Dock/Dredge & Fill Permitting
Article V, Chapter 166 of the Pinellas County Land Development Code was enacted by the Board of County Commissioners (and amended on April 26, 2011) in order to provide adequate regulation and control in Pinellas County of all water-related areas and their alterations. This includes dredging, filling, pumping, or otherwise altering the shoreline and land contours. Control of Pinellas County waterways is regulated through the requirement of a permitting process.
Board Records is a department under the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The department's responsibilities, relative to dock/dredge and fill permitting, include collection of permitting fees, acceptance of permit applications, and issuance of approved permits. The Water and Navigation Section of the Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining permit application forms, inspecting dock construction and reviewing and approving permits.
You may obtain a permit application form online or obtain a form at the location listed below.
Prior to submitting a permit application, you are encouraged to review Chapter 166 of the Pinellas County Land Development Code along with any other dock/dredge and fill information located on the Water and Navigation Section’s web site. Links to both can be found on the menu to the right.
Crystal Beach, Dunedin, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs|
Belleair, Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Belleair Short, Clearwater, Clearwater Beach
Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Largo, North Redington Beach, Pinellas Park, Redington Beach
Gulfport, Madeira Beach, South Pasadena, St. Pete Beach
Tierra Verde, Treasure Island
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Frequently Asked Questions
You are encouraged to review the
Water and Navigation Code
for detailed information regarding permitting.
- When is a permit required?
- Who can apply for a permit?
- Are there permitting fees and what are they?
- Where can I obtain permit applications?
- How long does it take for permit approval?
- How long is a permit valid?
- After a permit is issued, what is the process for submitting revisions?
- How can I determine if a permit was ever issued for a property?
- How can I acquire a copy of a previous permit issued for a property?
- When is a Variance not required for a dock?
- What should the drawing page of a dock application contain?
- Are there any special requirements for Condominium/Villa/Town Home/Mobile Home Park residents?
- Do I need to do anything if I decide to change contractors after my permit is issued?
- If I purchased a home and the previous owner obtained a permit but the work was never completed, do I need to re-apply for a new permit?
- Can a roof be constructed over a dock?
- Who can perform dock construction?
- How will I know if my permit requires a public hearing?
- Where can I obtain a Seawall permit?
Q: When is a permit required?
A: A permit is required for any of the following:
- All new dock construction. (This includes additional square footage to an existing dock).
- Structural repairs (i.e. stringers, pilings, etc.).
- Replacing or adding new Tie Poles.
- Boatlifts. (Replacement of a previously permitted boatlift does not require a permit unless pilings
are being replaced and the boatlift is being reconstructed without enclosed sides).
- Dredge & fill activities.
- New Seawall.
If you're not sure if your project requires a permit, please call the Water and Navigation Section of the Public Works Department at (727) 453-3385
Refer to the Water and Navigation section of the Pinellas County Land Development Code for additional requirements that may apply.
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Q: Who can apply for a permit?
A: Either a homeowner or an authorized agent.
Q: Are there permitting fees and what are they?
A: Yes. Click this link for current
Q: Where can I obtain permit applications?
A: Dock/Dredge & Fill applications can be acquired by any of the following:
Q: How long does it take for permit approval?
A: In some cases, Permit Application forms can be processed the same day.
If a more detailed review is required by the the Water and Navigation Section,
the application is normally processed within 12 days (e.g., if the project is located in an environmentally
sensitive area or if there are navigational concerns or variances). Some applications, such as those requiring
public hearings or for larger commercial or multi-use projects, may take longer to process.
Q: How long is a permit valid?
A: All permits are valid for one (1) year from date of issuance. A one-year extension may be granted upon written request and the payment of a $25.00 fee. A second one-year permit shall be granted upon written request and payment of a $25.00 fee if the project is not completed by the end of the second year. The County may authorize two additional one-year extensions upon written request, payment of fees and with a showing of good cause. The extension request must be received by the Clerk within 90 days before or after the permit expiration date.
Q: After a permit is issued, what is the process for submitting revisions?
A: To submit revisions to a previously issued permit:
- Fill out the first 3 pages of a new application and attach a copy of the previous permit.
- Use the copy to indicate any revisions.
- Write "Revised" next to the permit number on the top right of the application on all pages being revised.
- Re-sign the "Revised" application in all applicable areas.
- If changes were made to the drawing page, municipality approval must be obtained.
- Submit to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department, 315 Court Street, 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.
Applications for revisions shall only be accepted within one year of the original issuance of the permit unless the applicant can demonstrate that the project has been under active review by another government agency and the revision is a requirement of that agency. Additional fees may or may not apply.
