The move will complement several new policies and procedures designed to ensure operations continue during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
PALM BAY, FLORIDA – The City of Palm Bay Building Department will open a new off-site service center on December 4, 2020. The new Building Department facility will be located at 190 Malabar Road Suite 105 in the Winn Dixie Shopping Center at the southwest corner of Minton and Malabar Roads. The service center will operate Monday through Friday from 7:30am until 3:30pm and offer a convenient location apart from the City Hall campus with ample parking and easy access.
In addition to improving customer accessibility, the move will also enable the Building Department to enact additional COVID-19 preventative measures to protect visitors and staff and reduce daily foot traffic in the facility. Over the past several months, the City of Palm Bay Building Department has adjusted its building permit and inspection services to support the building industry and keep projects moving during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In June, the Building Department introduced Electronic Plan Review (EPR), enabling digital submission of small project applications via Adobe Pro. EPR eliminates review backlogs and allows for accelerated turnaround times, streamlining operations and improving efficiency. Digital submissions also improve safety by eliminating the need for face-to-face contact and the handling of paperwork.
By the end of November, the Building Department will be accepting all large file submittals for single family homes and commercial projects through the Bluebeam Revu tool. The implementation of Bluebeam Revu will enable the Building Department to effectively handle large digital files and instantly collaborate with applicants on their submittals through an advanced markup and collaboration functionality.
Additional process improvements have been introduced to offer alternatives to some traditional in-person building inspections. Certain inspections can now be completed via Remote Virtual Inspection (RVI), including those for small projects, residential additions, alteration re-inspections, water heaters, electrical reconnects and service upgrades. The Building Department conducts RVIs via the commonly used Facetime and WhatsApp apps, utilizing the live video transmission to perform an inspection from a safe distance. This measure reduces the need for inspectors to enter homes and confined spaces, reducing the chance of COVID-19 exposure for both the inspector and residents.
The City’s Building Department also offers online permitting on the City of Palm Bay website. Online permit applications offer convenience and enhance safety by reducing the need to visit the Building Department for in-person service. Online permitting, along with the addition of EPR and RVI functionality, represent innovative service delivery methods that are responsive to the needs of our current climate. With the addition of these changes, residents and builders can enjoy uninterrupted access to permitting and inspection services in a safe and reliable manner, allowing projects to move forward and business operations to continue.