As Cape Coral development booms, wait times for building permits increase

Reporter: Taylor Petras
Published: Updated:

Many Cape Coral homeowners and construction companies say it’s taking much too long to obtain the permits they need to begin construction projects.

Nancy Ramos with Ramos Builders says their small family business is putting up 25 to 30 homes per year.

“We’re happy to have such a boom again because it was really tough during the downturn,” she said.

But it’s taking almost double the amount of time to get a permit from the city to start construction. Ramos says that in the last six months, their permit wait time went from two weeks to four.

“At first it was a little, you know. We weren’t expecting it, so it was a little more, you know, ‘wow, why is it taking so long?'” Ramos said.

Bill Johnson Jr. acts as the liaison between construction companies and the city. He says the city is working to hire more people to keep up with all the permit applications.

“As we continue to grow, there’s always growing pains,” Johnson said.

This year, Cape Coral is on track to issue more than 2,100 home building permits.

“You have staff members working in there that are working tons of overtime to keep up with the demand,” Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Ramos is hoping to see some changes soon.

“We just adapted. Now we know what the situation is right now. We’re hoping it improves,” she said.

Cape Coral officials add that it’s not only Southwest Florida dealing with a backup of permits.

A Fort Myers city spokesperson said the city was not behind on reviewing permit applications. The number of total permits issued was up eight percent in May 2018 compared to May 2017.

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