Code Enforcement

The Code Enforcement Division enforces Bay County Codes and Land Development Regulations for the unincorporated areas of Bay County.

Hurricane Michael Information and FAQs:

Q: Will I be allowed to live in a camper or RV during the recovery?
A:  The County will be allowing temporary housing. Applicants will be issued a Temporary Housing Authorization (no charge), and may concurrently apply for a temporary power pole permit. The application must be completed by the property owner, and is valid through April 2020. Occupants may be the property owner, family members or pre-existing tenants. Please contact the Code Enforcement office for applications and details.

Q: Are there any programs available to repair or rebuild homes?
A:  In conjunction with the City of Panama City, the County offers two programs. The S.H.I.P. program can help citizens purchase a new or existing home anywhere in Bay County. The Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation Program can assist with repairs, to include structural problems, roofing, electrical and more. Both programs are income-based, first-come, first-served. You can read the flyer by clicking here, or contact the Panama City Community Development department to apply or for more information. 

Property owners may also be interested in the Habitat for Humanity Critical Home Repair Program. Visit the Habitat Bay website for more information. 

Q: What is the Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) Program?
A:  The final day to apply for the PPDR program was August 2, 2019. To follow up on your application, you may contact Tetra Tech directly at 850-704-6041. 

Q: When will the County debris removal end?
A:  The final pass for the unincorporated areas of Bay County is now complete. You are responsible for properly disposing of any debris. Contractors and residents may take their debris to the Steelfield Landfill. Bay County residents may tip free-of-charge with proof of residency. If you need additional help cleaning up your property, volunteers may be available. Impacted residents may call Crisis Cleanup at 800-451-1954, visit www.crisiscleanup.org, or contact other volunteer organizations. 

Q: Can I burn my debris?
A:  Outdoor burning is regulated by the Florida Forest Service (FFS). Current state restrictions on burning include a requirement to obtain permits for piles larger than eight feet in diameter and limit the pile to yard waste. Yard waste is any vegetative debris such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs, palm fronds, etc. Residents must meet the required setbacks and the debris must fit in an eight-foot diameter pile or non-combustible container. Outdoor burning of yard waste is allowed after 8 a.m. All fires must be extinguished one hour before sunset. It is illegal to burn household garbage including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticide, paint and aerosol containers. You can view burning guidelines by reading this flyer. You can also check the Florida Forest Service's current fire hazard conditions here.

Q: Can my landlord terminate my lease? If I am a landlord, may I evict a tenant?
A:  Landlords do not have the right to terminate the lease due to damage to the unit. Landlords do not have the right to kick the tenant out in order to make repairs. Landlords cannot put language in a lease to waive the tenants rights under FSS 83.63. Landlords must follow Florida Statute if they wish to evict a tenant or terminate a lease due to nonpayment of rent or violation of the lease or statute. Further assistance is available from Legal Services of North Florida and the Florida Bar. The County cannot provide home inspections or condemn a structure during the disaster recovery.

Q: How do I obtain building permits or become a licensed contractor?
A:  Please visit the Bay County Builders Services page for information, applications, and email contacts.

Q: If my dwelling was destroyed, what type of structures may I replace it with?
A:  Permits for new mobile homes and structures must be issued in compliance with County zoning. Contact the Planning Division to determine correct zoning on the parcel prior to applying for building permit. Temporary housing applications are available for RVs and campers. Please contact the Code Enforcement Division for details.

Q: May I solicit door-to-door for cleanup, contractor or repair services?
A:  You must register for a Peddler's Permit from Code Enforcement. There is a fee of $50 for processing the application to cover the cost of a background check. Completed applications must be delivered to the Code Enforcement office in person. Every applicant who is not a resident of Bay County or whose primary place of business is located outside the state must submit a bond running in favor of the County in the amount of $5,000.00. Please read the Peddler's Permit Application as well as Bay County Code Chapter 19 for more information. Note that this permit is valid for the unincorporated areas of Bay County, and that each municipality, such as Panama City, may have permit requirements as well. Failure to register may be punishable as a misdemeanor, in accordance with F.S. § 125.69(1), by the Bay County Sheriff's Office, and subject to fines and imprisonment.