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A drainage issue can be reported to staff through the Submit a Service Request process in which staff will determine if the issue is located on public or private property. A response will be provided through the Submit a Service Request process. https://www.co.walton.fl.us/FormCenter/Public-Works-12/Public-Works-Service-Request-Form-144
A traffic issue for County maintained roads can be reported to staff through the Submit a Service Request process in which staff will determine if the issue is located on public or private property. If the concern is related to a traffic signal issue, the continuing services contractor will be contacted based upon staff’s determination. https://www.co.walton.fl.us/FormCenter/Public-Works-12/Public-Works-Service-Request-Form-144
Crosswalk locations are based on several factors. Among those are specified standards published in the MUTCD, AASHTO, Green book and other industry manuals. Public safety, volume of pedestrian traffic, proximity to existing pedestrian facilities and roadway characteristics are all important factors in determining if a crosswalk is warranted. To request staff to evaluate a location for a crosswalk, please submit the request to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration. https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1365/Policies-and-Procedures
The County adopted a Traffic Calming policy on January 10, 2017, in which specified requirements shall be met for a traffic calming device to be warranted. https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1365/Policies-and-Procedure.
To request staff to evaluate a location for a traffic calming device, please submit the application to email@example.com for consideration.
If you would like to request Engineering to review the posted speed limit of a specified public roadway segment, you can utilize the Submit a Service Request process to formalize this request. Engineering staff will evaluate the request and determine if a speed study is warranted. Upon warrant, Engineering staff will conduct a speed zone analysis. If a speed modification is determined to be needed, then a request will be submitted to the BCC for their approval.
https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1365/Policies-and-Procedures Traffic Calming Policy.
Golf carts are unlicensed, unregistered motor vehicles that are specifically not allowed on public County Maintained roadways. Golf carts are defined by Section 320.01(22) Florida Statutes. LSVs (Low Speed Vehicles) are defined by Section 320.01(41) Florida Statute as any four wheeled vehicle that the top speed is greater than 20 mph but not greater than 25 mph. LSVs must be registered, titled, and insured and are allowed to operate on public roadways with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less. Please see Florida Statutes for other requirements of LSVs.
Currently, the County only operates and maintains a sanitary sewer system in the Mossy Head Industrial Park area. If you need to report an issue for sewer in that area or if you need a sewer availability letter, please contact Public Works at 850-892-8108 or Submit a service request at https://www.co.walton.fl.us/FormCenter/Public-Works-12/Public-Works-Service-Request-Form-144. See helpful links below for other utility providers within Walton County.
Mossy Head Water Works (850) 892-8534
City of DeFuniak Springs Water & Sewer (850) 892-8503
City of Freeport Water & Sewer (850) 835-3137
City of Paxton Water & Sewer (850) 834-2716
Regional Utilities of South Walton (850) 231-5114
Inlet Beach Water Utility Authority (850) 231-4498
South Walton Utilities (850) 837-2988
Argyle Water System, Inc (850) 892-4566
No parking zones are established per Ordinance 22-07 - https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1365/Policies-and-Procedures
The County has identified pedestrian connectivity needs in South Walton as shown on the Multi-Use Path Master Plan. That plan is currently in the process of being updated and pedestrian needs in North Walton will be included on the updated plan. If you would like to submit a request to Public Works for consideration in the updated plan, send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issues can be reported to Public Works at Submit a Service Request or directly to the Walton County School District Facilities and Maintenance Department at 850-892-1100.
You can easily determine what Zoning District your property is located is by visiting our Interactive Map. It’s easy once you get the hang of it!
After the Color Map loads,
Visit our stormwater page at https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1240/Stormwater-for-Single-Family-Lots and click the first tab on the left titled “Do I Need A Stormwater Management Plan”.
Walton County’s Coastal Dune Lakes are not only rare and unique, they are a very important component of our community and as such are protected by strong regulation. If you own a home near a Dune Lake or are thinking of building near a Dune Lake, please read Section 4.02.03 of the Land Development Code and most importantly CALL US before doing any land alteration, including removing any trees or vegetation near a Coastal Dune Lake.
There are penalties, including greater permitting fees and fines for removing Coastal Dune Lake Protection Zone vegetation.
If the lot or parcel is located south of the Choctawhatchee Bay, you will need a building permit or development order in place prior to any land clearing or alteration. Some exceptions to this exist for situations where a tree is dead, diseased or dying, or has potential to cause structural damage. Please give us a call if you have questions. Some minor clean up or maintenance is also allowed. REMEMBER ITS BETTER TO CHECK BEFOREHAND. There are many protected areas in South Walton including but not limited to: native vegetative communities; coastal dune lake protection zones; a 25-foot buffer from any wetland area; and the 50-foot area from the mean high water line of the Choctawhatchee Bay and any of its basins, bayous or tributaries. Some lots or developments also have areas that are to remain vegetated, natural or landscaped. It is imperative that these areas remain protected and clearing within these areas is expressly prohibited and can result in fines and costly restoration.
If the lot or parcel is located north of the Choctawhatchee Bay a building permit or development order is not required however a land clearing permit is required. Visit our online Customer Portal to apply. This is a fairly simple application with a $25 application fee that will protect you and ensure that the area being cleared is not protected or within some sort of designated buffer area.
All structures erected on property within the unincorporated areas (Outside of the City of Freeport, DeFuniak Springs, and Paxton) of Walton County are required to meet the setback requirements of Section 5.00.03 of the Land Development Code. It is important that you visit this section of the Code when you are thinking about your property’s layout.
