CAPE CORAL, Fla. - There are concerns that tighter restrictions for seawall construction will hurt Cape Coral's economy.
The city and Army Corps of Engineers recently came to an agreement that would protect an endangered fish and still allow for construction. But this could cost you hundreds of dollars, because getting a permit now isn't as simple.
In the past, the city could hand you an over the counter permit to build a seawall or a dock in a day. But now that's changed.
Steven LeBoeuf waited six to seven months to find out if he could build a seawall on property along Skyline Boulevard. "We have a permit in hand now as of just a couple of says ago," he said.
He now wonders what will happen to the city's economy with these tough new requirements. "Construction is starting to pick up around here again, things are starting to happen and its just kind of you know putting another restriction on the builders and developers around here," he said.
Today's "new normal" means you'll have to wait three to four weeks to get your permit to build a seawall because of tighter restrictions, more paperwork and detailed surveys.
"Our surveyors are spending more time in the field, doing more information, which costs money," said HONC Marine President David Mulicka.
It's to protect the endangered smalltooth sawfish, which swims in the city's canals. If your property doesn't quite meet this new checklist, you could end up waiting months to build.
One restriction, for example is this: if the water in front of your seawall is less than 3 feet deep, that's considered critical smalltooth sawfish habitat, which could further delay you getting a permit.
"All these little things, the plotted property line, and the depth of the water at your property line, were not issues for the last 30 yeas in cape coral. but they are issues today," said Mulicka.
The process works like this: you get those surveys done with the help of your contractor like HONC Marine. They'll send that paperwork to the city, which then sends it off to the Army Corps for review.
If you don't get a call from the Army Corps in ten days that means, you're able to get your permit.