Under the Florida Building and Town Codes, you are required to apply and obtain a Town of Surfside Building Permit before commencing any type of construction work, including but not limited to interior remodeling, driveways, curb cuts, fences, gates, garage conversions, etc.
Once you have obtained your permit, work must commence and continue until work is completed. You or your contractor must request inspections throughout the project duration. If inspections aren’t performed within 180 days of the issuance of the permit, or if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days after the last inspection, the permit will expire; you will need to re-apply and pay for a new building permit.
It is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure the project receives a final inspection from all the disciplines involved in the review process, such as building, planning, and public works departments.
Building Permit Application forms are available online at: https://townofsurfsidefl.gov/departments-services/building/documents-and-forms. Some permits can be applied for online through the Town’s website: Customer Self Service (CSS) (townofsurfsidefl.gov)
Almost all permits require a current property survey, so be sure to have that ready when applying.
For any questions about the building permit application process or what materials you will need to provide for the permit, contact the Building Department at (305) 861-4863 and press number 5.
During summertime, we experience an increase in temperature and lots of rain, contributing to mosquito breeding. Aside from being a nuisance, bites from infected mosquitoes can spread different diseases.
Here are some tips to help you and the community to be protected.
• Get rid of standing water in and around your home or your business. Make sure to drain water from house gutters, trash cans, pet bowls, flower pots, or any other container where water has accumulated.
• Properly discard any item, such as old tires, bottles, containers, or toys, that are not being used. These items can collect water, creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
• If you have bromeliads as part of your landscape, flush the water out of your plants since they can hold water between their leaves.
• Ensure your pool’s chemical balance is correct, and drain plastic swimming pools when not in use.
• Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. Cover your skin with clothing and apply mosquito repellent if you are out during this time.
Please report any neglected pool or any other accumulation of standing water to the Town’s Code Compliance Division at 305-861-4863, ext. 233. You can also report any mosquito nuisance areas to Miami-Dade County by dialing 311.
Sea Turtle Nesting Season officially occurs in Miami-Dade County every year from May 1st through October 31st. However, those dates can be slightly misleading as we typically see nesting activity taking place before these dates. “Lighting Regulations for Marine Turtle Protection” is in effect during this time.
Little hatchlings are attracted to the brightest lights; therefore, this regulation intends for the most glowing light to be the ocean horizon over the land, so baby turtles crawl towards the ocean.
In developed areas facing the sea, artificial light from buildings disorients hatchlings and attracts them away from the ocean. Turtle-friendly lighting reduces disorientation and makes for a better success rate. Everyone must do their part to ensure a successful nesting season.
Make sure you:
Exterior Lighting Checklist
• Light fixtures must be positioned so that the point source of light or any reflective surface of the light fixture is not visible from the beach or otherwise illuminating the beach.
• All bulbs must be amber or red LED bulbs with long wavelength bulbs; low-pressure sodium bulbs, turtle safe lighting coated compact fluorescent bulbs; fiber optic lighting or true red neon.
• Fixtures must have opaque shields so that the light source is not visible from the fixture’s north, east, and south sides.
• Lights are positioned downward and away from the beach.
• Lights illuminating buildings or associated grounds for decorative purposes are positioned so light is directed downward and shielded or screened so that the light sources are not visible from the beach or are turned off between sunset to sunrise during turtle nesting season.
• Exterior lights used expressly for safety or security purposes are limited to the minimum number and configuration required to achieve their functional roles. Motion detector switches are preferred.
Interior Lighting Checklist
One or more of the following measures shall be taken to reduce or eliminate the adverse effects of interior light emanating from doors and windows within line-of-sight of the beach:
• Apply window tint or film.
• Rearrange lamps and other moveable fixtures away from windows.
• Use window treatments (e.g., blinds, curtains) to shield interior lights from the beach.
• Turn off unnecessary lights.
Remember, this checklist contains more than recommendations, these are enforceable measures in place to protect our most beloved Surfside neighbors – sea turtles!
Remember that a building permit is required for any renovation or alteration, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, a garage conversion, an AC replacement, or a new fence or gate, etc. Permits are required before any work is undertaken.
Additionally, if you want to add, remove, or make any changes to any electrical, plumbing, mechanical, or structural portions of your house or condo unit, you must hire a state-licensed contractor and follow the processes to obtain a permit.
If you have questions regarding the building permit application process, contact the Building Department at (305) 861-4863 and press number 2.
Check out the CSS Portal for more information.
The Town’s Customer Self-Service (CSS) permitting portal is now up and running!
Current functionality can provide digital permitting for the following permit types:
• HVAC Air Conditioning straight change outs
The online portal is user friendly and self-guided!
1. The first step is registering and creating an account on the portal.
2. Following registration, you may apply for a permit selecting apply the permits tab. As you move through each page, follow the prompts and click next when each step is completed.
Please note any documents and information to be submitted for each type of permit must be available in a digital format and attached as instructed for system review such as site plans, construction details, equipment rating sheets and Notice of Approvals (NOAs)/Florida Product Approvals. Once your permit submittal is reviewed and approved, you will receive an email notification for payment of permit fees.
To access the CSS Portal, look for the banner on the Town website or visit https://surfsidefl-energovpub.tylerhost.net/apps/selfservice.
Pedestrian safety is of extreme importance for any community especially here in Surfside. We have many residents and visitors enjoying a morning or evening walk. In addition, kids walk to and from school, and stores and dining are within walking distance from any residence in Town.
Walkability improves the quality of life, reduces carbon footprint, and is often linked to economic development; that is why everyone must contribute to a more walkable neighborhood.
When planting new hedges, please ensure that the full root ball and average span of the branches are contained within the property lines. In general, hedges should be planted 1.5 to 2 feet behind the property line. In the front yard, the hedges must face the street with any fence behind them. You should refer to your property survey if you are unsure exactly where your property line falls.
If your property currently has hedges or any other type of heavy vegetation, you must maintain all greenery in a way that does not obstruct the clear visibility of any street signs, including stop signs. Additionally, vegetation and hedges must be kept in a way that doesn’t block the clear visibility of vehicles or pedestrians.
The safety of the community is of high importance. Therefore, we all need to contribute to a safe environment and ask that you ensure your property is maintained to prevent unsafe conditions.
In an effort to simplify and improve the signs placed throughout the hard pack and walking path, Code Compliance collaborated with Public Works and Communications to develop updated designs that will reduce information clutter and clearly communicate four of the most common beach-related Code violations: No dogs on the beach, no bikes other than on the hard pack, no fire and no fishing. Some of the existing signage with additional beach safety content and rip current information will remain in place along with the sea-turtle nesting season signs.
The Town Code has regulations to protect the quality of life of its residents. One of those regulations refers to construction activities and noises associated with them. Any construction work that requires a building permit is only allowed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; no construction work is permitted on weekends or federal holidays.
All property owners must follow the restrictions and inform their general contractors, developers, and employees of this regulation.
Some minor repairs that don’t generate any noise, such as skim coating the interior of a house, painting with manual tools, or cleaning a construction site, are allowed on weekends and federal holidays.
Any construction activity outside the regular hours mentioned above requires approval from the Town Administration. Additionally, emergency repairs requiring a building permit are allowed as necessary. Still, they must be approved after the fact by the Town Manager or designee.
The Code Compliance staff is here seven days a week and will continue to enforce this regulation. To report any construction activity outside of the allowed hours, please call 305-861-4862. For any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact the Town’s Code Compliance Division at 305-861-4863, extension 233.
Stormwater is water collected from rain storms that must be safely stored, infiltrated into the ground, treated, and then disposed of away from the community. The Stormwater system comprises several components such as swales, curbs, gutters, pipes, pumps, etc., designed to collect, store, and then move the rainwater away from the streets. Its primary purpose is to reduce the depth and duration of road flooding.
We all need to do our part to keep a healthy stormwater system. Do not deposit any form of debris, including grass and other forms of yard clippings, into any catch basin serving the Town’s storm drainage system. Additionally, any fertilizer used on landscaped areas must be Florida Friendly and not be applied when heavy rains are expected. Pet owners should also pick up after their dogs to reduce contamination
Together, we can reduce the impact flooding has on the community and improve the water quality.
The Town Commission recently adopted changes to the Town Code that will allow the use of blowers. The adopted code Section 54-78 (15) now permits the use of blowers from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. for commercial landscapers and permits residents to use this type of equipment also on weekends and Federal Holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Even though gasoline-powered blowers are helpful for landscaping needs, they also generate a large number of pollutants for the environment; therefore, the new ordinance provides for a transition period of gasoline-powered blowers. By March 2024, only electric and battery-operated leaf and power blowers will be permitted.
Using electric or battery-operated leaf blowers is better for the environment as they reduce noise, emit fewer air pollutants and fewer gas emissions than gasoline-powered leaf blowers.
We trust that your commitment to environmentally friendly practices will encourage you to begin using electric and battery-operated leaf blowers sooner than by the deadline date of March 2024.
Summertime is in full swing! This means more outdoor activities such as picnics, beach days, barbecues, and time spent at outdoor parks are more common this time of the year.
You might notice that summertime also means more mosquitoes; this is why you must be proactive in protecting your family and neighbors by removing anything that could attract mosquitoes and help their breeding.
Here are a few suggestions:
• Remove standing water in and around your property. Check and drain water from house gutters, garbage cans, toys, flower pots, or any container where water has accumulated.
• Ensure that boat and car tarps do not collect water.
• Maintain swimming pool pump equipment and water chemicals in check.
• Ornamental plants, such as Bromeliads, can hold water between their leaves. If you have them at home, flush the water out of your plants or coat the water with a bit of food-grade oil.
• Cover windows, doors, and porches with screens.
• Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk; if you must be out during this time, cover your skin with clothing and apply mosquito repellent.
Please report any unkempt pool or any other accumulation of standing water to the Town’s Code Compliance Division at 305-861-4863, ext. 233. You can also report any mosquito nuisance areas to Miami-Dade County by dialing 311
The Town of Surfside has ordinances regulating the days and hours of construction work and prohibited noises. All residents, businesses, developers, and contractors must adhere to and follow the ordinance requirements.
