ARB Fines for Projects with Expired Permits or No Final Inspection
Whether it’s a new build, remodel of an existing home with a renovation or addition, new driveway configuration, new pool addition, or just an enlargement of an existing deck, closing an ARB project is an exciting time for both the homeowner and the ARB. An ARB project approval is a two-way commitment. The homeowner is committed to improve their property, and the ARB is committed to monitoring the project and ensuring that the property will meet the ARB guidelines and overall expectations of Palmetto Dunes upon completion. At a high level, all homeowners agreed to this upon purchasing in PD and specifically when signing the application for an ARB project which requires a compliance deposit.
For projects such as new builds, the compliance deposit requirement is substantial. For other projects, the compliance deposit is often much less. On these lower compliance deposit projects, it has become a trend of homeowners completing the main purpose of the application but NOT completing the other ARB requirements such as pool screening, foundation plantings, enclosing equipment within a service yard, updating a pool’s backwash, or other ARB requirements that were spelled out in the approval letter to bring the property into ARB compliance.
As per the Design & Construction Guidelines, any renovation requiring ARB approval also subjects the property to an overall ARB inspection to ensure the property meets current ARB standards. If deficiencies are found, issuance of the ARB permit may be contingent upon the owner’s agreement to bring the property into compliance with the current ARB Design and Construction Guidelines. Once the ARB has informed a homeowner of any ARB compliance issues with their property, the homeowner then agrees to address the items with the main project, and the ARB permit gets issued.
The project cannot be closed out and the compliance deposit returned until, not only the main project from the application is completed, but all required compliance items have been met that were agreed upon. In some cases, the homeowner does not call for a final inspection or respond to ARB requests about the project’s status. The permit expires yet the project has not been closed out.
There have always been citations for building without an ARB permit (or continuing a project with an expired permit), or failure to complete a project in the approved timeframe. In an effort to work with homeowners, the latter has rarely been used. If fact, the ARB grants many extensions to permits when requested for a project. We are still working on several outstanding 2020 projects that have not been closed out, and we still have many in 2021 that need to be addressed. This creates a large and unneeded workload for ARB staff.
Therefore, effective June 1st, the ARB will be utilizing Violation 06-12 (Failure to Complete Construction by Completion Date) to assess fines for projects that are still open but have an expired permit (where to date there has been no written request to either extend the permit or to perform a final inspection). This fine is a 30-day extension upon written request without penalty, then $100 per day until project is complete. The 30-day extension will automatically start on June 1st without a written request required. Then starting on July 1st, the fine will initially be applied to the compliance deposit and once the deposit is consumed, the fine will be levied against the property. This obligation will be satisfied at closing should the home sell.
To avoid this unpleasant situation, please follow the project approval letter and complete all work that has been agreed to in that letter within the automatic 30-day extension. If you are still working on the project and need the permit extended, please request an extension by writing to the ARB. Once all has been completed, reach out to the ARB to request a final inspection to close the project out and have the compliance deposit returned.
The ARB does not want to hold your deposit money or assess fines. For further information regarding this, please refer to sections 6.1.3 (Compliance Deposit) and 6.1.4 (Penalties) in our Design & Construction Guidelines which is available by clicking here.