Coral Gables, known for strict building standards and design review almost down to the doorknob, is bringing the building permit process to residents’ doorsteps.
The City Beautiful has created a mobile permitting program that brings the process and paperwork directly to elderly residents, residents with disabilities and those with transportation restrictions or other hardships.
The program was developed by city staff members and has already reached more than 35 residents. Building director Bill Miner said at a recent meeting that the program also developed after resident feedback at focus group meetings last year.
“It’s an initiative to move a portion of the building department out of City Hall and out to the community,” Miner said.
Currently the service is for elderly residents who are 65 and older and can also be recommended through the City Commission or other staff members.
The program is also specific to building permits for smaller projects like kitchen and bathroom renovations, replacing indoor finishes like flooring and drywall, and for work like power washing, painting and landscaping.
The city staff also hopes the program can help in closing out open permits and bringing properties into code compliance.
So far, on average, the city staff’s mobile permit appointments have taken about one hour each.
Residents and developers planning larger and more complex renovations will still have to go to City Hall.
For information on the program and eligibility requirements, contact the development services department at 305-460-5235.