Land Development Process
To develop property within the City of Tallahassee, you must determine that your project complies with all applicable development codes. The following page gives a brief description of the various steps in the review process. Review the Team Area Map to determine the Growth Management members to work with.
Also check out the Top 10 Ways to Speed Up the Permitting Process.
The first step in the process is to determine if your project, at the location proposed, is an allowable use under the terms of the Zoning Code. To do this, you must apply for a Land Use Compliance Certificate. Your application must show where, what and how much you intend to build and what you intend to do with the finished project. The Growth Management Department will compare your proposed project with the land development standards for the property in question and determine if your project is allowable. The Land Use Compliance Certificate will specify what subsequent approvals your project must have.
There must be capacity in the public utilities and facilities to serve your project. Consequently, you must submit an application for a concurrency determination (PDF) to the Growth Management Department. The application must show the impact your project will have on public facilities, such as streets, water, sewer, solid waste, transit, stormwater and parks. Your project's impact will be compared with the available capacity of these facilities. If there is adequate capacity, you will receive a "Concurrency Certificate," which is required prior to any subsequent approvals. For further details, please contact the Concurrency Management Division of the Growth Management Department at 891-7100.
For more about concurrency and the review process, be sure to visit our Concurrency FAQ page.
In most cases, proposed new construction, additions to existing buildings, or conversions of existing buildings are required to go through concurrency review as a part of the development approval process. The purpose of the concurrency review is to determine whether there is enough capacity on the roadway network, in stormwater ponds and in other public facilities to handle the impacts of a proposed project. In addition, through the concurrency review, a portion of the available capacity in the public facilities is reserved for the proposed project. The Concurrency Management System Policy and Procedures Manual (PDF) contains the regulations related to concurrency review.
The Concurrency Application
A concurrency application (PDF) is the document that starts the concurrency review. A Concurrency Analyst is available to assist you in completing the application either by phone or on a walk-in basis.
Attachments to the Application
The following is a list of attachments which may be required to be included as a part of the concurrency application:
A copy of the Land Use Compliance Certificate (LUCC) - Every project (except single family homes, duplexes and most renovations) must be issued a LUCC before it receives any other development approvals. The LUCC will certify that the proposed project is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan and will specify the type(s) of review a project is required to go through.
The amount of development specified on the LUCC must be of equal or greater size than that which is proposed in the concurrency application. If the LUCC does not have concurrency specified, then the project generally does not have to go through concurrency review.
A completed ownership affidavit (PDF) - An ownership affidavit is a notarized legal document that certifies that the applicant for a concurrency determination is either the owner of the property or an agent working on the owner's behalf.
A site plan - The site plan for concurrency review should show the location of existing and proposed buildings, parking areas, project access points and adjacent streets (no site plan is required for use changes without construction).
A transportation analysis (Form TA) (PDF) - If a project will produce more than 100 P.M. peak hour vehicular trips, a traffic analysis prepared by an engineer must be attached to the application. The applicant will be advised by the Land Use & Environmental Services Division -Concurrency Management Section if it appears the proposed project will generate more than 100 P.M. peak hour trips.
A stormwater analysis (Form SA) (PDF) - Generally, a new project or major addition/redevelopment on more than 2 acres is required to have a professional engineer do an off-site stormwater analysis. Projects on more than 2 acres that consist of three or fewer single family homes or six or fewer multi-family homes are not required to have an engineer do an off-site stormwater analysis for concurrency review.
A check for the concurrency review fee (PDF) - The concurrency review fee partially off-sets the City's cost for reviewing concurrency applications: The fee is as follows:
- Residential review: $232 for the first dwelling unit and $21 for each additional dwelling unit;
- Non-residential review: $178 for the first 1,000 square feet and $37 for every additional 1,000 square feet (round square feet up to next 1,000 square feet);
- Stormwater review (if required): $770.
In order to preserve our natural environment, the Comprehensive Plan mandates that significant environmental features be identified and preserved prior to land development. For all sites that contain environmental features, an Natural Features Inventory (PDF) is required. This inventory, prepared by you and confirmed by the Growth Management Department, will identify and delineate all of the significant existing environmental features, such as wetlands, water courses, significant forests, endangered species, and sink holes. If your site does not contain environmental features, you may request an inspection and waiver (PDF).