All construction activities that require a building permit, such as electrical, plumbing, mechanical, roofing, and structural work, are restricted to Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and are prohibited on Saturdays and Sundays and all federal holidays. However, some activities, such as work related to infrastructure & utilities, roadways, and other public right-of-way construction, are exempted as well as minor repairs and maintenance activities such as painting the interior of a property with manual tools (no commercial sprayers).
The Town’s Noise Ordinance has additional rules and regulations regarding noise generated on weekends and federal holidays from commercial landscapers.
For any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Town’s Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, extension 233.
Hurricane Season has officially arrived, running from June 1 to November 30. Now’s the time to start preparations! Do not wait until a storm is on the way.
We encourage you to assess all the trees and vegetation at your property and recommend hiring a licensed arborist to evaluate your trees and make all the necessary tree and vegetation trimming. All trees must be adequately pruned to be “structurally sound” to endure strong winds. Also, assure that all power lines are free from vegetation such as tree branches.
Likewise, remember to keep outdoor items at a minimum and bring them all inside when a storm is approaching.
All household and yard disposal must be placed on the curb for pick up in anticipation of any storm. Otherwise, the Town might not be able to pick up since we will also be preparing for the event. Solid waste pick ups could be affected or even suspended depending on storm weather conditions. Plan responsibly.
The entire community plays a crucial role in hurricane preparedness and recovery. Working together makes us more resilient and able to return to normal activities.
Sea turtle nesting season starts on May 1 and ends on October 31. Nesting females and hatchlings need dark beaches. Surfside residents and visitors are asked to shut off bright lights, close your blinds and shades, and switch white bulbs to amber or red LED bulbs during the entire nesting season.
• Stay away from crawling or nesting sea turtles. Nesting is a critical stage in the sea turtle’s life cycle. Please leave them undisturbed.
• DO REPORT all stranded (dead or injured) turtles to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
• NEVER handle hatchling sea turtles. If you observe hatchlings wandering away from the ocean or on the beach call: 1-888-404-FWCC or *FWC (Mobile Phone).
Within the past several months, the Town has experienced increased construction activity, resulting in more construction sites.
Most of the time, construction might mean dusty areas, construction debris and tools scattered around, noise, etc. Therefore, property owners, along with general contractors, must be thoughtful to neighbors and area residents.
Construction sites must keep a tidy appearance and maintain the areas free of unsafe conditions. Construction site maintenance includes cleaning public roads adjacent to the site, removing litter, stacking of construction tools and materials, and removal of standing water, to mention a few.
Additionally, a dumpster or other container shall be maintained on site with a cover to be used over the containers while no construction is taking place.
It is also essential to keep the sites secured with a temporary fence, which in addition to securing the site, will also minimize the blowing of dust and construction debris onto neighboring properties and public roads. Construction fences must be maintained in good condition throughout the construction process.
Please report any issues to the Code Compliance Division by calling 305-861-4863 ext. 233.
Basketball hoops are a popular piece of equipment to have fun and connect with friends and neighbors while keeping you active. They also encourage outdoor activities that can be enjoyed by only one person or a team.
While basketball hoops are fun and have become very popular within Town, they pose a risk to pedestrians, drivers and Town infrastructure if placed on the street. Not only can the hoop block visibility and traffic, during rain events, the hoops can restrict the natural flow of rainwater, contributing to street flooding.
If you own a basketball hoop, you must keep it within your property; the best locations for basketball hoops are driveways or your front or backyard.
The code compliance division will monitor compliance and notify owners of any violations.
The South Florida Water Management District has a year-round landscape watering restriction. This restriction is a component of the South Florida Water Management District’s Comprehensive Water Conservation Program. This program was established to encourage responsible use of water resources throughout South Florida.
This irrigation rule has been in effect since 2010 and limits landscape watering to two days a week throughout the district.
Water conservation practices are not only environmentally friendly, but also make financial sense. It preserves our water supply and assures water will be available for our community in the future.
The Town of Surfside is authorized to enforce the Miami-Dade County Water Conservation ordinance. Below are the highlights of the rules:
Watering is not allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Residences and businesses with ODD-numbered street addresses (ending in 1,3,5,7,9) may water on WEDNESDAYS and/or SATURDAYS from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m.
- Residences and businesses with EVEN-numbered street addresses (ending in 0,2,4,6,8) may water on THURSDAYS and/or SUNDAYS from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m.
An exemption from the rules previously mentioned is for newly-planted gardens. A new landscape can be watered during the hours listed above every day except for Fridays for the first 90 days after installation.
To report water use violations, call 3-1-1 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Town of Surfside has a very convenient trash pick-up schedule; our sanitation crew removes trash five days a week (from Monday through Friday)! However, we remind you that all trash bins must be returned to your property after the last pick-up on Friday. In addition, make sure that garbage containers have a good, tight, and close-fitting cover. This cover must be kept closed at all times to avoid wildlife from digging into the trash.
Flatten down all boxes to facilitate disposal and bag or secure all vegetation debris before the scheduled pick-up day.
Also, please remember that all commercial gardeners must remove the cuttings and trimmings from the Town. The Code Compliance Division will send out notices to properties in violation.
Below is the solid waste schedule:
Monday/Tuesday: Vegetation debris (provided it was created by the property owner and not by a commercial landscaper)
We wish you a healthy and prosperous 2022!
Town code section 90-74 regulates all temporary signs. Temporary signs include real estate signs, political signs, signs on construction sites, temporary banner signs, and temporary window signs.
Section 90-74 (d) regulates the duration of temporary signs, such as political campaign signs, and it states that: “Signs shall not be erected more than 90 days prior to the event or occurrence and shall be removed no later than seven (7) days after the event or occurrence.”
All temporary signs must be professionally lettered and may not be lighted or illuminated in any manner. In addition, these signs must be placed on private property with the express consent of the property owner. Any sign placed on public property will be removed and disposed of by the Town without prior notice.
Three professionally lettered political campaign signs are permitted per street frontage. The sign(s) shall be wall-mounted flat against the building wall or securely fastened to a wood or metal freestanding stake or post of sufficient strength. The maximum sign area shall be three square feet per sign. Sign face shall be constructed of metal, plastic, wood, pressed wood, or cardboard.
The maximum sign height for in-ground signs, including support frame, shall not exceed 42 inches from the ground to the top of the sign. Finally, all signs must be located outside of any sight visibility triangle.
For more details please visit: TownofSurfsideFL.gov/surfside-code
Surfside has been named a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for five years in a row! Keeping and increasing a healthy tree canopy are essential for communities committed to the environment such as Surfside. Maintaining a well-kept landscape on your property not only keeps the neighborhood aesthetically pleasant, but also gives a sense of pride and increases property values. However, landscape to include trees must be maintained regularly to avoid any potential safety issues.
The Town Code provides that “Each property owner is responsible for hiring a qualified, licensed and insured contractor as necessary to maintain all trees on their property or within the right-of-way adjacent to their property, free and clear of power lines so as to prevent or alleviate the danger of the tree damaging power lines.”
As such, we remind you to assess your property and make arrangements to keep all power and utility lines free of any type of vegetation.
Are you ready to begin the kitchen or bathroom remodel you have been dreaming of? How about converting your garage into an extra bedroom or replacing the flooring at your condo unit? Under the Florida Building and Town Codes, you are required to apply and obtain a Town of Surfside Building Permit before commencing any type of construction work, including some repairs.
If you need to add, remove, or make any changes to any electrical, plumbing, mechanical or structural portions of any building, you must hire a state-licensed contractor and follow all the applicable permitting processes. No work is allowed to begin until a building permit is issued by the Town of Surfside Building Department.
Building Permit Applications are available at Town Hall, and online.
Once your permit is issued, work is expected to commence and continue until completed. Therefore, you or your contractor need to periodically communicate
with the Building Department to request inspections. If inspections aren’t performed within 180 days of the issuance of the permit, or if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days after the last inspection, the permit will expire, and you will need to re-apply and pay for a new building permit.
If you have any questions regarding the building permit application process, call the Building Department at (305) 861-4863 and press number 5.
With schools again open, the community should be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic as parents and students walk to and from school. It is essential to drive safely and follow all street signs and speed limits.
If your property has hedges, trees or other vegetation near signage, you must ensure that the greenery does not obscure signs. This includes stop signs, street signs and signage for vehicles and pedestrian traffic.
Also, hedges planted along property lines must be maintained and trimmed to prevent branches from extending over or touching structures on adjacent properties.
The safety of our community is of utmost importance. Do your part in assuring your property is maintained to prevent an unsafe condition.
To report any blocked street signs, please contact the Code Compliance Division at 305-861-4863 ext. 233.
The Code Compliance mission is to educate the public on the Town Code's provisions and to fairly and consistently enforce them. Additionally, the Division strives to promote and protect the health, safety, welfare, and quality of life for residents and Town business.
The Surfside Code Enforcement officers are dedicated and well-trained, provide enforcement of building, zoning, housing, animal, fire safety and environmental issues.
Code Compliance officers perform a variety of pro-active and reactive inspections and are frequently faced with challenging situations. Nonetheless, Code Compliance officers find ways to provide compassionate service to the residents and business owners while still enforcing the codes that enhance property aesthetics and safety.
The Town of Surfside joined the statewide observance honoring and recognizing their Code Enforcement officers during the the first week of June, presenting a proclamation at the the June 8 Commission meeting.
The Code Compliance Division was recognized by residents and the Commission, proclaiming the week of June 7 –11 as: “Code Enforcement Officers Appreciation Week."
Summertime arrives this month, bringing beach days, outdoor activities and longer days. However, summertime also means heavy rains and mosquitoes.
Take a proactive approach in protecting your family and community by eliminating anything that could attract mosquitoes and facilitate their breeding. Here is how:
• Eliminate standing water in and around your home or your business. Drain water from house gutters, garbage cans, toys, flowerpots, or any container where water has accumulated.
• Empty and clean birdbaths & pet water bowls at least twice a week.
