COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT
The Community Development Department is responsible for planning, zoning, reviewing building plans, issuing building permits, building inspections, enforcing the Town Code and reviewing applications for occupational licenses. The department is composed of two divisions Planning and Building, with the department being administered by the Community Development Director.
The department strives to improve its response to the citizens' needs without sacrificing safety and well-being. The department is actively pursuing the challenge presented by the mandates imposed by the State of Florida Comprehensive Plan.
The authority and statutory requirement for the Town of Lake Park to maintain and operate a Building Division are contained in Chapters 205, 471, 481, 489, and 553 of the Florida Statutes, as well as numerous county and local codes and ordinances. The major programs/functions of the division - Permitting, Plan Review, Field Inspection and Occupational Licensing - are described below. Implementation of the Standard Building Code by the staff requires continuous training and certification of all inspectors and plan reviewers. Our goal is to improve interaction with the public through public announcements and the speakers' bureau, which will be offered to various homeowners' associations and civic groups.
PERMITTING - Its purpose is to ensure that all the requirements of our adopted technical codes as well as other pertinent state, county and local ordinances are complied with. Other duties include the collection of state, county and local fees, issuance of alarm permits, garage sale permits, and other informational services for the general public. Chapters 489 and 553 of the Florida Statutes specifically require local governments to enforce minimum building codes and standards through the issuance of building permits.
PLAN REVIEW - The review of construction documents is required prior to the issuance of permits in order to ensure compliance with all codes, ordinances, rules, and regulations. This includes building, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, gas, sign, contracting, handicap, energy, flood, zoning, landscaping and other codes. Permits are issued based on construction documents that comply with codes.
FIELD INSPECTION - On-site inspections are performed to ensure that building construction complies with codes, ordinances, rules and regulations. Certificates of Occupancy are required by state statute as a condition of occupancy. Other functionsinclude the inspection of existing structures for minimum construction standards, inspections for occupational license applicants and review of contractor licenses.
OCCUPATIONAL LICENSES - This function provides for the safe and orderly business activities within the Town boundaries by the issuing of occupational licenses. Monitoring of existing business activities is accomplished through the annual inspection of every business establishment.
PLANNING - One of the primary jobs of the Planning staff involves the review of site plans for all new development and most redevelopment activities in the Town. The Planning staff coordinates site plan reviews with other Town departments, such as Police, Fire, and Public Works and develops recommendations for consideration by the Planning and Zoning Board. They also work with property owners and developers to explain the kind of development the Town desires. The Town's Comprehensive Plan contains a set of long range goals, objectives and policies that describe a vision of the Town's future. It addresses all aspects of the Town, such as land uses, environmental issues, housing, transportation, recreation facilities and other infrastructure systems. The planning staff keeps the plan up-to-date and uses it as a guide for making decisions about development issues. The staff and consultants are developing a new updated comprehensive plan which should be completed this year. Part of this job is to work with the Florida Department of Community Affairs to ensure that the new plan meets the state's planning requirements.
ZONING - The Town's Zoning Code is a set of regulations for how land can be used and developed. It contains regulations on the commercial, industrial and residential use of land and includes specific requirements, such as how far a building must be setback from the street, what types of businesses may locate in a particular area of town and the landscaping. The staff works with residents and business owners when new buildings or renovations to existing buildings are proposed to ensure that zoning requirements are met.
REDEVELOPMENT - The Community Development Department administers the Town's Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). This is a Board made up of the five Town Commissioners and two local business owners. The purpose of the CRA is to eliminate blight conditions in the Town by planning and implementing improvements to infrastructure (drainage, streets, parks, etc.) and managing programs that encourage the private sector to improve property and attract new businesses.
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