Walton County does not designate a property’s Flood Zone category, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does. However, you can easily determine what your Flood Zone designation is by visiting our Interactive Map.
First of all, welcome to Walton County if you are new to us! We are so happy you chose us for your home. The truth is, Walton County does have some unique requirements. Do not fear though, we are here to help you through. There are basically two steps.
Step 1 begins with a review by the Planning and Development Services Department. This review typically takes about 2 to 3 weeks and really continues until you receive your final permit from the Building Department or Certificate of Occupancy (CO). Prior to your final building permit, we will look at the foundation survey to ensure that your finish floor elevation is correct. We will also inspect to make sure that your final grading and any required stormwater management systems are installed according to your specific requirements. This review is done online through the Online Customer Portal. The key here is to make sure you build according to your approved plans! Deviations unfortunately can result in delay.
Step 2 is building permitting that is handled by the Building Department, this is your structural permitting. This is where things like foundation, framing, and plumbing/electrical are inspected per the Florida Building Code.
One way to look at this two step process is that Planning review is concerned with your site (site plan) including main building and accessory building location on the lot and overall building parameters like building height, foundation type, flood zone requirements, stormwater requirements, and finish floor. Building Department review is concerned with the structure(s) itself and whether or not it is up to par with the Florida Building Code requirements.
Insider Tip! Make sure you fully understand any unique requirements associated with the lot or land you purchase for your home. Some developments have special requirements that could even limit the size of home you can build or what type of foundation is required. We encourage talking to the Planner on Call when thinking of purchasing a lot or land to build on. Ask questions about flood zone, wetlands, specific development or subdivision related requirements, stormwater requirements, setbacks…anything! We are here for you and we want your building process to go smoothly.
Yes. In the interest of providing for inexpensive housing options for family members as well as for neighborhood protection, Walton County has established various Accessory Dwelling Unit requirements. Section 2.02.00(B)(3) of the Land Development Code provides the general restrictions on accessory dwelling units. Some Neighborhood Plan Areas also establish ADU requirements and restrictions, notably the Inlet Beach Neighborhood Plan.
To summarize the general Code requirements here, small accessory dwelling units less than 800 square feet in size, are allowed in all zoning districts that allow residential development. They cannot be used as short term vacation rentals separate from the primary residence and they must not detract from the single-family residential character of a property. This means essentially, that they need to be designed in way that is ancillary and compatible with the primary structure and that does not detract from then neighborhood.
Accessory Structures and Uses are defined as, “subordinate use[s] or building[s] customarily incidental to and located on the same lot with the main use or building.”
Accessory structures and uses are allowed in any zoning district, provided they meet Section 2.02.00(B) and any additional zoning requirements of the Land Development Code. The following general accessory structure requirements should be considered prior to the purchase of or any output of capital towards the permitting of an accessory structure. (The following points are for summary purposes only, all applicants seeking to permit an accessory structure or use should visit the above referenced section as well as the pertinent zoning district section of the Code.)
In general, if your property is not located within a Scenic Corridor Overlay District (See Below), you can install a privacy fence without any permits. That’s right! You can just build it without any type of Planning or Building review or permit. Section 5.01.09 of the Walton County Land Development Code provides the requirements for Fences not located within a Scenic Corridor Overlay District. There are some requirement for lots less than one half acre in size that are different than larger lots.
Walton County has designated several important roadways as Scenic Corridors and has applied various development restrictions on each. This means that additional standards apply within these areas and one should be familiar if seeking to develop or redevelop within these areas. The following information seeks to briefly summarize the different Corridor Overlay Districts.
1. Route 30A Scenic Corridor Overlay District. All properties that are located contiguous to County Road 30A, County Road 393, or County Road 395 and those properties that are contiguous to the portions of County Road 83 and County Road 283 located south of U.S. 98 are considered within the Route 30A Scenic Corridor Overlay. Section 6.10.00 of the Land Development Code contains the applicable corridor standards. The Scenic Corridor standards identified within the Code are in addition to and supersede other requirements. These include different landscaping, access, sign and other standards designed to implement the purpose of the Overlay District.
2. US 98 and US 331 Scenic Corridor Overlay District. The areas included within the U.S. 98 and U.S. 331 Scenic Corridor Overlay District are:
Similar to the 30A Corridor Overlay, the US 98 and 331 Overlay District applies different standards to the areas defined in the Code. Section 6.11.00 provides the various corridor standards. These standards are similar to the 30A corridor in that they also deal with access, landscaping, signage and others, including allowable uses. Development within the US 98 and 331 Corridor Overlay District requires additional review by the Design Review Board. Section 6.11.10 of the Land Development Code provides the development review standards within the Corridor.
3, Scenic Gulf Drive Corridor Overlay District. All properties that are located south of the Scenic Gulf Drive right-of-way to the Gulf of Mexico and all properties that are located within four hundred (400) feet north of the right-of-way are considered within the Scenic Gulf Drive Corridor. All properties within the Scenic Gulf Drive Corridor shall comply with the design standards in this section. Section 6.13.00 of the Land Development Code contains the various development standards applicable within the designated Corridor areas.
Recreational Vehicles are addressed primarily within Section 2.02.00(P). The use of a recreational vehicle as a permanent residence is not permitted, except within duly licensed and permitted recreational vehicle campgrounds/parks or as provided for in Sections 2.02.01 through 2.02.05.