• Ornamental plants, such as bromeliads, can hold water between their leaves. If you have them at home, make sure to flush the water out of your plants or coat the water with a bit of food-grade oil.
• Maintain the chemical balance of your pool and drain plastic swimming pools when not in use.
• Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk; if you must be out during this time, cover your skin with clothing and apply mosquito repellent.
• Consider adding to your landscape and plant collection any “carnivore” plants such as “pitcher plants.”
Please report any neglected pool or any other accumulation of standing water to the Town’s Code Compliance Division at 305-861-4863, ext. 233. You can also report any mosquito nuisance areas to Miami-Dade County by dialing 311.
It is almost that time of the year again that Floridians know so well: Hurricane Season! The period is June 1 to November 30, 2021. Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare for it.
It is a good practice to evaluate all the trees and vegetation within your property, so hire a licensed arborist to assess your trees and make all the necessary and proper pruning. All trees must be trimmed to be “structurally sound” to withstand strong storms. Also, assure that all power lines are free from vegetation such as tree branches.
Additionally, plan to keep outdoor items at a minimum and bring them all inside when a storm is approaching. Remember to board up your windows.
All household and yard disposal must be placed on the curb for pick up well in advance of an approaching storm. Otherwise, the Town might not be able to pick up, as we will also be preparing for the storm. Depending on weather conditions, solid waste pick-ups could be affected or even suspended. Plan accordingly.
All of us play an essential role in hurricane preparedness and recovery. By working together, we become more resilient and will return to a calm state after the storm.
This month we celebrate Earth Day to demonstrate our continued support for the environment and its protection. We are fortunate to share our living environment with many amazing species, such as marine turtles.
Marine turtle nesting season is about to begin! The season is May 1 to October 31. We are fortunate to welcome female marine turtles on our beaches. Hopefully, there will be tiny flipper marks on the sand when the hatchlings make their way into the ocean.
Many people do not realize that more than half of the Country’s marine turtle nesting areas are on the Florida coastline. We all must do our best to help and protect these amazing creatures that share their space with us.
WHAT TO DO DURING NESTING SEASON
Keep your distance: Do not approach or touch a nesting female turtle. Always stay out of their line of sight, remain quiet and keep all lights off (including flash photos and cell phones). Touching the turtles or shining lights may cause females to return to the ocean without laying eggs or affect how well she camouflages her nest.
Let hatchlings emerge: If you see hatchlings on the beach, allow them to crawl to the ocean on their own. Do not remove or dig hatchlings out of a nest; doing this will make it more difficult for the baby turtles to emerge.
Turn off lights: If you live at an oceanfront property, keep lights off while not in use, close your blinds at night, or install window treatments to avoid having bright lights shine onto the beach. Female turtles need dark beaches, and hatchlings will crawl towards the brightest horizon. Artificial lighting can cause them to get disoriented.
Fill in holes and pickup litter: Fill in all holes, destroy sandcastles, and remove any litter. This way, nesting turtles and hatchlings do not fall into holes, get stuck as they crawl on the beach, or confuse litter with food.
It has been about one year since we have had to adapt to the difficulties of living during a pandemic. Without a doubt, this year has been challenging. We have all been tested in our ability to adapt to change.
COVID-19 is a virus that transmits very quickly from person to person. However, there are some easy ways we can help prevent the spread of the virus.
Facial coverings are one of the most important tools we have to fight COVID-19. Masks, and other facial coverings, are a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the facial covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.
Amendment 2 of the Miami-Dade County Emergency Order 20-20 mandates that:
All persons throughout Miami-Dade County shall wear a mask or other facial covering when in public. There are some exceptions, such as: at or inside a private residence, children under the age of two years, persons swimming or engaged in other activities which may cause the facial covering to become wet or while persons are actively eating, drinking, or smoking.
As such, Town staff will continue to enforce this County order. As a community, we must follow county and municipal directives in order to thrive. When we all wear masks, we protect and take care of each other. Remember, cover your face. Maintain your space.
The Town of Surfside Code of Ordinances allows for Short-Term Rentals (STR). The Town Code defines a short-term rental as any occupancy by way of lease of a single-family, two-family, multi-family (to include condominium units), or townhouse dwelling units for valuable consideration for a period of time between one day to no more than six months.
Even though STRs are allowed, property owners must follow specific restrictions before renting a property for less than six months. The Ordinance requires property owners to complete a “Short-Term Rental Registration form" and pay the required fees before each rental period. Also, property owners are limited to three STRs within a 12-month period.
The registration fee per rental period is $100 plus four percent of the total amount charged, which is collected as a resort tax.
Registration is required at the time the property is listed or advertised on a vacation rental website, including Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey, or any other website. The $100 registration fee will be credited to the first vacation rental period at the property.
For more information on the Town's Short-Term Rentals, please visit our website at www.townofsurfsidefl.gov/departments-services/code-compliance, contact the Code Compliance Division in person at Town Hall, or by phone at (305) 861-4863, extension 233.
Are you the proud owner of a dog or have a pet that provides you with emotional support? Do you take your pet with you everywhere you go? While we embrace our four-legged companions, residents must know the Town Code has restrictions on where dogs can be and when they can accompany their owners.
Although the terms “service dog” and “emotional support animal” are often used interchangeably, these types of animals have very different roles and qualifications.
Service dogs are specifically trained to perform specific tasks that a person could not otherwise perform due to a disability. These dogs are not pets but working animals.
Service dogs are the only dogs allowed on the public beach and other public places, provided that they are well behaved, on a leash, and in the owner’s control at all times. Violations of this regulations will be enforced.
On the other hand, emotional support animals are companion pets, and therefore, are not considered service animals. Emotional support animals are not allowed on the public beach or walking path.They are also prohibited in most public spaces. Business owners are responsible for enforcing any rules regarding pets within their premises.
If you want to take your dog for a walk or run, remember that dogs are required to be in the owner’s control and leashed at all times.
Please visit our PAWS UP DOG PARK located at Byron Avenue and 93rd Street, where your dog can run loose for exercise.
December has arrived and that brings holidays and all that comes with them: special decorations, shopping, gifts, family gatherings and more. These traditional and joyful activities also cause an increase in the Town’s level of trash and garbage production and disposal.
Luckily, the Public Works Department picks up trash from Monday through Friday and has a set schedule on other types of waste:
- Monday/Tuesday: Vegetation debris
- Wednesday: Bulk
- Thursday: Recycling
While the Surfside sanitation workers provide excellent service, remember that residents need to do their part in the garbage and trash disposal process:
- Boxes must be flattened down to facilitate disposal
- Vegetation debris must be bagged appropriately or securely tied before the scheduled pick-up day
- Commercial gardeners must remove all cuttings and trimmings and dispose trash outside of the Town
- Do not place any bulk, vegetation or trash on Friday afternoons since there are no scheduled pick-ups on the weekends in the residential areas
The Code Compliance Division will continue sending out notices to properties that are found to be in violation of the schedules described above. We wish you a safe, healthy and joyful holiday season!
Photo taken in 2019
Chapter 10 of the Town Code addresses many animal issues relevant to residential and commercial properties. Article II of Chapter 5 of the Code of Metropolitan Miami-Dade is adopted to the extent that the Town may enforce animal laws.
The current code has limitations on the number of domestic animals that can live on a property. The keeping of farm animals or non-domestic pets, such as horses and poultry, is prohibited. Also, the outdoor feeding of stray or ownerless cats, causing them to congregate on or near a property, is prohibited as a public nuisance and public health hazard.
The committing of a nuisance by any dog must be controlled by the owner of such dog so that any unsanitary or mal-odorous condition does not result or persist on the streets of the Town. When walking outside with your dog, clean up after your pet. Please take a plastic bag with you to pick up your dog’s “poop.” Properly dispose of the waste bag inside a garbage can. Do not leave the bag near a trash can, on your neighbor’s property, or throw the bagged waste into any waterway. We also ask that you keep your dog leashed and in your control at all times when outside. Violations of any issues mentioned above will result in immediate fines.
Pet dogs are not allowed on the public beach east of the hard pack except for service dogs. Any person who owns or keeps a dog that engages in frequent or habitual barking, yelping or howling, creating an annoyance to the neighborhood residents is in violation of the Town’s Codes and is subject to receiving a civil fine.
For further information on the Town’s Animal Ordinances, contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
Did you know that Surfside has specific property maintenance rules for landscapers and gardeners? When working at your property, they are acting as an agent for the property owner and must follow rules for the disposal of cut grass, shrubs, tree branches, dead plants and other manicured vegetation.
The operation inside or outside of lawn mowers, hedge clippers and other mechanical devices that are audible at a distance of 50 feet, are allowed only from 8 am – 6 pm on Monday–Saturday. They are prohibited on Sundays and all federal holidays. However, under emergency conditions the Town Manager may, at his discretion, grant exceptions to the use of devices.
All clippings and cutting work performed by a landscaper or gardener must be hauled away by the landscaper or gardener. It cannot be left on the street or curbside for Town pick-up. The only time that yard cuttings can be left at curbside for Town pick-up is if the property owner actually does the work him/herself. All yard material must be bagged and hauled away.
Property owners should know that leaf blowers are prohibited and may not be used to blow cuttings from side-walk s or driveways. If your landscaper or gardener does not follow these rules, the property owner is responsible for a civil fine for violating the Town’s Codes.
In addition, during the COVID-19 emergency, all landscapers and gardeners that perform work on your property are required to wear a face mask.
If you have any questions concerning the work rules for landscapers and gardeners, then please contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
Miami-Dade County has issued important rules to follow during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The “New Normal” Guidelines, dated August 7, 2020, are quite extensive and cover both residential and commercial establishments. Many of the guidelines are based on “common sense” practices.
At this time, and until the County Mayor rescinds his cur-rent emergency orders, masks must be worn when you are outside in public or inside of a commercial establishment. Children under the age of two are exempt from this rule. All common areas within a multi-family dwelling, such as condominiums and apartment buildings, must follow the guidelines which include wearing masks, social distancing, and not gathering together in large groups. Hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is highly encouraged.
