Naples reduces penalties for unpermitted like-for-like repairs completed post-Hurricane Ian

Eric

Administrator
Staff member
Apr 16, 2023
635
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I have a couple important updates if you're involved in Hurricane Ian-related building repairs and permitting in Naples (based on this article).

1) As of yesterday, Naples City Council has decided to reduce the financial burden of property owners who completed unpermitted like-for-like repair work in the aftermath of the hurricane. The City has acknowledged that they didn't do a great job communicating permit requirements (e.g., that you need a permit for like-for-like repairs) to affected property owners following the storm. The director of Naple's building department said he thought the problem was mostly due to out-of-state/unlicensed contractors not doing their due diligence checking what types of work they could and couldn't do without permits.

Before yesterday's policy change, if you completed "like-for-like" storm repairs and needed an after-the-fact permit, you would be charged double the usual permit fees as a penalty. However, the council has now voted to halve these penalties, meaning you'll only be charged the standard permit fees for after-the-fact permitting. Unfortunately, this change won't affect past offenders, as no refunds will be issued for those who have already paid the doubled fees.

2) The Council has now set a sunset date for the fee waiver for building permit applications that initially went into effect in October 2022. In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, fees started being waiver but no end date to that waiver had been specified. The waiver of permit fees is now set to end on September 28, 2024, which marks the two-year anniversary of Ian's landfall.
 
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1) This change is meant to ease our financial burden and acknowledges the City's past communication issues. Unfortunately, it won't help those of us who have already paid the higher fees.

2) This decision provides transparency and ensures that property owners have a reasonable timeframe to take advantage of the fee waiver for their repairs.
 
It's definitely going to suck for the past offenders who already paid the double of the usual permit fees as a penalty since there's no room for refund after this new policy change. In my own opinion, the Council should have given room and a deadline for that's past offenders who already paid double to request for a refund. If anyone who paid didn't request for a refund past the deadline, then it's over. Denying them a refund completely is wrong. They are not being encourage not pay for anything sooner.
 
It's definitely going to suck for the past offenders who already paid the double of the usual permit fees as a penalty since there's no room for refund after this new policy change. In my own opinion, the Council should have given room and a deadline for that's past offenders who already paid double to request for a refund. If anyone who paid didn't request for a refund past the deadline, then it's over. Denying them a refund completely is wrong. They are not being encourage not pay for anything sooner.

I completely agree. The policy does pretty much reward violators who dragged their feet getting into compliance. If you realized your mistake early on and worked with the City to get your repairs properly permitted (including paying the doubled free) then the City's basically telling you that your proactive efforts to comply didn't really matter.

As a basic principle, permitting programs need to be aware of how they are perceived by the community. Perceptions of fairness is fundamental to a government program's public support and legitimacy. It may be relatively small matter in the grand scheme of things, but with their policy toward previous violators/permittees, the City seems to be nickel-and-diming a bit too much and losing sight of what's important.
 
I completely agree. The policy does pretty much reward violators who dragged their feet getting into compliance. If you realized your mistake early on and worked with the City to get your repairs properly permitted (including paying the doubled free) then the City's basically telling you that your proactive efforts to comply didn't really matter.

As a basic principle, permitting programs need to be aware of how they are perceived by the community. Perceptions of fairness is fundamental to a government program's public support and legitimacy. It may be relatively small matter in the grand scheme of things, but with their policy toward previous violators/permittees, the City seems to be nickel-and-diming a bit too much and losing sight of what's important.
Exactly! If the council looked at this with a common sense, they should know that it's the past offenders who deserves more consideration than those who dragged through until the permit policy was changed. If not for anything, the past offenders who paid early should get their refund. The one's who never paid must pay the double fees and start paying the new fees when they want to get another permit.
 
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