Recreational vehicles may be used as temporary residences in zoning districts allowing residential uses as a primary use, only by the property owner, and only during construction of a primary residence on the same site. There are additional standards that must be satisfied prior to receiving a permit for the temporary use. Please review Section 2.02.00(P) for the complete list of temporary residence requirements. There are additional considerations for location within Flood Zones as well.
Yes. Recreational vehicles may be stored on your property provided there is a primary residential use onsite (please check if you have any HOA related covenants and restrictions), the storage does not negatively impact any pedestrian or vehicular traffic, and it is current on all required tags and licensing.
Section 2.02.00(L) provides that, “Manufactured homes built in compliance with the HUD code or built under the Florida Manufactured Building Act and certified by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation as complying with the structural requirements of the Standard Building Code shall be allowed to locate in all residential land use districts.”
Section 1.16.01 provides that, “A variance may be appropriate where, by reason of exceptional narrowness, shallowness, or shape or by reason of other exceptional topographic conditions or other extraordinary and exceptional situations or conditions on a piece of property, the strict application of any regulation enacted under this Code would result in peculiar, exceptional, and undue hardship on the owner of such property.”
The variance process is not designed to allow a property owner to do whatever he or she wants. It is designed to provide relief when the combination of the Code and the unique character of land prohibits development.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) considers all variance requests at regularly scheduled monthly meetings. The ZBA hears evidence in order to establish compliance with the minimum criteria provided in Section 1.16.03 to approve a variance. The ZBA must find, in summary, the following:
Deviations from the Scenic Corridor requirements as provided elsewhere in the Code are reviewed and either approved or denied by the Design Review Board.
There are certain circumstances that would allow for lot splits.
In Walton County there are four maintenance classifications: (1) State Maintained Roadways, (2) Public Rights-of-Way with roadways that are County Maintained, (3) Public Rights-of-Way with roadways that are Privately Maintained, and (4) Private Rights-of-Way that are Privately Maintained. You can review the County maintained road list posted on our website at https://www.co.walton.fl.us/186/Public-Works-Department or you may contact our Public Works Department at (850) 892-8108.
If the Right-of-Way is classified as private, the roadway is not eligible to be County maintained without undertaking a separate process to dedicate the Right-of-Way to the Public. Contact the Planning Department at (850) 267-1955 for more information on that process. If the Right-of-Way is dedicated to the Public but is privately maintained, the roadway is eligible to be considered for County maintenance pending it meets the County’s standards identified in Chapter 5 of the Land Development Code as well as the requirements specified in the County’s adopted Road Acceptance Policy. https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1365/Policies-and-Procedures
If you live outside the city limits of our three municipalities, call the Public Works Department at (850) 892-8108 to learn about the Dirt to Pave Program. The Dirt to Pave Program considers a number of issues that includes items such as right of way, environmental issues, engineering considerations, and traffic counts.
On April 13, 1999, the Walton County Board of Commissioners approved Resolution 99-22 which provides residents who live on private roads the ability to receive assistance in maintaining their roadways. The Road Department shall inspect the road prior to acceptance of the fee. The recovery cost for grading such roads will be $50.00 for a maximum of one hour, but not less than $25.00 for less than one-half hour of grading on private roads. You may contact the Public Works Department at (850) 892-8108 for additional information.
Immediately after rain events, the County can assess damage to County maintained roads and close roads as deemed necessary. This department does NOT have the ability to repair roadways during a rainstorm nor do we use County equipment to pull a stranded motorist from standing water. If a motorist chooses to cross standing water on a roadway that has been signed "Road Closed" or barricaded, it is the responsibility of the motorist to have the vehicle towed. The Public Works Department coordinates with officers and dispatchers from the Sheriff's Department to make sure that weather related signage is installed and properly placed during extreme weather conditions. Once the weather conditions have improved and access is available, this Department will begin to repair damaged roadways in a timely and effective manner. Natural disasters can destroy roads. Walton County will repair and maintain only the roads on our County Maintained Road list.
If you wish to report a maintenance issue, contact Public Works Office at (850) 892-8108 and we will send the request to the appropriate road department to add to the list of maintenance.
If there is damage or an obstruction in a public roadway that might pose a hazard to motorist, please contract local law enforcement. If necessary, they will contact Public Works. if the debris or damage does not pose a serious hazard, contact the Public Works Department to make a report at https://www.co.walton.fl.us/FormCenter/Public-Works-12/Public-Works-Service-Request-Form-144.
It is the responsibility of the property owner to contact the Public Works Department to verify the culvert location, size and length. It should be noted that Public Works will verify that the proposed location meets our minimum requirements or determine an alternate location. Public Works does not support an access that extends the entire property limits and effort should be made to minimize the size of the needed driveway. It is the responsibility of the property owner to purchase the culvert and contact Public Works prior to installation.
A permit application is needed for construction activities taking place within a public or County maintained right of way. Right of Way applications must be submitted to Public Works for review and approval and permits obtained before work can be done in the right of way. This would include public utilities, contractors, and individuals. You may contact the Public Works Department to obtain a permit application or visit us at https://www.co.walton.fl.us/1365/Policies-and-Procedures.