Q: How can I determine if a permit was ever issued for a property?
A: Click on this link, then click on the appropriate area and search for the property address. If you need assistance locating a permit, call Board Records at (727) 464-3464.
Q: How can I acquire a copy of a previous permit issued for a property?
A: Call Board Records at (727) 464-3464, email your request BoardRecords@pinellascounty.org, or, if you want to pay for your copies with by credit or debit card, go to the Board Records section of the Clerk’s Online Copy Request and Payment Center. If you have established a "Deposit Account" your request can also be faxed to (727) 464-4716. The previous permit will be accessed and printed for you. Otherwise, you will need to visit the Clearwater Courthouse, 315 Court Street, Board Records Dept., 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756 to pick up the copies at a charge of $.15 per page.
Q: When is a Variance not required for a dock?
A: The "normal" guidelines for a dock not requiring a variance is as follows:
- Construction is contained within the middle 1/3 of the property. For example, if the property is 60 feet wide at the waterfront,
the dock/boatlift would need to be contained within the middle 20 feet of the waterfront. (Tie poles are excluded in this analysis).
- The dock's length does not exceed 50% of the waterfront width. (Tie poles are excluded in this analysis).
- The water depth is greater than 18 inches at low tide.
Any deviation to these guidelines requires a variance. The Water and Navigation Section of the County will review the permit and may approve a variance based on certain criteria; if not, the variance request must be reviewed by the Board of Adjustment at a public hearing.
Refer to the Water and Navigation Code for additional variance requirements that may apply and for special restrictions regarding the Lake Tarpon and Lake Seminole areas.
Q: What should the drawing page of a dock application contain?
A: All drawings shown on the drawing page must be to scale. You should follow the guidelines shown on the sample drawing page included with the application. If you require assistance with the drawing page, please contact the Water and Navigation Section at (727) 453-3385.
If the site is in an incorporated area, city approval must be obtained in the "Municipality Approval" block at the bottom left of the drawing page unless the site is in the incorporated areas of Belleair Beach, Belleair Bluffs, Redington Beach and North Redington Beach. Applications within those municipalities are first reviewed and approved by the Pinellas County Building Department prior to obtaining municipality approval. (In all cases, municipality approval must be acquired prior to submitting the application to the Board Records Department).
If the dock is a new "Multi-Use" or "Commercial" dock, an Engineers seal is required. (An Engineers seal is not required if the construction is only repairing an existing permitted dock, adding a boatlift and/or tie poles). All floating docks require a Florida State Certified Engineers Seal, unless they have been pre-certified by the manufacturer.
Q: Are there any special requirements for Condominium/Villa/Town Home/Mobile Home Park residents?
A: Yes. An approval letter, signed by one of the community association officers authorizing
the construction must accompany the permit application.
Q: Do I need to do anything if I decide to change contractors after my permit is issued?
A: Yes. A letter is required from the homeowner to include the following information:
- Permit number.
- Site address where dock is being added/upgraded.
- Name of original contractor.
- Name of new contractor.
Sign and date the letter and submit to the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department, 315 Court Street, 5th Floor, Clearwater, FL 33756.
Q: If I purchased a home and the previous owner obtained a permit but the work was never completed, do I need to re-apply for a new permit?
A: Only if the construction plans are changing or the permit has expired. As long as the dock is
being constructed exactly as approved and the permit has not expired, the previous homeowner's permit can be used.
Q: Can a roof be constructed over a dock?
A: Roofs are allowed only over boatlifts and not over the dock structure.
Q: Who can perform dock construction?
A: A property owner or licensed contractor.
If a contractor is performing the construction, the contractor must possess a valid class "A" general contractor's license
or a marine contractor's license issued by the Pinellas County Construction and Licensing Board (PCCLB).
Q: How will I know if my permit requires a public hearing?
A: Certain applications will require review by the Board of Adjustment or a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners, depending on the size of the project and type of permit being requested. You will be notified by the Water and Navigation Section if your permit requires a public hearing. The procedures for public hearings were updated by the changes made to the Water and Navigation Code on April 26, 2011. Please contact the Water and Navigation Section with questions about public hearings.
Q: Where can I obtain a Seawall permit?
A: Two permits may be required. First, construction permits for seawalls are issued by the local municipality for sites within incorporated areas of Pinellas County and by the Pinellas County Building Department for sites in unincorporated areas. Second, dredge and fill permits are issued by the Water and Navigation Section.
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