The City Commission of the City of Panama City adopted changes to the City’s Nuisance Ordinance on February 9, 2021 to provide clarity regarding existing nuisance codes. The changes include defining temporary safeguards and establishing a temporary time limit of 90 days.
In the updated ordinance, a temporary safeguard is described as a construction technique or product utilized to temporarily protect structure from the adverse impacts of nature, such as plywood coverings to exterior openings or tarps covering roofs, but which is not recognized as an acceptable building element by the Florida Building Code.
Additionally, the updated ordinance states that temporary safeguards shall remain in place until the structure is repaired but in no case longer than 90 days.
What does this mean for property owners?
Property owners are encouraged to use temporary safeguards, such as plywood and tarps, to protect their structures but must initiate permanent repairs, such as installation of new windows or a roof, within 90 days.
If the Code Enforcement Team observes temporary safeguards on a property, an officer will open a case and make initial contact with the owner informing them of the violation and their responsibility to repair or replace the sub-standard building component within 90 days. If the property has not been repaired at the conclusion of the 90-day period, the case will be presented to the City’s Magistrate for the purpose of ordering the owner to repair the structure and authorize the City to demolish the structure if not remedied by the owner.
Code Enforcement Officers are authorized and encouraged to use their discretion when enforcing the time limit of 90 days. For example, an officer may allow a property owner to have additional time to complete repairs if the owner or owner’s contractor has ordered building materials but is awaiting delivery or installation.
What if a property owner needs assistance making repairs?
- The Community Redevelopment Agencies (CRA) provides matching grants to residential and commercial property owners in the CRA areas, which include Downtown, Downtown North, Millville and St. Andrews. Grant applications are available on the City’s website at https://www.pcgov.org/604/Grant-Applications.
- ReHouse Bay can provide funding to homeowners in Bay County to repair or – for homes with substantial damage – demolish and reconstruct eligible homes. Additional information and applications are available at https://rehousebay.org/programs/#housing-repair-and-recovery-program
- Homeowners (owner-occupied) or property owners of rental property can apply for assistance through the Rebuild Florida Housing Repair and Replacement Program for Hurricane Michael to rehabilitate, reconstruct or replace a home. Additional information and applications are available on the Rebuild Florida website at https://michael.rebuildflorida.gov.