The first step to submitting a development of any kind is to call the Planning Department at (850) 267-1955 to schedule a pre-application meeting with staff. No applications will be accepted prior to a pre-application meeting. An abandonment is where a property owner requests the County to relinquish, or give up, their interest and rights for the public in a particular easement, alley, roadway, rights of way, or dedicated area. Most dedications are provided on plats and deeds recorded in the public records of the Clerk of Court for Walton County, Florida. When a property owner is encumbered by an easement or road that is not in use or maintained by the County Public Works Department, the owner "petitions" the County for relief by abandoning their right to use the area in the future. The Florida Statutes speak directly about the different kinds of abandonment, but in each case, the owner must petition the County for the relief. There must be public hearing to allow adjacent property owners to comment, the owner is required to notice their neighbors by mail and public sign, and the decision of the Commission is memorialized in a resolution recorded with the Clerk of Court. A meeting with County personnel is recommended before petition is made to the Department.
A missing regulatory sign is an urgent matter and Public Works will replace it as soon as possible. If you encounter this problem, please contact the Public Works Department at 850-892-8108.
Any unit, group of units, dwelling, building, or group of buildings within a single complex of buildings, which is rented more than three times a calendar year for periods of less than 30 days or one calendar month, or which is advertised or held out to the public as a place regularly rented to guests.
Certain Condominiums as defined in Chapter 509 & 718, Florida Statute.
Single Family dwelling occupied on a full-time basis by the owner as an on-premises, permanent resident and that has been declared and continues to be declared as homestead by the Walton County Property Appraiser.
Cooperatives and Homeowner’s Associations as defined in Chapters 719-720, Florida Statute.
Multi-family residential developments under common management.
Properties that have more than one dwelling under common ownership where one of the dwellings (a) is occupied on a full-time basis by the owner of the dwellings as an on-premises, permanent resident and (b) has been declared and continues to be declared as homestead by the Walton County Property Appraiser.
1. Apply for all State and County Licenses
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Florida Department of Revenue
Walton County Tourism Development
2. Complete and Submit Short Term Vacation Rental Certificate Application from Walton County Planning and Development Services, for Individuals and Communities
3. Pay the Application Fee
No, a signed affidavit is required as part of the Walton County Short-Term Vacation Rental Application which affirms that the owner or managing entity of the property has complied with all requirements of Walton County Florida Code 1.13.16. However, inspections may arise from a notification from the Florida State Department of Business and Professional Revenue or based on complaints based on life safety code violations reported to Walton County Fire or Sheriff Departments.
The responsible party shall respond to all inspections as described in Walton County Ordinance 2023-03 as well as non-routine complaints and other immediate problems related to property rental. It is about resolving any issues that arise at the lowest level and in the quickest way possible while continuing to maintain the beauty and desirability of our community.
At a minimum the following are required for inclusion within any lease/agreement for a short-term vacation rental:
Per Walton County Ordinance 2023-03 you are required to post the following information at the short-term vacation rental location:
a. The sign must be prominently placed on the wall or property of the short-term vacation rental unit so that the required content of the sign shall be legible as viewed from the public right-of-way; however, signage shall not be placed in the public right-of-way.
b. Such signs shall not be larger than eighteen (18) by twelve (12) inches.
c. The sign must indicate the name, and twenty-four (24) hours per day, seven (7) days a week emergency contact phone number or the locally available responsible party or the County’s short term vacation rental hotline number if available clearly identified as such and easily distinguishable from any rental related phone number if different.
d. The sign must indicate the units Short Term Vacation Rental Certificate Number.
a. The address of the short-term vacation rental unit in case of emergency.
b. The name and phone number of the short-term vacation rental locally available responsible party.
c. The maximum occupancy of the unit defined as one person per 150 square feet of heated or cooled areas of the house OR lower agreed upon maximum occupancy established during the certificate process:
“Maximum Occupancy is (X) by order of the State Fire Marshal. In accordance with Florida Administrative Code 69A-43.018 the maximum occupancy load permitted for one and two family dwellings licensed as public lodging establishments shall be computed at 150 square feet gross floor area per person.”
d. The maximum on- site parking available (maximum number of vehicles allowed) for the unit along with a sketch of the location of the usable off-street parking spaces and notice regarding areas where parking is prohibited.
e. Notice regarding the County’s Noise Ordinance (Article 5 – Noise, Walton County Code of Ordinances) and potential civil infraction fines up to $500.00 and/or potential criminal offense violation between the hours of 10:00 p.m and 6:00 a.m.
f. The days of trash pickup and recycling along with instructions requiring all trash to be kept in provided containers.
g. If the short-term vacation rental unit is located within the Walton County Wildlife Protection Zone, notice of sea turtle nesting season restrictions and sea turtle lighting usage.
h. The location of the nearest hospital with an emergency room and including a statement to call 911 in case of emergency
i. Information describing beach safety specifically the flag notification system and penalties for violation
j. Information related to turtle nesting area restrictions (if applicable)
k. Evacuation notice that all occupants must leave when directed by state, county, or local authorities
No, because of necessity for first responders to be able to quickly identify the short-term vacation rental in the event of an emergency.
The maximum occupancy of the unit defined as one person per 150 square feet of heated or cooled areas of the house OR lower agreed upon maximum occupancy established during the certificate process. The Walton County Planning Department will be glad to work with you during the certificate application process to address your questions and concerns.
Existing units will establish parking during the certification process, which in most cases will be the number of parking spaces currently available onsite. New units constructed after the ordnance are required to develop parking spaces at a rate of one space per 900 sqft of heated and cooled space. The important thing is that this ordnance requires rental units to advertise the number of spaces they have onsite, determined through the certification process.
This can be obtained from the Walton County Clerk of Courts
If you cannot respond and reach the rental property within one hour to address any issues that may arise, then yes you are required to designate a local responsible party.
