Code Enforcement Orange County

tclynxMarch 2, 2010

So, does anyone know the rules for Orange County Florida for garden structures and gardens in general? I haven't been able to find much of anything on the county web site or in the actual code but I want to make sure I'm not actually breaking any rules.

I know there are permits to put in fences.

But do I need a fence permit for a post in the garden to support plants?

What about a trellis?

What if they are temporary and get moved around?

What about a water feature? Garden pond?

What about rain water tanks and barrels?

Anyone know if hobby greenhouses are acceptable in a residential area? What are the size requirements? As in can you have a temporary greenhouse without a permit if it is less than a particular size?

Anyone know any of these or other answers for Orange County Florida or where I can find them? I don't really have the time in the next couple days to go spend all day waiting for some one to see me down at the county offices to see if anyone will tell me where to find the answers to my questions.

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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

You better check we needed permits for fence around the property ,the well, and the pond .We didnt get a permit for the garden picket fence which is well in our property. But every county is diff.
Our pond was huge though and they had rules for making it bird friendly and people friendly with a walk out bank. And they inspected it!
Trellises and water features I cannot imagine but I would make a trip to the county building,Im sure they have plenty of time with the building bust.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 7:29PM
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I was down there to get an RV storage permit several months ago and I had to sign in and wait for ages before they would even let me hand in the application. I probably won't have much time during business hours to do that this month and I kinda need to find out some of the information before weekend. I didn't really want to totally rip apart my entire garden because someone complained about it but the info I've been given isn't all that specific.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 7:41PM
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goldenpond((Vero.Beach FL 9b))

have you tried to find the Planning and zoning board for Orange County online?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 8:06PM
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Yea, spent lots of time on the county web site and trying to read the county code online.

about the only thing I've found that is even remotely related seems that I can have up to two compost bins that are up to 64 square feet each and they must be at least 10 feet from the edges of the property and be behind the house. Otherwise they seem to think that all dead plant material must be removed from the property (they better not say I have to rake up and dispose of all my mulch!!!)

Fences require permits but that doesn't really seem to cover things like temporary trellises.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 8:33PM
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babalu_aye(zone 9b - St Pete FL)

My experience in dealing with the permitting process here has taught me never to do it again unless absolutely necessary. They really seem to go out of their way to make it difficult, and not just because of the fees involved, waiting in long lines, taking time off from work to get permits and inspections, etc.

I had an inspector fail my bathroom framing inspection because he didn't like deck outside of the adjacent bedroom because there was a step down outside of the door instead of a 36" landing before the step down. It had nothing to do with the project that was being inspected.

I had another inspector fail the inspection of my gas fireplace because he didn't like the decorative fireplace screen I had in front of it (mesh too small). I had to go out and buy a $12 fireplace screen at a 2nd hand store to put in front of the fireplace when he came to re-inspect. The cheapo screen went into the trash and the decorative one was put back as the inspector was driving away.

So my point is, in the future I'll continue to get permits if it's absolutely necessary (like room additions), but not for things that I could get away without one (like fence posts, water features, etc).


    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 8:35PM
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As a contractor, you don't need a permit for the stuff that you have mentioned. Certain height fences and sheds must be permitted, but not what you have described.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 8:58PM
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What about a Pergola? I'm guessing it does need a permit but I'm not sure how to get engineering drawings for one without it costing an arm and a leg.

I'm guessing I'll just have to use an ugly temporary canopy instead.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 9:08PM
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gardencraze(9b Groveland FL.)

I agree with John, once you go in for questions on permits they seem to keep an eye on you.
I wouldn't worry about code enforcement as I would about homeowners association if you have one.
I live in orange county and I built a 10x10 green house visible from the street and I never had any problems. Carmen

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 9:19PM
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Problem is, some one did complain to code enforcement about my garden. (I guess because I had put plastic over some trellises during the cold part of winter. Code enforcement won't tell you what the exact complaint was or who made it.)

Well code enforcement showed up and I have a violation here that I have to Obtain building/use permits or remove the structure or alterations from the property. I need to call and talk to the officer to figure out exactly how far I need to go in order to comply. I don't want to rip out the entirety of the plants I have growing on trellises everywhere around the garden if all they really want me to do is remove plastic and shade cloth.

We don't have a real HOA here, just a squad of people who have nothing better to do with their time than e-mail complaints to code enforcement.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 9:58PM
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olyagrove(z9 Tampa, FL)

I wouldn't worry about code enforcement as I would about homeowners association if you have one.

It can bite you in the butt, if the permit *is* needed. Having had a nasty experience just recently, I would worry about both :[ (we , incidentally, do not have homeowners association)

We looked all over Temple Terrace's code, to see if window replacement required the permit. We *assumed* it did not and went ahead - two windows later, we had a big *STOP ALL WORK* order, and a consequent fine of 275 dollars, I believe. In the range of 265-275. 65 dollars for the permit on top of that - which we had to go and apply for after we paid the fine - it was one expensive mistake... :(

Just sharing the - rather unpleasant - experience (granted, different town and different county). But you have, unfortunately, been forewarned :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 10:13PM
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olyagrove(z9 Tampa, FL)

We don't have a real HOA here, just a squad of people who have nothing better to do with their time than e-mail complaints to code enforcement.

Are you sure you do not live in Temple Terrace?! :) Every single neighbor smiles and waves - we are still baffled as to who does the complaining. But we have our suspects (the friendliest-always wants to chit-chat-nosiest guy...)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 7:38AM
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We had to pull a permit stating that we did NOT need a permit to build a barn on Ag land .
Permit cost $80 .
We were inspected to make sure that we had the permit stating we did NOT need the permit .
Without it , we would have incurred hefty fines of hundreds of dollars .
Don't believe what your neighbor or friend might tell you .
Get the permit if required .
Get the permit stating you DON'T need the permit !
Whatever it takes for peace at home .

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 7:14AM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

Gatormom, why does this remind me of the Marx Bros.
(Actually it reminded me of Groucho finding out he would have to pay Chico for not playing, but I can't find that clip)

Here is a link that might be useful: Why a Duck

    Bookmark   March 4, 2010 at 8:04AM
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sharbear50(6a Bella Vista)

gatormomx2, that is absurd, but I abolutely believe it. Stupidest sh*t I ever heard. I had to pull a permit for fence, shed, gazebo, paver patio, house, driveway, on and on. I want to put up a pergola for some shade but am reluctant due to the possibility of future storms and permits.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:37AM
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