For more information, visit the Miami-Dade County web-site at www.miamidade.gov and read the information located in the coronavirus section of the webpage.
Did you know that Miami-Dade County has established minimum housing standards (MHS) to protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare of all our residents?
As a renter of an apartment, a condo unit or a home, the ordinance covers YOU and the premises relating to utilities, facilities and other physical components and conditions that make a dwelling safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation. The “standards” also assign certain responsibilities and duties to owners, operators, managers, agents and occupants of dwellings, and imposes penalties for the violation of any provisions of the housing standards.
Surfside’s Code Compliance Officers are duty bound to make inspections to determine the condition of single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, apartment buildings, condominiums, hotels and other premises to safe-guard the health, safety and welfare of the public. All dwellings are required to be kept clean, sanitary and in a weather-tight condition. All multi-family buildings are required to be structurally sound and maintained in good repair.
Renters have legal rights concerning the property they rent. If your landlord is not maintaining the property in a safe and sanitary manner, then you can invite a Code Compliance Officer to come inspect your rental unit for minimum housing standards violations.
For more information on you rights as a renter, or to make an inspection appointment with us, contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
Marine turtle nesting season typically takes place from May 1 to October 31. However, nesting behavior can occur before or after these dates on the public beach in Surfside (see below).
With marine turtle nesting season in effect, it is vital to take caution with these endangered animals. During nesting season, marine turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in the sand, and return to the sea. After about two months, hatchlings emerge from the nest and crawl into the ocean. In many coastal areas, bright lights on the beach can cause a nesting sea turtle to return to the ocean and not lay her eggs. Lighting near the shore also causes new hatchlings to become disoriented. Rather than crawling to the ocean, they wander inland, often dying of dehydration or predation.
Surfside has lighting ordinances for marine turtle protection. The Town’s lighting regulations require the use of marine turtle-friendly fixtures that direct light down to the ground where it is necessary for safety, shields the light source from being visible from the beach and is outfitted with amber or red LED light bulbs. If you live in an ocean-front property, help nesting turtles by turning off bright interior lights, close your blinds and shades and move lights away from the windows. Remember these simple rules:
KEEP IT LOW – Use low mounting height and low bulb wattage. Flood, spot, and pole lighting are highly discouraged.
KEEP IT SHIELDED – Use full cut-off fixtures that direct the light down to the ground. Shield fixtures so you cannot see the bulb, lamp or lens.
KEEP IT LONG – Marine turtles are less disturbed by long wavelengths of light such as yellow, amber or red.
For additional information, contact the Surfside Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, ext. 204 or the Sea Turtle Conservancy at (352) 373-6441.
On January 14, 2020, the Town Commission adopted an Ordinance revision to Sections 90-85.2, 90-87 and 90-88 of the Town Code relating to the use of synthetic (artificial) turf.
Synthetic turf is now permitted on all properties of the Town subject to specific requirements and procedures as set forth in the Ordinance. Synthetic turf may not be counted towards the minimum required landscape areas, buffers, foundation plantings or landscape islands, and must comply with certain design, installation and maintenance standards.
All uses of synthetic turf shall require a building permit which must include a property survey and a complete landscape plan of the area of synthetic turf and other landscaped areas. Other requirements apply.
Properties that have previously installed synthetic turf have one year from the effective date of the Ordinance revision to apply for and obtain a building permit for the synthetic turf. Failure to obtain the required permit will constitute a violation of the Town Code, and the synthetic turf would need to be immediately removed. For assistance with applying for the required building permit, please contact the Town’s Building Department.
If you have any questions, please contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
In 1963, Dade County established minimum housing standards to protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare of all residents. In May 2002, the Town of Surfside adopted and incorporated by reference the County ordinance to govern the condition, occupancy and maintenance of all dwellings in the Town.
The ordinance covers all dwelling units and the premises relating to utilities, facilities and other physical components and conditions that make dwellings safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation. The standards also fix certain responsibilities and duties of owners, operators, managers, agents and occupants of dwellings, and imposes penalties for the violation of any provisions of the housing standards.
The housing standards authorize Code Compliance Officers to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, apartment buildings, condominiums, rooming houses, hotels and other premises to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the public. All dwellings are required to be kept clean, sanitary and in a weather-tight condition. Multi-family buildings are required to be structurally sound and maintained in good repair. Utilities, plumbing, public spaces and common facilities and amenities in all multi-family buildings are required to be kept in a good condition and in proper working order.
For more information on Minimum Housing Standards, contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
The Town’s Zoning Code, Section 90-74, provides detailed information regarding the use of temporary signs, including:
General Signage: In the commercial district, a limit of three professionally lettered signs; each sign cannot exceed three square feet. In residential areas, a limit of three professionally lettered signs per street front-age. The signs are limited in size to three square feet. Maximum sign height shall not exceed 42 inches from the ground to the top of the sign. Signs may not be on any public property or public right-of-way.
Real Estate Signs: In the commercial district, one sign is allowed, must be professionally lettered and the maximum sign area shall be limited to three square feet. In residential areas, one sign is permitted per street frontage. All real estate signs must be black and white and may include a trademarked logo or symbol. Signs may not be illuminated or lighted.
Construction Sites: One professionally lettered sign is allowed per construction site. The sign may not exceed 16 square feet in size.
Temporary Window Signs: In the commercial district, the sign must be professionally lettered, and attached to window glass or mounted within 12 inches of window glass. Only one window sign is permitted per window and may not exceed 20 per-cent of glass window they are attached to or face. Signs may not be displayed for more than 60 days.
Banner Signs: In the commercial district, the banner must be professionally lettered, and may not exceed 32 square feet or five percent of the building facade in size, whichever is less. Banners may not be dis-played for more than 30 consecutive days within a six-month period. Banners must be made with durable materials such as canvas or vinyl.
If you have any questions regarding the use of temporary signs, contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
Surfside and its administrative staff remain committed to protecting the environment and have created specific practices to help promote environmentally-friendly practices.
In past years, the Town Commission has adopted ordinances such as lighting ordinances for coastal proper-ties to minimize the impact on sea turtles nesting on the beach. The Town has also developed ordinances that prohibit the sale or use of plastic straws and the distribution, sale, or use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) to reduce the amount of plastic refuse that impacts marine life of all types.
The Town encourages residents to be conscious and adopt environmentally friendly practices, such as reusable fabric grocery bags, refillable water drinking containers and rejecting plastic bags when ordering food for take-out. Remember the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! These environmentally friendly practices are easy and accessible to all, and everyone can participate. All residents and visitors play an essential part in protecting the environment and should be part of a positive change.
For more information on the Town Code, please visit our website at:
The Code Compliance Division is authorized by state statute and Town Codes to impose fines for violation of state, county and municipal codes and to charge property owners for service costs incurred by the Town to maintain property values. If code enforcement fines and service costs are not paid by the property owner, the Town will record the amount due as a lien placed against the property, plus interest and lien fees.
Liens levied against a property shall become a lien to the extent and character as a lien for special improvements, with the same priorities, penalties, rights of collection, foreclosure, sale and forfeiture. Until fully paid and discharged, these fees, late charges and accrued interest constitutes a special assessment lien. This is equal to the lien of the Town’s ad valorem taxes and superior to all other liens, encumbrances, titles and claims.
The Code Compliance Division mails to non-compliant property owners an invoice or notice with the total amount due for code enforcement fines, civil tickets and service costs. Following a delinquency in payment, the Town records in the Miami-Dade County Public Records a claim of lien document against the property address. The notification informs the property owner of the existence of the lien, the amount of the lien and related fees due, as well as the work or service performed or provided by the Town.
Property owners have 30 days to file an appeal to the Town Manager. The Appeal Form is available at the Town Clerk’s Office. Failure to file an appeal within the 30-day time period will constitute abandonment of any right to contest the lien.
All unpaid liens become delinquent and, thereafter, accrue interest at the highest statutory rate. The Town is authorized and entitled to recover attorney’s fees, court costs and costs of enforcement and investigation in any action to enforce liens.
Once a lien has been paid in full or discharged, then the Town will record a release of lien document in the Miami-Dade County Public Records as evidence of the satisfaction and discharge of such lien.
If you have any questions concerning code enforcement liens, then please contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
The Town's Zoning Code defines hedges and hedge height requirements. A hedge is defined as a dense row of evenly spaced shrubs planted to form a continuous, unbroken visual screen.
Under Code Section 90-56.9, hedges shall be no more than four (4) feet in height in the front yard and side corner yards, and ten (10) feet in height in the rear and interior side yards. Hedges may be higher if granted approval from the Town's Planning & Zoning Board on a case-by-case basis.
Shrubs and hedges must be maintained in a manner that plant materials do not obstruct clear sight triangles and promote vehicular and pedestrian visibility. Also, hedges planted along property lines shall be maintained and trimmed to prevent branches from extending over and/or touching structures on adjacent properties.
Finally, all landscaped areas shall be sufficiently fertilized and irrigated to maintain the plant material in a healthy and viable condition. For information regarding hedges and hedge heights, please contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
In 1960, the Town adopted the Florida Building Code, with all the rules and subsequent changes, as the minimum building code for the Town. Section 105 of the Florida Building Code requires property owners to apply for and be issued a valid building permit before commencing any construction or remodeling work at their property.
The building permit is a license to proceed with the work and not the authority to violate, cancel, alter or set aside any provisions of the technical codes. A building permit does not prevent the Building Official from requiring a correction of errors in plans, construction or violations of the code.
Building permits become invalid unless the work is commenced within 180 days after issuance, or if the work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days after the work is commenced. The Building Official is authorized to require that any work which has been commenced or completed be removed.
If work has commenced and the building permit is revoked, it becomes null and void or expires because of lack of progress or abandonment. A new building permit covering the proposed construction must be obtained before proceeding. A new permit may be issued providing the work in place meets all applicable regulations in effect at the time the initial permit became null and void. The new permit also must meet new regulations which may have become effective between the date of expiration and the issuance of the new permit.