On the third floor above ground level and each higher floors, next to the interior door of each bedroom, a legible copy of the building evacuation map must be posted — Minimum 8½" by 11" in size.
The number of trash cans required is based on a ratio 35 gallons of capacity per four (4) occupants. The total size of containers is not dictated by the ordinance and will more than likely be specified by your trash service pickup provider. However, remember that if you have a house that is certified at a capacity of 17 people that would equal 148.75 gallons of total capacity, and you should always round up to the next higher number. In this case, it would be 149 gallons of total trash capacity. As always please ensure that you are following and educating guests about all local HOA and or city ordinances related to trash collection days and times as well as storage of trash containers.
All violations are subject to code enforcement activities in accordance with Florida Statutes Chapter 162 and Chapter 7 of Walton County Code 2023-03.
Warnings. Warnings shall be issued for first-time violations and have a correction/compliance period associated with it. These warnings may include notice to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Department of Revenue, the Walton County Tax Collector and the Walton County Property Appraiser, as applicable. Non-compliance with a correction compliance period shall result in the issuance of a citation.
Walton County may utilize Part 1 of Florida Chapter 162 to prosecute these violations and utilize Part 2 of Florida Chapter 162 in order to pursue violations by way of a civil citation system as provided in its Code of Ordinances.
The civil citation fines per violation shall be set by Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners for first (1st), second (2nd), third (3rd) and further repeat violations. Regardless of whether the County utilizes Part 1 or 2, the County may also utilize an appropriate enforcing agency at the state or local level. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate violation.
You can use the Walton County GIS Website to identify what zone you are located in, click the link below for direct access.
WALTON COUNTY GIS
No, Walton County does not require you to submit a copy of your rental agreements.
YES If you are not currently registered with Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) you are in violation of Florida State law.
You can obtain a PDBR license by following the link below:
These areas are commonly referred to as any heated or cooled portion of the structure.
Yes, annual renewal is required in order to maintain certification. Your renal date will be based on the month that you initially received your certificate. As we implement the Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate Program over the next year, expect to receive correspondence related to your anticipated month to submit your initial certification request. Prior to receiving the correspondence you can initiate required registration and licensing with Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, and Walton County Clerk of Courts Tourism Development Tax. Your application will not be processed until your specified month.
Yes, ensure that you adhere to the following Walton County Ordinance 2023-03 Section 5.07.03, as well as all applicable State and Municiple requirements:
A. Minimum life/safety requirements for single family detached and two family attached units:
1. Swimming pool, spa and hot tub safety. A swimming pool, spa or hot tub shall comply with the current standards of the Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act, Chapter 515, Florida Statutes.
2. Sleeping rooms. All sleeping rooms shall meet the single-family and two-family dwelling minimum requirements of the Florida Building Code.
3. Automatic smoke detection requirements. All short term vacation rental units are required to meet the requirements of Chapter 69A-43, F.A.C
4. Fire extinguisher. A portable, multi-purpose dry chemical 2A:10B:C fire extinguisher shall be installed, inspected and maintained in accordance with NFPA 10 on each floor/level of the unit. The extinguisher(s) shall be installed on the wall in an open common area or in an enclosed space with appropriate markings visibly showing the location.
5. Battery powered emergency lighting of primary exit. Battery powered emergency lighting which provides illumination automatically in the event of any interruption of normal lighting shall be provided for a period of not less than one (1) hour to illuminate the primary exit. For purposes of this requirement, short-term vacation rentals with Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificates issued prior to the enactment of the ordinance providing for the codification of this standard shall have a period of six (6) months to demonstrate compliance with the emergency lighting standard either through affidavit or inspection.
B. On-Site Parking Standard for All Single Family Attached and Detached New Construction and Existing Construction. For new construction and new conversions of single family attached and detached units, based on the maximum short-term transient occupancy permitted or other self-imposed limit through the Certificate process, minimum off-street parking shall be provided as one (1) space per six (6) transient occupants. This is computed using 150 square feet gross floor area per person (one space per 900 square feet of gross floor area). This minimum parking standard shall not apply to any adopted Neighborhood Plan, Development Order, or area controlled by an active Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or similar owners’ association having other controlling mandatory parking requirements. In such cases, the Development Order, Neighborhood Plan, or HOA requirements shall govern.
1. Garage spaces shall only count if the space is open and available, and the transient occupants are given vehicular access to the garage. Failure to keep garage areas usable for vehicular parking if counted towards meeting the requirement shall result in a Code violation.
2. On-street parking shall not be permitted within public rights of ways and may be limited on private rights of ways per the maintaining entity.
3. On-site parking shall not be permitted in areas not otherwise designated for on-site parking spaces.
4. Golf carts, RVs, trailers etc. may not occupy any designated on-site parking spot with reliance on on-street parking for other vehicles. All spaces designated towards achieving the required on-site minimum must be available to registered motor vehicles only unless fewer registered motor vehicles are on site in exchange for golf carts, RVs, trailers etc. being parked on site.
5. Existing short term vacation rentals at the time of this ordinance shall either limit occupancy based on available parking (6 occupants per parking space), increase parking onsite through the applicable permitting process, or limit the number of vehicles that are on site at any given time through guest communication. In all cases, the maximum occupancy is limited to 1 person per 150 square feet.
C. On-Site Sewage Treatment and Disposal System Limitations: For structures utilizing on-site sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), the maximum number of occupants allowed shall be restricted in accordance with any OSTDS permit and the assumed occupancy/conditions the permit was issued under by the Walton County Health Department.
