New statewide building codes taking effect March 15 will increase the costs of constructing and renovating properties along South Florida’s coastal areas.
The Sun Sentinel reported that the codes require buildings be constructed to withstand more floodwater in coastal areas, with some needing stronger ties to foundations and others needing to be built on top of dirt one to three feet taller than current codes permit.
The codes will apply both to new buildings and renovations that come at a cost of more than half of the structure’s total value.
Palm Beach County Building Director Rebecca Caldwell said “the main goal is to make the area safer,” but critics say some of the regulations aren’t necessary in all the areas and make construction more expensive. Further, the new codes mean some communities that earn insurance discounts for maintaining flood provisions stricter than state code will no longer qualify for a reduced rate.
The exact impact of the new code on various municipalities won’t be determined until new flood zone maps are finalized. [Sun Sentinel]