The Town of Surfside will be mailing courtesy notification to property owners and/or permit holders if their building permit has or is about to expire. If work has commenced but no inspections have been requested, the contractor should call for an in-progress or final inspection prior to the expiration of the permit.
For information about whether you need to apply for a building permit for a construction or remodeling project, please contact the Town’s Building Department at (305) 861-4863.
On June 11, 2019, the Town Commission amended the Town’s Landscaping Code to incorporate Florida Friendly Landscape Principles (FFLP). These principles seek to reduce the environmental impact of landscaping by properly applying water, fertilizer and pesticides to create a wildlife habitat, prevent erosion and recycle yard waste.
The Ordinance amendment was developed to promote Florida Friendly Landscape Principles through the use of drought resistant landscape species, grouping of plant material by water requirements, “right plant in the right place” appropriate fertilization, the use of irrigation systems that conserve water, potable and non-potable water supplies, mulching and restrictions lawn areas. The FFLP ordinance establish minimum standards for landscaping new developments and for re-developments of existing properties. Plants, shrubs and trees must be installed according to acceptable horticultural procedures with the quality of plant material as described in the FFLP ordinance.
The Town Code of Ordinances requires all property owners to maintain their land and its landscaping in a healthy, vigorous and neat appearance, free from refuse and debris. The use of certain fertilizers and pesticides creates a risk of contributing to adverse effects on surface and/or ground water. The Code requires that all fertilizers shall be safe and environmentally friendly, and their application shall conform to the manufacture’s specifications. All new irrigation systems must meet the Florida Friendly Landscaping irrigation standards and be installed with a valid Town of Surfside Building Permit. If you need more information on the FFLP, then go to: https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu.
The 2019 Hurricane season is June 1 to November 30. Are you ready for this hurricane season? Have you planned for before, during and after a storm? Your Town staff encourages you to prepare your property before a storm watch or warnings are posted.
Tall trees and shrubs that are near or may affect power lines should be trimmed back. If the top of a tree is close to a power line, have a professional tree trimming company to do the pruning work. Working close to a live power line is dangerous and can be deadly, so please exercise caution.
Items normally kept outdoors, including barbecues, garbage and recycling cans, outdoor furniture items, building supplies and anything that could become an airborne flying object, should be placed inside or securely tied down.
Dispose of household and yard trash before a storm. If large bulky objects need to be disposed of, the Town will pick up these items on the regularly scheduled bulk trash pick-up day (Wednesday). Make sure all bulk trash is removed before a storm warning is issued. If the Town is preparing for an impending storm, bulk trash pick-up service may be suspended. Depending on storm weather conditions, garbage and recycling pick-ups could be affected or even suspended. Plan accordingly.
When clearing storm debris from your property, use a broom or rake instead of a hose. This helps to con-serve water. Sweep and bag debris so it doesn’t clog storm drains and cause flooding.
Following a storm, the Town’s Public Works Department plays a major role in recovery efforts. Their main goal is to open roadways that are blocked by downed trees and vegetation, to resume garbage collection and restore disrupted water service. Place any storm debris at curbside as soon as it is safe to do so.
As a property owner, you are responsible for your building contractors during the period of construction. It is important to know the Town’s construction rules and regulations.
Construction Days and Hours: Construction activity requiring a building permit within the Town is allowed from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. It is not allowed on Saturday, Sunday or on federal holidays.
Construction Fences with Green Screen: All construction sites shall install construction fences with attached green screen material unless exempted by the Building Official. Gates must be secured at the end of the construction day to prevent accidental opening. A building permit is required for a construction fence.
Construction Noise: Construction activities must comply with noise regulations as stated in Chapter 54, Division 2, of the Town Code.
Roll-Off Construction Dumpster Containers: Roll-off construction dumpsters are required at all constructions sites unless exempted by the Town’s Building Official. A building permit is required for the roll-off construction dumpster and the containers must be immediately emptied when full and may not overflow.
Plastic/Artificial Grass: The use of plastic or similar artificial grass/landscape material is prohibited.
Construction Site Maintenance: All construction sites must be maintained in a neat, clean, orderly fashion and sanitary condition.
Inspection/Re-inspection Requests: Requests for inspection/re-inspections must be received before 4 p.m. on regular business days in to insure placement on the inspector’s work sheet for the next business day.
If you have any questions regarding construction activities, rules or regulations, contact the Town’s Building Department at (305) 861-4863.
The Town of Surfside has a Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinance that requires all eastside Collins Avenue properties to comply with protective lighting measures. Enforcement runs from May 1st – October 31st. Therefore you should draw shades at night and move bright lights away from windows.
The below information was provided by the Sea Turtle Conservancy, Gainesville, Florida:
Lights that shine onto a nesting beach can draw turtle hatch-lings away from the ocean and off the beach where they have a slim chance of survival. In addition, beach lights can also scare away females crawling ashore to nest. Nesting sea turtles once had no trouble finding a quiet, dark beach on which to nest. Now they must compete with tourists, businesses and coastal residents for sandy beaches.
Lights from beachfront developments can be problematic for nesting females and hatchlings. Beachfront lighting can also cause sea turtle hatchlings to become disoriented and wander away from the ocean towards the brightest lights. When this happens, the hatchlings often die from dehydration, exhaustion, terrestrial predators and passing cars.
Beachfront lighting can be properly managed to benefit humans and sea turtles. In general, a good sea turtle friendly lighting fixture directs light down to the ground where it is needed for safety, shields the light source from being visible from the beach, and is outfitted with an amber or red LED light bulb.
When choosing lighting for your coastal property, please remember these three simple rules:
KEEP IT LOW – Use low mounting height and low bulb watt-age. Flood, spot and pole lighting are highly discouraged.
KEEP IT SHIELDED – Use full cut-off fixtures that direct the light down to the ground. Shield fixtures so you cannot see the bulb, lamp or glowing lens.
KEEP IT LONG – Sea turtles are less disturbed by the long wavelengths of light (570 nanometers or longer), such as lights that are yellow, amber or red in color.
For additional information regarding sea turtles and lighting, contact the Surfside Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, extension 230, or the Sea Turtle Conservancy at (352) 373-6441.
Storefront and sidewalk cleanliness is an important component of operating a successful business. It is the first impression customers have regarding a store or restaurant and it should be a positive one. Under the Town Code, Section 14-51, General Property Maintenance, every owner of a commercial property or tenant shall be responsible for maintaining the exterior of the store/business in a clean, sanitary and safe condition.
Under the Town Code, Section 14-52, Commercial Property Maintenance, every merchant, storekeeper or operator shall sweep and/or hose down the side-walks adjoining the business whenever necessary to keep the area clean. The sweeping must be picked up and not swept into the gutter.
For those businesses that have a sidewalk café operation, under Town Code, Section 18-92, the area covered by a sidewalk café permit, and the sidewalk and street immediately adjacent to it shall be maintained in a clean, neat and orderly appearance at all times. The sidewalk surface on which the café is located must also be pressure cleaned at the close of each business day.
The Town of Surfside works closely with business operators and property owners to follow the Town’s storefront and sidewalk cleanliness standards. If the Surfside Code Compliance Team finds a property owner, agent or tenant not following these standards, they will be contacted regarding the compliance standards and civil penalties of non-compliance. For more information, please contact the Code Compliance Team at (305) 861-4863.
The mission of the Town of Surfisde Code Compliance Division is to inform the public of the Town Code and the fundamental principles behind the laws and ordinances as well as the many benefits of compliance.
Code compliance officers perform pro-active and reactive property inspections to ensure that zoning, regulations and property and building construction standards are followed and maintained. The officers work with affected parties to achieve voluntary compliance in public health, life safety, nuisances and quality-of-life issues.
The code compliance process is regulated by State law and our Town Code of Ordinances. Upon receipt of a complaint or direct observation of a code violation, the code compliance officer will gather evidence to document the violation and makes an initial contact with the property owner where the violation has occurred. The contact is usually made in person and/or by a Courtesy Letter that explains the nature of the code violation. The code officer sets a reasonable time period for the property owner to correct the code violation.
If the property owner fails to correct the code violation within the Courtesy notice time limit, then the Code Officer issues a Civil Violation Notice to the property owner. This notice establishes a deadline date for compliance to be achieved. The notice also gives the property owner a specific date and civil fine amount that will be assessed against the property.
If the code violation is not resolved, then the property owner is sent an Affidavit of Default informing that a compliance hearing will be scheduled before the Town’s Special Master to obtain an enforceable order to comply and/or pay civil fines. Failure to pay imposed fines will result in the recording of a lien against the property in the Miami-Dade County public records. In certain cases, the civil fines begins immediately. This is when the code violation is irreversible or not repair-able, involves a public health or life safety issue or is a repeat violation. If you have questions about the code compliance process, call the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, ext. 230 or 233.
In 2011, Surfside enacted a “Short-Term Rental” Ordinance to regulate the rental of residential properties by seasonal residents. The Ordinance requires property owners to complete an “Individual Short-Term Rental Registration for Seasonal Guests” application
and pay the required fees. Property owners must agree to the terms and conditions for short-term rentals as outlined in the Ordinance.
A new registration application is required for each new rental period, and property owners are limited to three rentals within a 12-consecutive month time period.
The registration fee per rental period is $100, plus a Resort Tax is due per rental period of four percent of the total rental fee collected by the property owner. If you are advertising and renting your property through the Airbnb website, then Airbnb will collect and remit the 4% Resort Tax to the Town on your behalf.
Registration is compulsory at the time that the property becomes listed or advertised on a vacation rental website such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey or any other website. The $100 registration fee will be credited to the first vacation rental period that occurs at the property.
For further information on the Town’s Short-Term Rental Ordinance or to obtain a registration application form, please contact the Code Compliance Division at Surfside Town Hall, or call (305) 861-4863, extension 230.
Surfside has many noise-related codes that residents
should be aware of and follow. The most frequently
cited noise violations are:
Under Section 54-78 (7), noise that is generated from
the operation of lawn mowers, hedge clippers, washing
machines is restricted. If the noise is plainly audible
within 50 feet from the premises where operated,
the devices can only be operated between 8 am and
6 pm, Monday–Saturday, and cannot be operated on
Sunday or any legal holiday. Under Section 54-78 (15),
the operation on any noise-creating blower or power
fan, or any internal combustion engine is prohibited
unless the engine is equipped with a muffler device
sufficient to deaden the noise.