D. Maximum occupancy. The maximum occupancy load permitted for single family attached and single family detached short term vacation rental units shall be computed at 150 square feet gross floor area per person OR lesser as agreed upon during the certificate process.
E. Solid waste handling and containment. Based on the maximum transient occupancy permitted, thirty-five (35) gallons or greater of fully enclosed container capacity shall be provided per four (4) transient occupants or fraction thereof. Appropriate screening and storage requirements for trash storage containers shall apply per any development approval or local neighborhood standard, whichever is more restrictive, and be incorporated into the Certificate. For purposes of this section, containers must have a lid that securely fastens to the container to prevent spills and animal access, with the container to be placed at curbside no earlier than 4:00 PM on the day before solid waste pickup and to be removed from curbside no later than sunset on the day of solid waste pick up unless otherwise controlled by an active Homeowner’s Association (HOA) or similar owners’ association having other controlling mandatory trash container and pick up requirements. Permanent structures for screening and storage of trash storage containers shall not be permitted within any designated scenic corridor overlay district. Private concierge service is highly encouraged, specifically on Saturday or high-volume change over days.
F. Minimum short-term vacation rental/lease agreement wording. The short-term vacation rental/lease agreement shall contain the minimum information as provided for in Subsection 1.13.16 D.
G. Minimum short-term vacation rental information required postings. The short-term vacation rental shall be provided with material to be posted within the rental unit as required by the County as prescribed in Subsection 1.13.16 D.
H. Minimum short-term vacation rental lessee information. The short-term vacation rental lessee shall be provided with a copy of the information required in Subsection 1.13.16 D.
I. Responsible Local Party. Designation of a short-term vacation rental responsible party capable of meeting the duties provided in subsection and capable of addressing issues locally within a short response time is required.
J. Advertising. Any advertising of the short-term vacation rental unit shall conform to information included in the Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate and the property's approval, particularly as this pertains to maximum occupancy and parking. All advertising shall include the Short Term Vacation Rental Certificate Number as well as the TDT Registration Number.
Per Florida Statutes a Homeowners Association has specific powers to regulate certain activities within their covenants. Consult a legal expert for specific advice regarding your particular situations.
Per Florida Administrative Code 61C-3, as a short-term vacation rental you are required to do the following:
(1) Glassware, tableware, and utensils.
(a) The handling, cleaning, and sanitizing of glassware, tableware, and utensils in public lodging establishments shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 4, Food Code, as adopted by reference in Rule 61C-1.001, F.A.C. As referenced in this chapter of the Food Code, the term “food establishment” shall apply to all public lodging establishments as defined in Chapter 509, F.S.
(b) Any public lodging establishment which cannot comply with this provision shall post in a conspicuous place in each guest room where dishware, glassware, kitchenware or utensils are provided, a placard or sign which contains the following statement, or its equivalent:
“NOTICE TO GUESTS: Dishware, glassware, kitchenware and/or utensils have been provided in this room as a guest convenience. These items have been cleaned within this room or unit using ordinary household dishwashing facilities and agents. They have not been sanitized according to Federal and State standards for public food service establishments.”
(2) Kitchen and kitchen equipment –
(a) Kitchen appliances and refrigeration equipment shall be kept clean, free from odors and in good repair. Refrigerators shall be properly drained. Kitchens shall be ventilated to minimize the occurrence of excessive heat, steam, condensation, vapors, objectionable odors, smoke, and fumes. Kitchens must also have at least 10 foot candles of light, sufficient and suitable cooking utensils, and adequate garbage receptacles.
(b) A kitchen sink with hot and cold running water under pressure is required.
(a) Ice making machines shall utilize water from an approved source pursuant to Chapters 62-550 and 62-555, F.A.C., and shall be constructed, located, installed, operated, and maintained so as to prevent contamination of the ice. Ice obtained from outside the establishment shall be from a source approved under Chapter 500, F.S. Ice storage bins shall be drained through an air gap according to the provisions of the local building authority having jurisdiction.
(b) Canvas containers shall not be used unless provided with a sanitary single-service liner so as to completely protect the ice from contamination. Ice buckets and other ice containers shall be made of a smooth, nonabsorbent, impervious material; shall be designed to facilitate cleaning; shall be kept clean; and shall be stored and handled in a sanitary manner. Ice buckets and other ice containers must be cleaned and sanitized between each guest or be provided with a sanitary single-service liner which is changed at least daily. Between uses, ice containers used to transfer ice from ice making machines to ice storage bins shall be stored in a way that protects the ice containers and ice-dispensing utensils from contamination.
(c) Ice for consumer use shall be dispensed only with scoops, tongs or other ice-dispensing utensils or through automatic self-service, ice-dispensing equipment. Ice-dispensing utensils shall be made of a smooth, nonabsorbent, impervious material; shall be designed to facilitate cleaning; and shall be kept clean. Ice-dispensing utensils shall be stored on a clean surface, attached to a nonoxidizing chain or tether, and stored inside the ice bin or in the ice with the utensil’s handle extended out of the ice.
(4) Locks – An approved locking device for the purposes of Section 509.211, F.S., is a locking device that meets the requirements of chapter 10, section 1008.1.8 of the 2007 Florida Building Code: Building. Public lodging establishments as defined in paragraph 61C-1.002(4)(a), F.A.C., shall have at least one approved locking device which cannot be opened by a non-master guest room key on all outside and connecting doors. An approved locking device does not include a “sliding chain” or “hook and eye” type device.