If a project consists of the subdivision of property so that individual lots can be sold, subdivision approval is required. The approval process, and time required, will vary based on the size of the subdivision and other factors.
The City's land development codes provide special incentives for redevelopment projects, in the form of exemptions from some concurrency, stormwater, landscape, parking and buffer requirements.
The City's land development codes also provide special incentives for redevelopment projects that are planned and built to be affordable for families and individuals with incomes below the median income for Leon County. For more information on these incentives, please contact the Housing Assistance Division in the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services at 891-6500.
Final Plat Recording
If your project involves the subdivision of property, it will be necessary for you to complete all public facilities and to submit a final plat of the subdivision prior to applying for any building permits. The public facilities will include the streets, stormwater ponds, water and sanitary sewer mains. The final plat must be approved by the Growth Management Department, the City Engineer, City Water Utilities and the City Commission and be recorded in the public records of Leon County. For more information, please contact the Land Use and Development Coordination Unit of the Growth Management Department at 891-7001 or the City Engineer at 891-8234.
Site plan approval is required for all projects except single family houses, duplexes, triplexes, quadraplexes and commercial projects of less than 1,000 square feet. Depending on the size of your project, its proposed use, its location and other factors, the approving authority and process will vary. The site plan process for your project will be specified on your Land Use Compliance Certificate.
After receiving your land use approval, in the form of a subdivision or site plan, you are ready to secure approval of your final construction plans, in the form of Environmental Management and Building permits. To apply for an Environmental Management permit (PDF), which will allow you to begin site work, you must show details of your stormwater systems and landscape plans. Further, you must show how you plan to protect the trees on your site and prevent erosion during construction. For more details, please contact the Environmental Services Division of the Growth Management Department at 891-7100.
The majority of Stormwater Management Facilities are owned and maintained by private individuals within the City of Tallahassee. It is those owners that are responsible for the operation and maintenance of the stormwater operating ponds. Stormwater Operating Permits are issued by the City of Tallahassee Growth Management Department and must be renewed every three years. Also check out our Operation & Management of Stormwater Management Facilities brochure (PDF).
Building Permit Process
For any new construction, additions, alterations, or repairs with an estimated cost of labor and material greater than $1000 or is structural. Replacement of windows and doors is considered structural and will require a permit.
To apply for your Building permit, you must submit detailed plans for the building, including plans for the structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems. Separate permits will be required for each system.
A "Certificate of Occupancy," which will allow you to occupy your building, will be issued after you have completed all construction required by your permits and have paid all applicable permit and impact fees.
If you are building a new house, planning to make improvements or additions to your existing house, or if you need to make repairs to an existing house, a permit or permits will probably need to be secured from the Growth Management Department prior to construction. The permits, and the inspections associated with them, are to assure that the work is done according to the Building Code. By complying with the Building Code, you will have some assurance that your house is structurally sound and safe, and that the systems within your house (electrical, plumbing, gas, and mechanical) will work properly.
A contractor normally obtains all of the required permits for the work to be performed. As a property owner, you should require proof that the required permits are obtained before work begins. As an owner, you may obtain a permit if you occupy the building, do the work yourself or supervise the work done by licensed contractors, and will not offer the property for sale or lease for 1 year after the completion of the work.
The following is a brief summary of the various permits that may apply to what you wish to do; the information and fees that are required for each permit; and the inspection that will be necessary. A Growth Management Department staff person is available to review the project you have planned; to discuss with you what permits and inspections may be required; and to provide you with the application forms you will need.
Combination Residential Building and Environmental Permit:
Required for any new construction, additions, alterations, or repairs with an estimated cost of labor and material greater than $1000 or is structural. Replacement of a window(s) and/or a door(s) is considered structural and will require a permit. An environmental permit is required when development activity exceeds 1000 square feet of disturbed area. For projects less than 1000 square feet of disturbed area, a permit exemption shall be posted at the job site. You may review a sample copy of this permit application, which also includes submittal requirements. View as a PDF.
Required for any repairs or roofing with an estimated cost of labor and material greater than $300. View as a PDF.
Required when any new electrical circuits are added, extended or service is changed. View as a PDF.
Required when any new piping, re-piping, fixtures are added or changed, including backflow devices. View as a PDF.
