Building and Zoning FAQs
Q. Why do I need a permit?
A. The Florida Building Code (101.3) states that the “code is to establish the minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare through structural strength… and to provide safety to fire fighters and emergency responders during emergency operations”.
Q. When is a permit required?
A. Per Florida Building Code (102.2), a permit shall apply to the construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, maintenance, removal and demolition of every public and private building, structure or facility or floating residential structure, or any appurtenances connected or attached to such buildings, structures or facilities.
Q. How much will my permit cost?
A. The cost of a permit varies depending on the permit type. Fee schedule is available on our web site.
Q. What happens if I choose not to obtain the required permits?
A. Building and Zoning Code Compliance will issue an advisory notice. Once a permit is obtained, the cost will be double for an After the Fact permit. Additionally, there may be fees for a third party engineering analysis if areas of work are concealed. If no action is taken, a Notice of Violation will be issued and could result in fines being levied.
Q. Do I need a contractor?
A. Not if you own and occupy the house. State statutes (489.103(7) allow the owners of real property to act as their own contractor. This exemption may only be used if you own and occupy the home. As an owner builder though, if you do not complete all of the work yourself, you must supervise the work, and hire licensed trade subcontractors (electrician, plumbing, a/c, and roof) in accordance with state law. Owners acting as their own contractor or listed as a subcontractor are required to personally appear and sign the permit application per Florida Statute 489.103(7).
Q. If I use a contractor, what guidelines should I use to choose one?
A. Ask for and check references, ask to see their state license. Check the number on the state website (www.myflorida.com) for any state complaints. If they ask you to secure the permit, beware. They may not be licensed, which puts the homeowner totally at risk.
Q. How long does it take to get a permit?
A. A permit application expires 180 days after the date of filing from approval date (105.3.2). Depending on workload, and all required documents are provided, a Building Permit can be obtained within 10 workdays. Minor projects are normally approved, or additional information requested, within 5 workdays.
Q. What happens after the permit is issued?
A. The list of required inspections is located on the bottom of the permit placard. Instructions on scheduling these inspections will be provided when your permit is issued. It is the applicants (Owner Builder/Contractor) responsibility to ensure that all required inspections are made prior to proceeding with work on the project. For new dwellings, once all fees are paid and all required inspections are completed, the applicant will be issued a CO (Certificate of Occupancy). Upon request, a COC (Certificate of Completion) for minor projects can be obtained.
Q. How much time do I have once the permit is issued?
A. Permits expire and become null and void if work is not started and an inspection requested within 180 days from the issuance date of the permit. After work has commenced the permit will expire when work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days. Lack of an approved inspection within this time will serve as validation that the job has been suspended or abandoned.
Q. Where is the permitting office?
A. We have two offices to serve you
Permit Center - DeLand
Open Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
123 W. Indiana Ave., Room 203, DeLand
Branch Office - Daytona Beach
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
250 N. Beach St., Room 104, Daytona Beach
Q. What is my property zoned?
A. If your property is in unincorporated Volusia County, a tax parcel number, street address or owner's name is required by the Zoning Technician to give you the information over the phone. The tax parcel number is found on your tax bill or tax receipt. It is a twelve digit number that assists the Zoning Technician in locating your property.
Q. What zoning related information do I need to provide on my building permit application?
A. A building permit application shall include a current parcel survey (signed and sealed by a professional land surveyor) and construction plans drawn to scale showing the shape and dimensions of the lot, any existing structures, size and location of the proposed structure, use of any existing structures, the intended use of each proposed structure, the number of dwelling units, and the location of any existing roads, any platted rights-of-way, any platted easements, water bodies, water courses, and wetlands.
Q. What are my building setbacks?
A. A building setback is the required distance that a building must be located from the property lines. Building setbacks are determined by your zoning classification. The Zoning Technician needs to determine the zoning of your property in order to give you the setbacks for buildings built or proposed on your property.
Q. Is my lot buildable?
A. Not all property is eligible for a building permit. The property must comply with subdivision regulations and have legal and physical access. The Zoning Technician can verify this for you when you provide a tax parcel number.
Q. Can my lot be subdivided?
A. Every zoning classification requires a minimum lot size. Each piece of property has a Zoning Classification and a Comprehensive Plan Future Land Use Designation. These two documents and the Volusia County Land Development Code, govern how a property can be divided. The Zoning Technician will need a tax parcel number to answer your inquiry.
Q. What is the difference between a manufactured and mobile home dwelling?
A. A manufactured home dwelling will bear a seal certifying that it is constructed to standards and rules adopted by the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA). A mobile home dwelling does not have this certification.
Q. Can I put a mobile home on my property?
A. Only certain zoning classifications allow mobile homes. The Zoning Technician needs to determine your property's zoning in order to answer this question.
Q. Can I run a business out of my home?
A. In most areas of unincorporated Volusia County, the zoning technicians can approve a Class A home occupation license. This approval will permit you to use a portion of your home as an office. It does not allow client visits or large deliveries of stock or commodities. The specific regulation regarding employees, equipment and storage of commodities is contained in Sec 72.283 of the Volusia County Zoning Ordinance 80-8, as amended. A copy of this Ordinance can be obtained from our office.
There are some planned unit developments that do not allow their residents to conduct a home business. If you reside in a planned unit development, call our office to find out if you are eligible for a Class A license. Remember you need to provide your tax parcel number.
Q. Where can I put a fence and how high can it be?
A. There is no setback required for a fence. The fence must be placed on the inside of your property line. In general, fences in residentially zoned areas, cannot exceed six feet along the rear and side lot lines of an interior lot and four feet along a front lot line. Regulations differ for waterfront lots, corner lots and lots abutting a golf course. Fences must be erected with the finished side facing the adjoining lot or any abutting right-or-way. Call the Zoning Office when planning your fence construction.
Q. Can I have a Community Residential Home in my neighborhood?
A. State and County law allows up to six unrelated people to reside in a house without any special permit from the Zoning Office. More than 6 unrelated people in a dwelling unit will require special exception approval from the Volusia County Council.
Q. Is a garage apartment allowed?
A. This may be allowed by special exception depending on the type of apartment you want to construct. The garage apartment must contain storage area for one or more motor vehicle and the associated living unit is limited to 800 square feet in area. Call the Zoning Office for the specific regulation for your zoning classification.
Q. What is the Resource Corridor Zoning Classification?
A. This classification was created to protect the areas of the county identified as Environmental System Corridor on the Future Land Use Map. Call the Zoning Office for specific information regarding your property.
Q. Where can I park my boat or RV?
A. In residential zoning classifications, boats, RV’s and utility trailers are required to be parked behind or beside the dwelling unit. They must be set back from the property lines at least five feet. For specific regulation contact the Zoning Office.
Q. How can I rezone my property?
A. Contact the Zoning Office and provide your tax parcel number. The Zoning Technician will verify your current zoning and future land use in order to inform you of your rezoning options. You may pick up a pre-application and a rezoning application form at our DeLand or Daytona offices. You may also download the Pre-Application Form or the Rezoning Application from our website. A pre-application meeting with a planner is the next step in the process. This meeting is at no cost to you and can be very helpful in the rezoning process.
Q. I want to put a storage shed in my back yard. How close to the property line can it be placed?
A. Typically, a storage shed must be located a minimum distance of 5 ft. from the property line. If your shed or storage building is over a certain square footage, then that structure must meet the same setbacks as the principal structure. However, if you live on a waterbody, a corner lot, agriculturally zoned property, or if your property is subject to easements, this could change. Again, please call to verify your zoning and your particular situation.
Q. Can I put a carport in front of my garage?
A. In most residential areas, a carport may only be placed in front of a residence if it is attached to the residence, and meets the front yard building setback requirement for the area in which it is constructed.
Q. Can I build a guest house on the same lot that I live on?
A. In some cases, yes. Guest houses are intended for temporary guests and as such these detached accessory buildings are not allowed to have a kitchen facility or separate utility meter. It is possible in some cases to re-subdivide the property and build a separate home on the new lot, but, as a rule, only one single family home may be built on a parcel of property. Under certain circumstances, a garage apartment may be built on your lot. Check with the Zoning Office for additional information.
Q. I have a lot of things to store. What is the largest storage shed I can put on my property?
A. The Ordinance does not reference a maximum size for storage sheds or other types of accessory structures. There is a 35% maximum lot coverage requirement for most residential areas that would include all buildings on the property. However, in residential classifications the cumulative square footage for accessory structures cannot exceed 50% of the principal structure square footage. Also, only one accessory structure over 500 square feet in area is allowed in residential classifications.
Q. I own the lot next to the one I live on. Can I put a storage shed on the vacant lot?
A. In most residential areas, you may build a storage shed or other types of accessory structures on an adjacent vacant lot only if you combine the 2 lots to 1 lot. This is accomplished through our Land Development Office and may also involve vacating any easements that may be between the lots.
Q. In residential zoning, can I build a garage or storage shed before I build my house?
A. Only if you have obtained a building permit for single family dwelling (the principal structure) first. In agricultural zones, a principal structure may consist of a barn or other agricultural building.
Q. Does my pool or other accessory structure have to meet the same setbacks as my house?
A. Generally, no. The pool or other accessory structure setbacks are usually less than the required principal structure setbacks but these accessory structures can only be located in rear or side yards, not in the required front yard area. Call the Zoning office for specific information regarding your property. In agricultural zones, setbacks are the same for all structures except those erected to protect fern or other agricultural crops.
Q. How many horses are allowed per acre of land?
A. No limit if zoned correctly. Horses are permitted in the following zoning classifications: A-1 (Prime Agriculture), A-2 (Rural Agriculture), A-3 (Transitional Agriculture), A-4 (Transitional Agriculture), RR (Rural Residential), RA (Rural Agriculture Estate), RC (Resource Corridor), FR (Forestry Resource), MH-3 (Rural Mobile Home), MH-4 (Rural Mobile Home), and MH-8 (Rural Mobile Home).
Q. Does my fence have to face "good side" toward neighbor?
A. Yes, fences must be located the "good side" facing out in residential classifications.
Q. Where may I obtain a copy of Volusia County Zoning Ordinance 80-8?
A. You can get a copy of the complete county Zoning code from Municipal Code Corporation. It can be ordered online, by mail (P.O. Box 2235, Tallahassee, FL 32316) or by phone at 1-800-262-2633. If you only need a specific zoning classification section, email your request to Zoning@volusia.org or stop by the Permit Center to pick up a printed copy of the classification. In addition, the Ordinance is accessible on the internet at www.municode.com.
Q. I live on waterfront property. Can I build a dock and boathouse?
A. Docks and boathouses are permitted on waterfront property, provided there is a principal building on the lot. Docks must be constructed no closer than 15 feet to the side lot lines, or their extension into the water. Boathouses may not have more than 500 square feet of area and shall not be higher than 15 feet above the mean high water mark. They may not be used for dwelling purposes or contain any sleeping or living quarters. Building permits are required and, in certain instances, permits will be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.