeting agenda for final approval. Present the plans with any changes, if conditional approval was given by the Planning Commission. When City Council approves the plans, obtain all necessary permits and pay all required fees.

    • 6). Begin building. A schedule of inspections will be established for electrical, plumbing, footings and other aspects of the building at which time a city inspector will view the work performed to make certain it complies with the approved plans and the city code. For example, an electrical and plumbing inspection must occur before the drywall is put in place to make certain the wiring and plumbing meets code.

    • 7). Complete construction and notify the city that the project is ready for final inspection. Many times, inspectors will find small problems and develop a "punch list" of items that must be corrected. Correct them and request a final inspection. If all is satisfactory, the city will issue an occupancy permit and you're done.

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