Required when any heating or air conditioning equipment is being extended, relocated or changed out, including ductwork. No permit is required for the installation of window A/C units. View as a PDF.
Required for any new gas piping, extending existing gas piping, or the installation or replacement of gas appliances (only a contractor licensed may apply for this permit). View as a PDF.
PLEASE NOTE: Each construction trade requires its own permit. Additional forms, checklist and affidavits may be foundon our Applications and Forms page.
View as a PDF.
1. Environmental Inspection - Residential Only (891-1800):
- First environmental (602): Inspection is made in conjunction with the first building inspection to ensure proper installation of sediment and erosion control barriers.
- Throughout the project sediment & erosion control barriers are monitored. (602)
- Final Inspection (604): Can be made with the final building inspection.
2. Building Inspection (891-1800):
- Footing Inspection (100): Required when separate concrete footings are being poured. The inspection should be made after the trenches have been dug and reinforcing steel is in place, and prior to actually pouring the concrete.
- Slab Inspections (105): Required when a concrete slab or a monolithic slab/footing is to be poured. The inspection should be made after all formwork, termite treatment, vapor barriers, reinforcing steel and applicable rough plumbing inspections have been completed, but prior to pouring the concrete slab.
- Exterior Sheathing Inspections (106): To be made during or after the roof and wall sheathing is applied, and before covering with felt or siding.
- Framing Inspection (107): To be made after all the construction is dried in and after all applicable rough electrical, plumbing, mechanical and gas inspections have been made. There should be no insulation installed prior to the framing inspection.
- Insulation Inspection (109): To be made once the required insulation is installed. Blown in attic insulation will be inspected during the final inspection.
- Final Inspection (900): To be made after all work is complete. Electrical, plumbing, roofing, driveway, mechanical and gas inspections may be made prior to the final building inspection.
3. Roofing Inspection (891-1800):
- New, Additions, and Reroofs for Townhouse or Duplex (917): The inspection is to be done, if possible, during the installation of the roofing, but in any case, prior to the final building inspection.
- ReRoof for Single Family - Detached only: A Nailing Inspection (115) is required, the spacing pattern should be 6" on center with 8-penny ring shank nails. The Secondary Barrier Inspection (116) is required, using an approved Type 226, type 1 or 2 felt, synthetic underlayment or for flat roofs, base sheet.
NOTE: The Nailing and Secondary Barrier Inspections MUST be inspected and approved prior to the installation of any Final roof covering (917). Once these have been approved the final covering may be installed and a final roof inspection scheduled.
4. Electrical Inspection (891-1800):
- Temporary Pole (500): If electrical power from the house cannot be used and temporary construction power is required, the temporary service pole must be inspected prior to the service being connected.
- Rough-In Inspection (200): To be made after all electrical boxes and rough wiring is installed.
- Electrical Release (501): All breakers, circuits and receptacles have been installed and completed. Address must be on building.
- Final Inspection (901): To be made once power is connected to residence and all electrical work has been completed and all electrical trim is installed.
5. Plumbing Inspection (891-1800):
- Rough-in Slab Inspection (401): To be made after all underground piping is in place and pressure test is applied, prior to covering of piping under slabs.
- Tub Set Inspection (403): To be made after all rough piping is installed, including tubs, and the system is filled with water or pressure test is applied.
- Sewer Inspection (400): If a new sewer connection is made, piping must be inspected prior to covering.
- Final Inspection (905): To be made after all plumbing work has been completed and all fixtures installed.
6. Mechanical Inspection (891-1800):
- Rough-in Inspection (301): To be made after all rough ductwork is installed and after any required condensate lines and exhaust vents are installed.
- Final Inspection (903): To be made after all connections and appliance are installed and complete.
7. Gas Inspection (891-7040):
- Rough-in Piping Inspection (300): To be made after all piping is in place and pressure test is applied.
- Gas Meter Set (502): To be requested with the Final Inspection. 24 hr notice for residential
- C. Final Inspection (902): To be made after all connections and appliance are installed and meter has been set.
8. Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) (891-7125):
After all inspections are finished a C.O. will be issued. A new house or addition cannot be occupied and permanent power cannot be provided without a C.O. This is the final step.
Customer Service Survey
Take Our Online Customer Service Survey
Growth Management Chat
Do you have a building, environmental, zoning or records question?
Live chat with a staff member any weekday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm!