Permitting

Are you about to begin a new construction project and need to obtain a building permit? Are you looking for a great area to hold a special event? Are you going to be leasing a temporary outdoor space to have a sale? What about taking that new boat out on the water and launching at Misty Water Boat Launch? Is that oak tree finally ready to be cut and removed?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will need to obtain a City of Mary Esther permit. The Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department serves as the primary hub for permit applications and issues permits for construction and development, special events, solicitors, tree removal, temporary sale events and much more. Depending on the scope of your project or permit request, you may need to obtain permits from multiple City Departments. If you need assistance with a permit question, you may contact the Code Enforcement, Planning and Department at 850-243-3566 Option 3. If your question is in reference to Fire Department permitting, you may reach the Fire Department at 850-243-5632.

The City of Mary Esther Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department issues building permits for just about every type of construction. Permits that are issued by the city include but are not limited to:
  • Accessory structures
  • Additions
  • All construction
  • Alterations
  • Antennas/antenna towers
  • Boathouses
  • Bulkheads
  • Carports
  • Docks
  • Driveways
  • Fencing
  • Garages
  • Moving/demolition of buildings/structures
  • Parking areas
  • Remodeling
  • Repairs
  • Roofing/reroofing
  • Seawalls
  • Sheds
  • Signs
  • Swimming pools

If your project is commercial, an additional permit is required from the Mary Esther Fire Department.

Application & Issuance of Building Permits

Application

A City permit application is required to be completed and submitted for every application for a building permit. Depending on the scope of work and if the job is residential or commercial, the documents needed to process the application may vary. Staff has put together permit guides to help the applicant know what documents are needed for review for a specific project. All applications should be submitted to the Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department located at City Hall. The permit guides can be found in the applications and forms section below.

Plan Submittal

All projects that require a Florida Building Code review must have 3 sets of original, signed and sealed engineered plans submitted. For submittal requirements for your specific project, please see the permit guide section listed at the bottom of this page in forms and applications.

Review Process

Projects requiring a Florida Building Code Review: Any project that has design elements regulated by the FBC to include but not limited to new residential dwellings, commercial buildings, interior and exterior remodels, additions, carports, seawalls, fences/walls with footers, boat houses, and accessory structures over 200 sqft.

Plans are first reviewed by the Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department. If the project is commercial, the Mary Esther Fire Department will also review the plans. When the review process is completed, if the plans are approved, you will be issued a City development order. This is not a permit authorizing construction. The development order shows that the plans have been approved by the City. Because the plans require a FBC review, you must take the plans to be reviewed by Okaloosa County Department of Growth Management where County staff will conduct a FBC review. After the County review, if the plans have been approved, you will obtain a County permit and submit the permit to the City and obtain a City construction permit. Only after the City construction permit has been obtained, you may begin construction.

Projects that do not require a Florida Building Code Review: Fences/walls if no footer is being installed, re-roof, driveways, accessory structures such as sheds and storage buildings that are 200 sqft or less.

Plans are first reviewed by the Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department. If the project is commercial, the Mary Esther Fire Department will also review the plans. When the review process is completed, if the plans are approved, you will be issued a City construction permit. If your project also requires a County permit, you must obtain the County permit prior to construction.

The City of Mary Esther requires that all permits that may be required from other agencies be obtained and submitted to the City prior to the issuance of any construction permit. A partial list of those agencies may be found under “Notice of Additional Permitting” below.

Review & Permit Fees

The fees listed herein are those charged by the Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department. This list is not all inclusive and other fees may be charged in accordance with the City’s fee schedule. Additional fees may be required by the Mary Esther Fire Department and Water/Sewer Department. For a complete list of fees, please see the City’s Comprehensive Fee Schedule or contact the respective department directly.

Plan review fees are required to be paid prior to the review of any plans.

  • Residential site plan $15.00
  • Residential construction plan $15.00
  • Commercial site plan $30.00
  • Commercial construction plan $30.00
  • Commercial major development plan review $150.00
  • Survey review $15.00
  • Elevation certificate review $15.00
  • Modification and amendments $10.00 per sheet not to exceed original review fee of same plans

Permit and inspection fees are required to be paid prior to the release of the construction permit.

  • Permit fee minimum $10.00
  • Site inspection $20.00
  • Final inspection $30.00
  • Re-inspection $20.00
  • Backflow inspection $50.00

Notice of Additional Permitting Required

Okaloosa County Department of Growth Management: The City of Mary Esther has an interlocal agreement with Okaloosa County to perform various plan reviews and inspections depending on the scope of work. If your project requires a County review or inspection, you will be required to obtain a County permit in addition to a City permit.

Sub-Permits: The City of Mary Esther does not issue stand-alone permits for windows, doors, electrical, mechanical, HVAC, plumbing or solar panels. If your project scope of work includes any of these categories, you must obtain an Okaloosa County building or sub-permit.

Additional Agencies: Some projects may require additional permitting through Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, US Army Corp of Engineers, Northwest Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Attention Contractors

Any contractor who engages in business activities, performs work or provide a service within the City of Mary Esther is required by City Ordinance to obtain a contractor tracking certificate prior to starting any work, providing a service, or applying for an Okaloosa County building or sub permit. This includes but is not limited to re-roofs, general construction, storage buildings and sheds, renovations, new construction, fences, swimming pools, electrical, plumbing, irrigation, pest control, lawn maintenance, pressure washing, painting, general labor and the like.

For more information about the CTC registration, visit the Contractor Tracking Certificate page or call 850-243-3566 Ext.10.

Notice to Property Owners

Always call the City of Mary Esther Planning and Zoning Department at (850) 243-3566 Option 3, prior to starting any project to insure that the permitting requirements have been met, to verify that the required permit(s) has been obtained and to verify that your contractor is registered. You may be held responsible for unpermitted activities and may be subject to enforcement actions even if you have hired a registered contractor.

A City permit application is required to be completed and submitted for every application for a building permit. Depending on the scope of work and if the job is residential or commercial, the documents needed to process the application may vary. Staff has put together permit guides to help the applicant know what documents are needed for review for a specific project. All applications should be submitted to the Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning Department located at City Hall. The permit guides can be found in the applications and forms section below.

Special Event Permits

Are you looking to hold a charitable run, block party, parade, carnival or other special event in the City of Mary Esther? If so, you will need to obtain a City of Mary Esther Special Event Permit.

What Is A Special Event?

A special event shall mean an organized or planned gathering of persons having a common purpose, design, or goal that is to occur on City-owned, City-controlled, or private property that has an overt impact on the services that are regularly provided by the City, such as health, fire, and law enforcement.

When Is A Special Event Permit Required?

A permit is required for any activity to include but not limited to carnivals, circuses, athletic events, parades, block parties, fundraisers, festivals, exhibitions, musical performances and public awareness initiatives. If you are unsure if you need a permit, please contact the Department by phone or email.

How Do I Find Out About The Requirements To Hold A Special Event?

A comprehensive Special Event Guidebook has been designed to help applicants navigate through the permitting process. You can access the guidebook in the forms and applications section below.