Building & Permitting

Mission Statement

To ensure compliance with Federal, State, County, and City of Okeechobee building codes, laws, policies, and local ordinances related to construction, planning and zoning, setbacks, code enforcement and other building related activities.

To provide a friendly, welcoming customer service atmosphere while at the same time being mindful of our duty to protect the life, health, and welfare of our community.

To provide the highest quality public service as we work with contractors, residents and their representatives in the support of resident’s applications for development and/or building permits. We recognize our growth and strength depends on the safety and economic value of the homes, buildings and infrastructure that serve our citizens.


The Building Department processes permit applications, including required plan reviews; issues building permits; schedules required inspections for compliance with the Florida Building Code; assesses potentially dangerous structures, and posts unsafe notices as needed.

Inspects building projects in the process of construction, alteration, or repair for compliance with building codes requirements and for application of local, state and national practices.

Responsible to ensure that all Code Enforcement regulations and conditions are met by contractors and residents and if not, to prepare appropriate summaries of violations and recommend action to the Code Enforcement Officer and/or Special Magistrate.

Reviews building related requests to appear before the City’s Technical Review Committee.

The department interfaces with contractors, developers, citizens, design professionals, and staff to resolve building or code related questions or concerns, and maintains all permitting records as required by state laws.


Forms - Can be located under the Resources tab, then City Forms

Helpful Links

Contact Information

Patty Burnette
General Services Director
(863) 763-9821 

Keli Trimnal
Planning & Zoning
(863) 763-9824

Theresa Forde
Administrative Secretary
(863) 763-9821

Jeff Newell
Building Official
(863) 763-9821

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a building permit?

A. The Florida Building Code (FBC), adopted by FS 553.73, requires a building permit prior to construction. The FBC shall contain or incorporate by reference all laws and rules which pertain to and govern the design, construction, erection, alteration, modification, repair, and demolition of public and private buildings, structures, and facilities and enforcement of such laws and rules.

Q. What is the purpose of the Florida Building Code (FBC)?

A. The FBC is the minimum standard allowed for construction of building therefore providing for the protection of safety, health and general welfare of the public. The FBC encompasses provisions or requirements for public and private buildings, structures, and facilities relative to structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, energy, gas systems, existing buildings, historical buildings, manufactured buildings, elevators, coastal construction, lodging facilities, food sales and food service facilities, health care facilities, including assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, hospice residential and inpatient facilities and units, facilities for the control of radiation hazards, public or private educational facilities, swimming pools, and correctional facilities and enforcement of and compliance with such provisions or requirements.

Q. What happens if I do not obtain the required permits?

A. Any person who commences any work on a building structure, electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system before obtaining the necessary permits shall be subject to a fee established by the Building Official that shall be in addition to the required permit fees.

Q. Do I need a contractor?

A. If you own and occupy the home, you do not need a contractor. State law allows the owners of real property to act as their own contractor. The exemption may only be used if you own and occupy the home. You will be required to provide the Owner/Builder Affidavit when applying for your permit.

Q. How much does a permit cost?

A. Permit fees vary depending on the work and estimated cost. Please reference our Fee Schedule found under City Forms.

Q. Can I apply for a permit online?

A. No, online permit applications are not available at this time.  Permit applications may be completed and turned in by person, fax or postal mail.

Q. How long does it take to obtain my permit?

A. The FBC allows thirty (30) days for review and approval.  Generally, we can return a permit within 3-5 business days. Projects requiring a larger plan review or review by the Fire Department may take 2-3 weeks depending on workload.

Q. How much time do I have to complete my work?

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.

Q. How many sets of plans are required?

A. Two (2) plans are required for Residential permits.
Three (3) plans are required for Commercial permits.

Q. What is Product Approval and when is it required?

A. A Florida Product Approval is a product that has been evaluated and approved by the Florida Building Commission for use within the State of Florida.  Typically, you can obtain it from the retail store where you purchase the products. Be sure they are current and approved. You can also search at

Product approval is required for, but not inclusive of, roofing materials, siding, windows and exterior doors.  Two copies are needed for residential and three copies for commercial.

Q. How do I register as a new contractor?

A. Okeechobee County is the licensing agent for both the County and City. We have provided a New Contractor Form on the website under City Forms designating what we need as well as the County. 

Q. What types of payment options are available?

A. Presently we accept only check (payable to the City of Okeechobee) or cash payments.