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Growth Management Planning Division
Planning Information and FAQ

The Planning Division has the lead responsibility for the implementation of the County's Comprehensive Plan, the Land Development Code, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Community Development Block Grant Program, the Federal Transit Administration Grant Program, and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The Planning Division provides direct staff support to the County Administrator, Board of County Commissioners, Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustment, the Technical Review Committee, various citizen advisory committees and technical committees.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I need a permit for a storage shed, fence, or swimming pool?
    Yes, you need a development permit commonly known as a zoning compliance. There are certain exemptions regarding building permits for structures under $1000.00 total in labor and materials not requiring an inspection; however, you must request a development permit to ensure that the proposed structure meets the appropriate setbacks for the zoning district and that the proposed structure is not located in a public drainage or utility easement.
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  • Do I need a permit to operate a business out of my home?
    Yes, you need a home occupation permit from the Growth Management Department to operate a business out of your home. You may operate a business out of your home if you meet certain criteria that basically requires that you not change or alter the outside appearance of your home from a residence to a commercial use, no employees outside the family, all business activities are within 25% of the home and not in any detached buildings, and that traffic and noise is not beyond normal residential limits
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  • Do I need a permit to pour concrete?
    No, unless you plan to place a structure on the slab, or alter the drainage of the site by the concrete structure.
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  • Where can I obtain the code books that are enforced in Okaloosa County?
    Copies of the Okaloosa Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Code may be purchased at the Department of Growth Management located at 1804 Lewis Turner Blvd. in Fort Walton Beach and 812 East James Lee Blvd., Crestview, FL 32539. Copies of the Florida Building Code can be purchased from the ICCI at 1-800-253-0541 or BOAF 1-407-265-9009. For more information, contact the Department of Growth Management 850-651-7180 (Fort Walton Beach office) or 850-689-5080 (Crestview office).
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  • Flood Zone Information:
    Almost every coastal city or county faces a threat of flooding. Therefore, on July 1, 1977, Okaloosa County began participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In order to participate, the County agreed to regulate new development in its floodplain areas – described in the program as Special Flood Hazard Areas of SFHA’s – in accordance with the NFIP’s minimum criteria. In return, the NFIP provides federally backed flood insurance for properties in Okaloosa County.

    In order to provide an incentive for communities to provide even greater protection against flooding than required by the minimum NFIP requirements, FEMA also administers a “community rating system” (CRS) program which reduces insurance premiums based on a community’s flood protection activities. The CRS assigns points to various activities and regulatory standards intended to reduce the risk of flood damage. The more points a community receives, the greater the reduction in flood insurance rates. Using this system, communities are divided into numeric classes based on their scores. Classes range from 10 (no discount) to 1 (45% discount) with a 5% flood insurance premium rate discount for each class. Properties outside the SFHA, as shown on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps receive a 5% or 10% discount, depending on the community’s class. Polices on non-compliant structures and “preferred risk” policies do not receive a discount. Okaloosa County joined the CRS program on October 1, 1995.

    The Growth Management Department administers the NFIP and CRS programs for the unincorporated areas of Okaloosa County and has earned a CRS Class of 5 which provides a 25% saving on all Flood Insurance Policy premiums for those property owners with property located within the special flood hazard areas (SFHA’s).

    The Flood Insurance Rate Maps (also called FIRM maps or FIRM panels) and information regarding how to mitigate your potential flood damage is available at the Growth Management Department’s Fort Walton Beach and Crestview offices. The current FIRM panels may also be viewed on line by going to www.co.okaloosa.fl.us and clicking on the County’s Geographic Information System (GIS) WebGIS icon (first round icon). The GIS site has a tutorial that enables users to quickly and easily access its information which includes delineation of the floodplains. The County’s regulatory requirements for building/developing within the floodplains are provided in Chapter 3 of the County’s Land Development Code, which may be viewed on line by going to www.co.okaloosa.fl.us and clicking on the Growth Management link under the “Department” tab of the County website.

    For more information about floodplain management in Okaloosa County, please contact the Growth Management Department at (850) 651-7180 or (850) 689-5080.

    ELEVATION CERTIFICATES:An electronic version of the form and instructions is available on the FEMA website www.fema.gov

    Archived Elevation Certificates are on file in the planning office at 402 Brookmeade Dr. Crestview. Those elevation certificates from 2008 to current may be viewed on line at www.co.okaloosa.fl.us. If assistance is needed, please call Sherry Reed at (850) 689-5080.

Please Note: For all permit requests, please bring with you to the Department of Growth Management proof of ownership, deed, lease, or fully executed closing statement, and property identification number. If you are obtaining the development permit for the owner, written authorization from the property owner is required.

Planning Fees and Fines

CHAPTER 12
FEES AND FINES

12.00.00 Purpose: The governing body shall establish a schedule of fees, charges and expenses and a collection procedure for matters pertaining to this ordinance. This schedule of fees shall be posted in the office of the Administrative Official, and may be altered or amended only by the governing body. Until all applicable fees, charges, and expenses have been paid in full, no action shall be taken on any application or appeal. The Okaloosa County Schedule of Fees Fines and Civil Penalties for Non-Criminal Infractions may contain the following items and/or other items as may be deemed appropriate by the governing body:

12.01.00 Schedule of Planning Fees

All fees are subject ot additional advertising costs and surcharges for resubmittal.

Chapter 12 - Planning Fees (PDF)

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Elliot Kampert, Director
1804 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 200
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Phone: (850) 651-7180
Fax: (850) 651-7058
E-Mail