(5) Balcony Inspection.
(a) As provided in Section 509.2112, F.S., every public lodging establishment which is 3 or more stories in height must submit to the division a certificate stating that any and all balconies, platforms, stairways, and railways have been inspected by a person who, through education and experience, is competent to inspect multi-story buildings and found by such person to be safe, secure, and free of defects. The term “balcony” is defined as a landing or porch that is accessible to or used by the public and shall include those portions of a building which are unenclosed, except by a railing, guardrail system, balustrade, or parapet. It shall also include those portions of a building which are enclosed by screening or other non-permanent building material.
(b) It is the responsibility of the operator to verify the facts and credentials establishing the competency of the multi-story balcony inspector. Such verification shall be clearly stated on the applicable form.
(c) Certification of inspection shall be submitted on DBPR HR-7020, CERTIFICATE OF BALCONY INSPECTION (http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-06411), incorporated herein by reference and effective 2015 November 10. Copies of this form are available from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants Internet website www.MyFloridaLicense.com/dbpr/hotels-restaurants; by e-mail request submitted at www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/contact-us; by phone request to the department at (850)487-1395; or upon written request to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Hotels and Restaurants, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1011.
(d) The Certificate of Balcony Inspection shall be valid for three years from the date the inspection was completed. Public lodging establishments must file a new certificate with the division and the applicable local government agency every third year. The division must receive the new Certificate of Balcony Inspection on or before the date the previous certificate expires.
(e) The operator shall keep a copy of the Certificate of Balcony Inspection, stamped with the date it was received by the district, available for inspection upon request.
(f) Upon change of ownership, the operator must:
1. Have a new balcony inspection completed and file a new Certificate of Balcony Inspection; or
2. In lieu of completing a new balcony inspection, file a copy of the previous operator’s valid Certificate of Balcony Inspection along with a Certificate of Balcony Inspection containing the current operator’s information and signature. Choosing this option does not extend the original three years for which the previous operator’s Certificate of Balcony Inspection was valid.
THE ONLY PROVISION THAT YOU CAN BE EXEMPT FROM IS SUBSECTION (1) - ONLY IF YOU DO NOT PROVIDE ANY OF THE SERVICES LISTED
Per Florida Administrative Code 69A-43 -
69A-43.009 Automatic Smoke Detection Requirements.
(1) The single station smoke detectors specified for construction contracts before October 1, 1983, by Section 509.215, F.S., for transient public lodging establishments which are less than 3 stories in height and by Section 721.24, F.S., for a time-share plan which is less than 3 stories in height shall be approved UL 217, listed single station smoke detector. Existing facilities may continue to use battery powered smoke detectors provided they are tested on a regular basis in accordance with paragraph (1)(b), and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, as required in Section 2-6 of NFPA 72, the edition as adopted in Rule 69A-3.012, F.A.C., but not less than once every twelve (12) months. New facilities shall have the detectors powered by the building electrical service with a rechargeable battery as a secondary power supply in compliance with NFPA 72, Section 1-5.2.6, the edition as adopted in Rule 69A-3.012, F.A.C.
(a) All such smoke detectors shall comply with NFPA 72, Section 2-3, the edition as adopted in rule Chapter 69A-3, F.A.C.
(b) Battery powered, single station smoke detectors, where used, shall be tested and inspected not less frequently than once per week. A log of the required tests and inspections shall be kept and available to the authority having jurisdiction at any time. This log shall include, but not be limited to, the following information and any other information as may be required by the authority having jurisdiction.
1. A list, clearly identifying each individual detector by its physical location.
2. The date of each required test & inspection.
3. The identity and signature of the inspector.
4. The result of each test & inspection.
5. The completion date and form of any maintenance performed.
6. The completion date and form of any corrective measures taken for each improperly functioning device.
7. A copy of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and procedures.
(c) At such time that the authority having jurisdiction finds cause to believe that the requirements of paragraph (1)(a) or (b), are not being fulfilled, detectors powered by the building electrical system shall be required.
(2) Specialized smoke detectors for the deaf and hearing-impaired as required by Section 509.215(6), F.S., shall be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for the intended use, and shall:
(a) Have a visual signaling appliance which has an effective intensity rating of at least 100 candela; and,
(b) Be listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for the particular purpose of alerting the deaf and hearing impaired in the event of a fire.
Per Florida Code 69A -
69A-43.018 One and Two Family Dwellings, Recreational Vehicles and Mobile Homes Licensed as Public Lodging Establishments.
(1) This section applies to one and two family dwellings, recreational vehicles and mobile homes licensed as public lodging establishments as defined in Section 509.013(4)(a), F.S. Except as modified by this rule, one and two family dwellings used by more than one party per living unit shall comply with Chapter 24, One-Family and Two-Family Dwellings, of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, as adopted in Chapter 69A-3, F.A.C., and incorporated by reference therein.
(2) Three family and four family dwellings licensed as public lodging establishments shall comply with Chapter 28, New Hotels and Dormitories or Chapter 29, Existing Hotels and Dormitories, of NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, as adopted in Chapter 69A-3, F.A.C., and incorporated by reference therein.
(3) Smoke detectors.
(a) One and two family dwellings and mobile homes shall have an approved single station or multiple station smoke detectors continuously powered by the house electrical system.
(b) Recreational vehicles shall have an approved single station smoke detector continuously powered by 120 volt electrical service.