Disposal of Grass Clippings and Hedge Trimmings
Under Section 66-7, grass cuttings shall be completely
removed and cleaned from all paved areas by broom
sweeping only, and the use of power blowers is absolutely
Barking or Vicious Dogs
Any person who keeps or owns a dog that frequently
or habitually barks, yelps or howls is guilty of violating
In general, noise complaints are investigated by the
Code Compliance Team during regular business hours
(Monday–Friday from 9 am–5 pm, and on Saturdays
and Sundays from 8:30 am–4:30 pm. At all other
times, report noise complaints to the Surfside Police
Department at 305.861.4862. The Code Compliance
Team will first issue a Courtesy Notice to the violator
to resolve the noise violation issue. If it is not resolved,
then the violator will receive a Civil Violation Notice
that carries a $100 civil fine per day until the noise is
resolved. For more information on the Town’s noise
codes, contact the Code Compliance Team at 305.861.4863.
Surfside is a pet-friendly town, where pets can be an important part of family life. But with the responsibility of caring for a pet comes the responsibility of keeping and maintaining the pet according to Town Codes.
While dogs, cats and other domestic pets are allowed, the maintenance of horses, poultry, farm animals and non-domesticated pets is prohibited. In addition, the outdoor feeding of stray or feral cats is prohibited as a public nuisance and public health hazard.
One of the most common Code Compliance complaints is barking dogs. The Town Code prohibits loud, frequent, excessive, sustained and habitual barking or howling noise. When this problem is reported, either the Code Compliance Team or the Surfside Police Department will investigate the occurrence. Dog owners should take appropriate measures to ensure that their dogs do not bark excessively to the point that it disturbs their neighbors. This code violation may result in a civil fine.
All dogs must be vaccinated and must wear a substantial, durable collar or harness at all times to which a license tag shall be securely attached.
Dogs must be securely leashed when off their owner’s property. If your unleashed dog is found roaming the streets, it is considered a public nuisance and the dog owner is subject to receiving a civil fine. In addition, the dog may be impounded as provided by Miami-Dade County ordinance.
Dogs are not allowed in food establishments or on the public beach unless the dog is a guide or service dog, and the dog’s owner is deaf or hard of hearing, or totally or partially physical disabled and the dog is specifically trained for such assistance purpose. However, leashed dogs are allowed on the hard-pack area of the beach.
If you have any questions concerning the keeping of pets, please call the Surfside Code Compliance Team at (305) 861-4863.
Your Code Compliance Team is on the lookout for properties that have overgrown lawns and other vegetation. The Surfside Town Codes require all property owners to maintain their lawns, hedges, shrubs and trees to present the appearance of a healthy and well-maintained environment.
If your grass exceeds eight inches in height, then you will receive a courtesy notice from a Code Compliance Officer. The letter will ask you to cut the grass within ten days. If the grass is not cut within the ten-day time period, then the Code Compliance Officer will issue a civil violation notice for the offense of failure to maintain your property in accordance with Town Codes. Some additional time will be allowed for you to cut the grass before a civil fine of $25 per day starts to accrue against the property. Fines continue to run until the grass is cut.
In addition to the accrual of a civil fine, the Town Code allows the Code Compliance Officer to abate the violation by hiring a lot mowing company to cut the overgrown grass. The cost for this service will be billed out to the property owner, and must be paid to the Town within 15 days of invoicing. Otherwise, the Town is authorized to record a lien in the Miami-Dade County Public Records against the property for the work costs plus appropriate lien fees.
The same process holds true for properties that have unmaintained hedges, shrubs and trees.
If you have any questions concerning property maintenance, please contact the Code Compliance Division
at (305) 861-4863.
Lawn watering is limited all year by the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) year-round landscape irrigation rule and local ordinances. The year-round rule is a component of the SFWMD Comprehensive Water Conservation Program, established to encourage more responsible use of water resources. The Year-Round Rule limits landscape watering to two days a week. Reclaimed water used for irrigation is subject to voluntary watering limits unless restricted by a local government or utility.
Water conservation makes good environmental and financial sense. It protects the water supply and assures there will be water available in the future. Water conservation can also reduce household spending and cuts government expenses.
Residents must follow the Miami-Dade County Water Conservation restrictions:
• Watering is not allowed between 10 am and 4 pm.
• Hand-watering with one hose fitted with an automatic shut-off nozzle is allowed for 10 minutes per day for landscape stress relief and to prevent plant die-off.
• Restrictions apply to all users of any water resource within Miami-Dade County, whether from publicly or privately-owned water utility sewer systems, private wells or private connections to surface water bodies.
•Residences and businesses with an odd-numbered street address (ending in 1,3,5,7,9) can water on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4 pm to 10 am.
•Residences and businesses with an even-numbered street address (ending in 0,2,4,6,8) can water on Thursdays and Sundays from 4 pm to 10 am.
•Residents should choose a “watering window” (before 10 am or after 4 pm) for their designated watering days.
Avoid irrigation during both time periods on the same day.
There are some exceptions to the restrictions:
•Restrictions do not apply for car and boat washing, pressure cleaning of paved surfaces, decorative fountains and water-based recreation (swimming pools, etc.).
•Users of 100 percent reclaimed water are exempt from restrictions, but encouraged to conserve water.
•Low-volume irrigation, including the use of drop and micro jet systems that apply water directly to plant root zones, is not restricted but is encouraged to be reduced.
•For the first 90-days, newly-planted gardens and landscaping can be watered during the corresponding hours listed above every day except for Fridays.
To report water use restriction violations, call 3-1-1 or email to: email@example.com. If you have questions concerning lawn watering limits contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, ext. 230 or 233.
Did you know that Surfside has Ordinances that regulate the days and hours of construction work and prohibited noises? All residents, businesses, developers and contractors are required to adhere to and follow the Ordinance requirements.
All construction activities that require a building permit, such as electrical, plumbing, mechanical, roofing and structural work, are restricted to working on Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm, and are prohibited on Saturdays, Sundays and all federal holidays. There are some exceptions, such as work related to infrastructure and utilities, roadways, public right-of way construction, minor repair and maintenance activities inside of private dwelling units and painting with manual tools (no commercial sprayers).
For construction projects over 10,000 square feet in size or valued over $1,000,000 in costs, contractors are required to post notice signs at the property to state that the property is an active construction site. In addition, the contractor is required to provide contact information for public complaints and concerns.
The Town’s Noise Ordinance provides additional rules and regulations as to noise that is generated from construction activities and from residential properties. In general, any loud, excessive or continuous noise, such as barking dogs, is prohibited, and especially on Sundays and legal holidays. Lawn mowing and other landscaping work is only allowed on Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm.
If you have any questions concerning construction work days and hours, contact the Town’s Code Compliance Division by calling (305) 861-4863, extension 230.
Are you feeling the sting of mosquitoes? Then it is time to drain and cover. Help us stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business.
Be sure to drain standing water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, toys, flower pots or from any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected. Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans and any other items that are stored outside which are not being used.
Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice per week. Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools and ponds, and empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites and the diseases they may carry. Cover your skin with clothing if you must go outside when mosquitoes are active. Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months. Keep mosquitoes out of your home. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches and patios.
To report mosquito infestations, call 3-1-1 (Miami-Dade County Solid Waste Department).
Overgrown, untrimmed trees can potentially create a hazardous situation. In addition to damaging property, fallen trees and tree branches can cause power outages during storm events. This was the case during Hurricane Irma in September 2017. Also, heavy rain storms will often wash mulch onto the roadways and eventually into the Town’s storm drain system. Debris in the storm drain system goes directly into Biscayne Bay.
To address the concerns of overgrown trees and mulch in the right-of-way areas adjacent to private property, the Town Commission recently adopted changes to the Town Code on Property Maintenance Standards.
Town Code requires property owners to maintain the right-of-way adjacent to their property, including sod, landscaping and trees. Property owners are expected to keep Florida Power & Light electric power lines free and clear of tree limbs and to eliminate all types of mulch from the front of their property.
To review the amended Town Code, visit www.townofsurfsidefl.gov. We appreciate your cooperation. For any questions, please contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, extension 230.
On March 13, 2018, the Town Commission created a new Town Code Section 34-11, prohibiting the distribution, sale or use of plastic straws. The new ordinance goes into effect on May 1, 2018.
The intent of the ordinance is to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean to protect the environment and sea turtles, whose nesting season begins on May 1. The distribution, sale or use of plastic straws will be prohibited in commercial establishments, Town facilities and property, or by any special event permittees. The prohibition does not apply to prepackaged drinks sold at commercial establishments, to medical or dental facilities, to school districts or county, state or federal governmental entities.
Civil fines will be assessed for the violations. Commercial establishments will be issued a civil fine of $150 per violation and individuals will be issued a civil fine of $25 per violation. For further information regarding this new Town Code, contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
In 2011, the Town of Surfside enacted a “Short-Term Rental” Ordinance to regulate the rental of residential properties by seasonal residents. The Ordinance requires property owners to complete an “Individual Short-Term Rental Registration for Seasonal Guests” application and pay the required fees.
Property owners must agree to the terms and conditions for short-term rentals as outlined in the Ordinance. A new registration application is required for each new rental period and property owners are limited to three rentals within a period of 12-consecutive months.
The registration fee per rental period is $100, plus Resort Tax is due per rental period of four percent (4%) of rental fee collected by the property owner from the renter. If you are advertising and renting your property through Airbnb, then Airbnb will remit the Resort Tax to the Town on your behalf.
Registration is required even if the property is just being advertised on a vacation rental website, such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO, Flipkey or any other website. In this case, the registration fee is $100 and must be paid when you list the property for rent. However, this amount will be credited to the first vacation rental that occurs at the property.