(c) In addition to paragraph (3)(a) or (b), above, an approved single station smoke detector powered by the building electrical system, and 120 volt AC electrical service for recreational vehicles, shall be provided in each sleeping room.
(d) To qualify as “approved,” smoke detectors shall be installed in accordance with NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, the edition as adopted in Chapter 69A-3, F.A.C., and incorporated by reference therein.
(4) Means of egress.
(a) Every one and two family dwelling, recreational vehicle or mobile home licensed as a public lodging establishment shall have a minimum of one primary exit and one secondary means of escape.
(b) The primary means of exit shall be a door, stairway, or ramp providing a means of unobstructed exit travel to the outside of the dwelling, recreational vehicle or mobile home, at street or ground level.
(c) The secondary means of escape shall be one of the following:
1. A door, stairway or ramp providing a way of unobstructed exit travel to the outside of the dwelling, recreational vehicle or mobile home, at street or ground level that is independent of and remote from the primary means of exit; or
2. An outside window or door operable from the inside, without the use of tools or special equipment, that provides a clear opening having a minimum of 5.7 square feet of area with no dimension less than 20 inches in width or 24 inches in height. The bottom of the opening shall not be more than 44 inches off the floor. The opening must be directly accessible to fire department rescue apparatus or fire department extension ladder.
(d) The secondary means of exit and sleeping room smoke detectors are not required if the dwelling, recreational vehicle or mobile home is protected throughout by an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with NFPA 13, Standard for Installation of Sprinkler Systems, or NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One and Two Family Dwellings and Mobile Homes, or NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Residential Occupancies Up to Four Stories in Height, as adopted in Chapter 69A-3, F.A.C., and incorporated by reference therein.
(5) The maximum occupancy load permitted for one and two family dwellings and mobile homes licensed as public lodging establishments shall be computed at 150 square feet gross floor area per person. The occupancy load for recreational vehicles licensed as public lodging establishments will be the occupancy load designated by the manufacturer of the recreational vehicle, which shall be posted in the vehicle.
(6) Battery powered emergency lighting shall be provided for a period of not less than one (1) hour to illuminate the primary exit. The emergency lighting shall provide illumination automatically in the event of any interruption of normal lighting.
(7) Minimum acceptable portable fire extinguisher requirements shall conform to NFPA 10, as adopted in Rule 69A-3.012, F.A.C.
(8) A floor diagram reflecting the actual floor arrangement, primary exit location, secondary exit location and room identification shall be posted in a conspicuous location.
(9) A fire safety information pamphlet describing evacuation of the dwelling or vehicle, smoke detector information, procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency shall be provided to guests.
(10) Unvented fuel fired heaters shall not be utilized in one and two family dwellings, recreational vehicles or mobile homes licensed as public lodging establishments.
(11) Specialized smoke detectors for the deaf and hearing impaired shall be available upon request by guests in public lodging establishments at a rate of at least one such smoke detector per 50 dwelling units or portions thereof, not to exceed five such smoke detectors per public lodging facility, as provided in Section 509.215(6), F.S.
No grace period. The majority of requirements within Ordinance 2023-03 are reiterations of state statutes and codes. Your property should already be in compliance, if not you could be potentially fined per day until each item meets the requirements.
No, a complete application with supporting documents must be submitted to the Walton County Department of Planning & Development Services, with appropriate fee, before consideration of approval.
The Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulations, and Walton County Tourism Development Tax registrations are all pre-requisites for the Walton County Short-Term Vacation Rental Certificate. Each are individually administrated by their respective entities.
No, Ordinance 2023-03 Section 1.13.16.G.1 clearly states that required posting information will be posted on the back or next to the main entrance door or on the refrigerator. The only exception would be rentals with three (3) levels above the ground, on the third floor and every higher floor next to the interior of each bedroom, a legible copy of the building evacuation map. Minimum 8 ½ inches by 11 inches.
Additionally, there are other State required posted materials.
Walton County Interactive Mapping service has all the information related flood zones, evacuation routes and more. You can access it for free here Walton County Interactive Mapping (arcgis.com)
The requirements for locking devices can be found in chapter 10, section 1008.1.8 of the 2007 Florida Building Code.
It is an Americans with Disabilities Act and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 69A-43 requirement. By law you are required to have available upon request one (1) per 50 dwellings, not to exceed five such smoke detectors per public lodging facility. If you only have one property, then you would have to have one (1) for that unit. However, a managing company would only be required to maintain the 1:50 ratio.
Based on Walton County Definition of a Short-Term Vacation Rental in Ordinance 2023-03, condominiums are excluded from the certification process. However, Florida Code / Statutes have specific requirements for all buildings transient temporary lodging. Additionally, you MUST be registered with Florida Department of Revenue, Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, and Walton County Clerk of Courts Tourism Development Tax.
Walton County Code Appendix C, Chapter II, 2.02.00 (Zoning Districts Established) clearly states that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) shall not be available for short-term vacation rentals. You could live in your ADU (Carriage House) and rent out your main dwelling without going through the certification process. However, all Federal, State, and County registrations, licenses and life safety requirements must be met with respect to your main dwelling.
The decision whether to personally register or have an agent do so is completely up to the property owner. However, Property Managers will need to obtain notarized signatures on the Affidavit of Compliance and Agent Affidavit from the property owners in order to apply on their behalf. The reference packet can be found at: https://www.co.walton.fl.us/DocumentCenter/View/41729/ShortTermVacationRentalCertApp_Packet