For further information on the Town’s Short-Term Rental Ordinance, or to obtain a registration application form, please contact the Code Compliance Division at Surfside Town Hall, or call (305) 861-4863, extension 230.
The Town of Surfside regulates the use of political campaign
signs under our Zoning Codes, Section 90-74, Temporary
Signs. Political campaign signs may be displayed in both the
residential and business districts.
Political campaign signs may not be erected or displayed
more than 90 days prior to the subject election date or ballot
vote, and all signs must be removed no later than seven (7)
days after the subject election or ballot date. In the case
where a candidate is a participant in a run-off election, the
candidate’s political campaign signs may be displayed until
such time as the run-off election is concluded.
Political campaign signs must be professionally lettered,
and may not be lighted or illuminated in any manner.
Political campaign signs may be not affixed or attached in
any manner to the surface of any public street, public right-of-
way, easement, sidewalk, curb, street pole, or any other
public property or public place. Any campaign sign so
affixed or attached to any public property will be removed
and destroyed by the Town without prior notice to the political
For residential and business districts, the maximum sign size
is three (3) square feet. For in-ground signs, the maximum
sign height including support frame is 42 inches from the
ground to the top of the sign. In residential districts, only
one political campaign sign is permitted per street frontage.
Signs may not obstruct roadway visibility. Total signage,
including political signs, placed in a window in the business
district may not exceed 20% of the window.
Prior to posting any political campaign sign, the political
candidate must first obtain the permission of the property
owner to post a political sign where the sign is to be placed.
Signs placed on private property without the consent of the
property owner may be removed and destroyed. Signs may
not be placed on vacant lots or vacant properties without
the expressed consent of the property owner. At this time,
the Town of Surfside does not require a political campaign
If you have any questions concerning political campaign
signs, then please contact the Town of Surfside, Code
Compliance Division, at 305.861.4863.
It is that time of the year when many residents decorate their homes and yards with lights and other displays. We want to remind all residents that the Town Codes do regulate the use of seasonal holiday decorations. Any plastic or similar artificial landscape material is allowed for up to 60 days duration during a holiday.
Please follow the Town Codes. If you have any questions, then contact the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863. Happy holidays to all.
Landscape trees not only make homes and communities more beautiful, they also improve our environment and can increase the value of a property up to 20 percent. Trees are invaluable assets that need to be enhanced and protected. Proper pruning is a worthwhile investment.
When a tree or part of a tree breaks, it can cause extensive damage to people and property. A preventive pruning program is important to minimize the risks. Preventive or structural pruning is a process that can help promote healthy, strong trees. Research studies suggest that pruning trees significantly reduces trunk movement and damage when exposed to 120 mph winds.
Because proper pruning is complicated, national standards have been developed for the best methods and safety. Any potentially hazardous activity associated with climbing trees, using power tools, and especially working near electric lines should be left to qualified professionals who follow the national tree safety standards.
A tree removal/relocation permit is not required for the selective pruning or trimming of trees, provided the pruning is done according to the most recent American National Standards (ANSI) A-300 Standard Practices for Tree Care Operations.
However, excessive pruning of more than 25 percent of the tree’s canopy (i.e. hat-racking, topping, etc.) and other activities (i.e. trunk girdling, excessive root cutting, use of tree-killing chemicals, etc.) constitutes a violation of Section 24-49 of the Code of Miami-Dade County.
Thinking about pruning/trimming your trees? Please hire only licensed and insured arborist that knows how to proper care and prune trees.
It’s the day after a hurricane has swept through Surfside and you venture outside to evaluate the condition of your home, yard, trees and property. It is a shock to see the amount of devastation in the neighborhood. With the level of clean-up, repairs, replacement and the effort of returning your home and life to normalcy, the last thing you want to worry about is violating Town codes.
During the post-storm period, it is the job of Code Enforcement to help you recover. Immediately after a serious storm or hurricane, the Code Compliance Division is busy doing post-storm damage assessments. We look at every property to determine what resources are needed to help restore the Town to normal. We are looking for life-safety hazards, such as downed electrical lines, broken sanitary lines and partially fallen trees which could cause further property damage or injure a person. We are in the “public assistance” mode of operation as are other Town departments.
If we see that your home or an accessory building sustained structural damage, we will mail you a Courtesy Notice. The Notice explains the problem and provides a reasonable period of time to take appropriate action. We will re-evaluate the problem at a later date and inform you of further actions you must take if the problem is not resolved.
If a large tree is down or large branches have broken, you need to hire a landscape company to cut and remove the tree and its broken branches. If your tree fell onto a neighboring property or fence, then it is your responsibility to solve this problem as soon as possible.
You should immediately place destroyed vegetation debris at curbside for the Town to pick up. The Town will be collecting the vegetation for only a few days. Do not mix dead vegetation with any bulk trash items. They should be accumulated in separate piles.
Call us if you have any post-hurricane questions at 305.861.4863.
The Town of Surfside collects garbage and trash in the residential district every Monday through Friday. This is done to prevent decay, noxious odors and the breeding of flies and other germ carrying insects. The Town has strict rules relating to garbage and trash:
- Garbage and trash collection is restricted. Only Public Works employees may collect the garbage or trash within the Town. Scavenging is not allowed.
- No garbage or trash may be placed on a property for pick up unless it originates at that property.
- Industrial waste or construction materials must be removed from a property by the property owner or contractor performing work at the property.
- All buildings and commercial properties which are located on Collins and Harding Avenues must enclose their garbage and trash within a suitable plastic bag of sufficient thickness to prevent the bag from breaking.
- Business establishments, hotels and apartment buildings that utilize dumpster containers must break down or crush up wooden and paper crates before placing this waste into their dumpster container.
- Grass clippings and hedge trimmings must be placed inside plastic bags before being placed curbside for pick up.
- If you use a professional gardener, they must promptly remove all grass clippings and hedge/tree trimmings. They are not allowed to leave anything behind for the Town to pick up.
- It is illegal to dispose of any garbage or trash on any vacant property or onto any street or public property within the Town.
- It is unlawful for anyone to sweep or deposit on the street or into the gutters any garbage, trash, grass clippings, hedge or tree trimmings, or any other type of debris.
All property owners are charged a fee for solid waste collection. The rate schedule is adopted by Resolution by the Surfside Town Commission. For single-family homes, Miami-Dade County bills annually for the collection. For commercial properties and condominiums, the Town bills monthly.
If you have any questions about garbage and trash collection, please call the Public Works Department or the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
Are you building or remodeling a home or condo apartment in Surfside? If so, you need to apply for and obtain a roll-off construction dumpster permit prior to ordering the dumpster.
Start the process by completing a Town of Surfside Building Permit Application. The permit fee is $80 plus the County surcharge. Applications are available at Town Hall and online via the Town’s website.
Currently, Surfside has an exclusive franchise agreement for construction debris removal. The dumpster provider is Waste Management. You are required to use this company when ordering a roll-off construction dumpster container. Waste Management can be reached at 305.471.4444.
Roll-off construction dumpster containers must be placed in your driveway or on your property. They are not allowed to be placed on town property, roadways, rights-of-way, swales or on street ends.
When the dumpster container is full, you or your contractor must have the container picked up by the waste hauling company. Full and overflowing dumpsters are a code violation, and property owners may be cited and assessed a civil fine for the public nuisance violation.
If you have any questions about roll-off construction dumpsters, please call the Code Compliance Division at 305.861.4863.
Countinous noise of 85 decibels or higher can cause permanant hearing loss. A typical gasoline-powered, twostroke leaf blower produces 90-102 decibels of sound. Because leaf blowers are loud enough to cause hearing deficits and loss, the Town of Surfside does not allow their use under multiple sections of the Town Code. In addition to the loud noise they generate, leaf blowers blast away topsoil, microbial life forms, animal waste, herbicides, pesticides and even heavy metals, such as arsenic, mercury and lead. Leaf blower pollutants are dangerous enough that the American Lung Association recommends that all individuals avoid them.
The use of leaf blowers to dispose of grass cuttings and leaf trimmings usually leads to debris in our road gutters and stormwater drainage system. Under Chapter 34 of the Town Code, it is unlawful to deposit any debris into the town’s drainage system. Under Chapter 66, it is unlawful to sweep any trash or debris into the streets, sidewalks or gutter, and the use of leaf blowers is “absolutely prohibited.”
Under the Town’s Noise Ordinance, certain noises, such as loud and continuous leaf blowers, are prohibited at all times and places within the Town. Any noise that is loud and excessive or continuous in nature will constitute a violation of the Noise Ordinance. The civil penalty for this type of noise violation is currently $100 per incident, and the fine will be assessed to the property owner where the violation occurs.
Property owners should inform lawn care professionals to stop using leaf blowers. They shoud use rakes and brooms to gather grass cuttings and leaf trimmings.
For more information, call the Code Compliance Office at (305) 861-4863.
In 2011, the Town of Surfside enacted a “Short-Term Rental” Ordinance to regulate the rental of residential properties by seasonal residents. The Ordinance requires property owners to complete an “Individual Short-Term Rental Registration for Seasonal Guests” application and pay the required fees. Property owners must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the Ordinance. A new registration application is required for each new rental period, and property owners are limited to three rentals within a 12 month time period. Registration is required if the property is simply being advertised on any of the many vacation rental websites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO or Flipkey. In this case, the registration fee is $100 and must be paid when the property is listed for rent. However, this amount will be credited to the first vacation rental that occurs at the property.
The registration fee per rental period is $100 plus a Resort Tax is due per rental period of four percent of rental fee collected by the property owner from the renter( s). If you are advertising and renting your property through Airbnb, then Airbnb will remit the Resort Tax to the Town on your behalf.
For further information on the Short-Term Rental Ordinance or to obtain a registration application form, please contact the Code Compliance Division at Surfside Town Hall, or call (305) 861-4863, extension 230.
Lights that shine on a nesting beach can draw turtle hatchlings away from the ocean and off the beach where they have a slim chance of survival. Beach lights also scare away female turtles crawling ashore to nest. Sea turtles still return to beaches that were once dark and empty to lay their eggs. Now they must compete with residents, tourists, obstacles and bright lights. Beachfront lighting can also cause sea turtle hatchlings to become disoriented and wander away from the ocean towards the brightest lights. When this happens, the hatchlings often die from dehydration, exhaustion, predators and passing cars. Beachfront lighting can be properly managed to benefit humans and sea turtles. In general, the light should be aimed at the ground where it is needed for safety. The light should be shielded from the beach and outfitted with an amber or red LED bulb.
When lighting coastal property, remember these rules:
- KEEP IT LOW – Use low mounting height and low bulb wattage. Flood, spot and pole lighting are discouraged.
- KEEP IT SHIELDED – Use full cut-off fixtures that direct the light down to the ground. Shield fixtures so the bulb, lamp or glowing lens cannot be seen.
- KEEP IT LONG – Sea turtles are less disturbed by the long wavelengths of light (570 nanometers or longer), such as yellow, amber or red lights.
For additional information, contact the Surfside Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863, extension 230, or the Sea Turtle Conservancy at (352) 373-6441
The Town’s landscape requirements encourage the planting of quality landscaping material and aesthetic landscape design.
The Town has standards for the installation of landscaping and irrigation systems. All buildings, structures, new developments, redevelopment and change of use requiring a permit obligates the property owner to submit a landscape and irrigation plan with a current property survey to the Building Department.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining their landscaping in a manner that presents a healthy, vigorous and neat appearance. All landscaped areas shall be sufficiently fertilized and irrigated to maintain the plant material in a healthy and viable condition. All fertilizer shall be safe and environmentally friendly.
Weeds, noxious grasses or underbrush that are in excess of eight inches in height must be cut, removed or re-sodded. Landscaping that is found to be in a state of decline, dead, damaged or missing must be replaced with equivalent landscape material.
Shrubs and hedges must be planted and maintained so that such materials do not obstruct clear sight triangle visibility at intersections and driveways, and enable pedestrian and vehicular visibility.
Trees, shrubs and hedges should not be planted in front yards in the Town’s easement area, which is approximately 6.5 feet from the roadway curbing, with the exception of Surfside Boulevard which is approximately 11 feet from the roadway curbing.
Any type of tree abuse or hatracking (topping off) of a tree is prohibited by Surfside and Miami-Dade County Codes. Guidelines for the use of plant material, open spaces, tree planting, removal and relocation and spraying are provided in the Town Codes.
Planning to build a new house or demolish a building? Adding a room to your existing house, enclose a garage, or make repairs or improvements that involve trade workers? Florida law and Town Codes require that you first apply for and obtain a Town of Surfside Building Permit prior to commencing work. Florida Statute 553.79 states that
“it is unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or governmental entity to construct, erect, alter modify, repair or demolish any building within the state without first obtaining a permit thereof from the appropriate enforcing agency…”
On December 13, 2016, the Town Commission adopted a new Ordinance that will regulate the placement of beach furniture on the public beach. The goal of the Ordinance is to protect the public health, safety and welfare of all beach users.
The Ordinance defines beach furniture to include any chair, umbrella, tent or any other object that is used on the beach. The Ordinance places specific limitations on beach furniture placement. Beach furniture items shall not inhibit access to the public beach, nor obstruct reasonable access on the beach for pedestrians and emergency vehicles, nor impact native vegetation, nor affect sea turtles or other wildlife.
Beach Furniture Operators, as defined in the Ordinance, must obtain a Town issued permit to place beach furniture on the public beach. In addition, they must procure a local business tax receipt to engage in beach furniture operations. The Ordinance does not require a permit from the general public to place beach furniture on the public beach for their personal use.
Any person or entity that is found to be in violation of the Ordinance will be subject to pay a civil fine. If you have any questions concerning this new Ordinance, please contact the Town’s Code Compliance Division, at (305) 861-4863, ext. 230.
Did you know that the Town of Surfside has an Ordinance that regulates the days and hours of construction work? All residents, businesses, developers and contractors are required to adhere to and follow the Ordinance requirements.
Going forward from the date of the adoption of this new Ordinance, all construction activities that require a building permit, such as electrical, plumbing, mechanical, roofing and structural work, are restricted to working on Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and are prohibited on Saturdays, Sundays and all federal holidays. There are some exceptions, such as work related to infrastructure and utilities, roadways, other public right-ofway construction, minor repairs and maintenance activities inside of private dwelling units as well as painting with manual tools (no commercial sprayers).
The Town Manager may authorize construction activities outside of the established work days and hours on a case-by-case basis.
For construction projects over 10,000-square-feet in size or valued over $1 million in cost, contractors are required to post notice signs at the property to state that the property is an active construction site. In addition, the contractor is required to provide contact information for public complaints and concerns.
The Town’s Noise Ordinance provides additional rules and regulations as to noise that is generated from construction activities. In general, loud, excessive or continuous noise is prohibited. If you have any questions concerning construction work days and hours, then please contact the Town’s Code Compliance Division by calling (305) 861-4863, extension 230.
The use of home offices and home businesses are allowed in Surfside with the following restrictions:
- Must be the resident of the premises.
- Must be clearly incidental and secondary to its use for residential purposes.
- No outside display, storage or use of the land for the home office and no change in the outside appearance of the property as a result of the home office.
- No equipment used by the home office is allowed to create any noise, odors or electrical interference.
- No trash, sewage, solid waste or waste than normal household trash and recyclables is can be generated.
- No retail or wholesale sales are allowed on premises except for telephone, mail, delivery service, internet sales or similar electronic sales.
- No traffic is generated by such home office in greater volume than would be normally expected in the neighborhood.
- No customers, clients, business associates or sales persons shall visit the residence for a business purpose.
The Home Offices Ordinance also states that a residence cannot be used for personal services, such as the practice of medicine, chiropractic medicine, dentistry, massage, cosmetology, barber shops or salons. There is an annual local business tax of $125 the home owner must pay to the Town of Surfside. Other license requirements apply. For further information on Home Offices, please contact Alan Graham, Code Compliance Director, at (305) 861-4863.
Is it time to sell, rent or lease your house? If so, your realtor will be putting up a sign on your front lawn. Be sure that you follow the Surfside Town Code of Ordinances as they relate to temporary real estate signs.
Only one professionally lettered real estate sign is permitted per street frontage. The maximum sign panel area is 18 inches by 24 inches. A maximum of two “rider” signs are allowed and can be attached above or below the sign. The riders may not exceed 6 inches by 24 inches per rider for in-ground signs. Examples of riders are Single-Family Only or Swimming Pool.
The maximum height for in-ground signs, including support frame, is 42 inches from the ground to the top of the sign. The sign shall be located outside of the sight visibility triangle of the property (away from all hedges and walls that may obstruct the view of the roadway or intersections).
Signs shall be constructed of rigid, weatherproof materials. All real estate signs shall be black and white, and may include a trademark logo or symbol. Signs shall not be illuminated or lighted in any manner and cannot extend across the property line.
For commercial properties, signs must be mounted flat against the building wall. For vacant lots, signs shall be securely fastened to a wood or freestanding stake or post of sufficient strength to support the sign.
Finally, real estate signs shall be removed within seven (7) days of a lot, building or residence space being leased, rented or sold. If you have any questions about temporary real estate signs, then please call the Code Compliance Division at (305) 861-4863.
The Town of Surfside regulates the use of political campaign signs under Zoning Code Section 90-74, Temporary Signs. Political campaign signs may be displayed in both the residential and business districts.
Political campaign signs may not be erected or displayed more than 90 days prior to the election date or ballot vote, and all signs must be removed no later than seven days after the election or ballot date. When a candidate is a participant in a run-off election, the candidate’s political campaign signs may be displayed until the run-off election is concluded.
Political campaign signs must be professionally lettered, and may not be lighted or illuminated in any manner.
Political campaign signs may be not affixed or attached to the surface of any public street, public right-of-way, easement, sidewalk, curb, street pole, or public property or public place. Any campaign sign so affixed or attached will be removed and destroyed by the Town without notice to the political campaign.
For residential and business districts, the maximum sign size is three square feet. For in-ground signs, the maximum height including support frame is 42 inches from the ground to the top of the sign. In residential districts, only one political campaign sign is permitted per street frontage. Signs may not obstruct roadway visibility.
Prior to posting any political campaign sign, the political campaign office must first obtain the permission of the property owner to post a political sign. Signs may not be placed on vacant lots or vacant properties without the expressed consent of the property owner. At this time, the Town of Surfside does not require a political campaign sign bond.
If you have any questions, please contact the Town of Surfside, Code Compliance Division, at (305) 861-4863.
Litter is anything animal, vegetable or material discarded, deposited or placed on any public or private property other than in a trash receptacle used for the collection of solid or liquid waste.
In Surfside, it is unlawful for any person to throw, discard, place or deposit litter in any manner or amount on any public or private property except in proper containers. This definition includes all waterways and coastal waters. Our Town’s Litter Ordinance also applies to unfinished, unoccupied or closed structures, construction sites and vacant lots. The following are common examples of littering:
- The distribution or placement of commercial handbills is considered to be littering. If ten or more handbills are distributed, placed or deposited anywhere, then the business being advertised on the handbill is considered to be the responsible party (violator).
- The Town is authorized to pick up and dispose of bulk litter and charge the property owner or person/business that is responsible for creating the litter.
- It is unlawful to carry onto any beach a glass container or to carry any expanded polystyrene product onto any beach or public park within the Town of Surfside.
Surfside Code Compliance Officers will issue the litter violator a “Notice of Violation” that contains the fine amount and time period to remit the fine to the Town. The violator has 20 days to appeal the issuance of the violation notice. The Town can compel payment of civil fines and is allowed to record a lien against the offending property owner, business or person. The Town may revoke a Business Tax Receipt and/or a Certificate of Use for any business that has three or more littering offenses within a calendar year.
Under Florida’s Litter Law (Criminal State Statute, Chapter 403), it is unlawful for any person to dump litter in any manner or amount. Penalty fines can range from $100 to $5,000. For more information, contact Alan Graham, (305) 861-4863, ext. 230.