Building & Development Frequently Asked Questions



What Code are we under?

Current Codes

As of Permit Number BLD2101-0000 the following new codes will be in effect

  • Florida Building Code, Seventh Edition (2020)
  • National Electric Code 2017

View current Florida Building Codes

Why should I use a Licensed Contractor?

Any person who is not licensed and registered with the Construction Industry Licensing Board is working illegally. In addition, the State Attorney General's Office has stated that contracts made with an unlicensed contractor are not enforceable under law. Another reason is the license provides some protection to the owner from being charged for work and materials not provided or paying twice for them (material suppliers and sub-contractors can place a lien on your home if they do not receive payment from your contractor). There are also trade licenses for those persons doing other work to provide some assurance that they have adequate knowledge and training in those fields.

Why do I need inspections?

Inspections are required at various stages of the project to see that the work is following the approved plans and codes. There is no additional charge for the inspections; they have been paid for with the permit fees.

Do I have to have a license to do work on my own home?

No. A homeowner who owns and occupies a 1 or 2 family dwelling can do their own construction work, as long as they can demonstrate that they are knowledgeable of the code requirements of concern. You may not use or hire unlicensed people to help you or to do the work for you.

What if I have a permit and do not call for inspections?

Permits expire after 180 days if no required inspections have been approved. In order for a project to be complete, it must pass final inspection(s), fees paid, and have all holds released.

What type of license/permit do I need for Mobile Food Vending?

Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicles or Hot Dog Carts require licensure by Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

They can be reached online or by phone:


Choose: Apply for license

  • Hotels and Restaurants
  • Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicle or Hot Dog Cart

or call Customer Contact Center at (850) 487-1395

Manatee County only has jurisdiction over the unincorporated area of the county and does not issue vending permits or licenses however, we do require the following regulations be adhered to:

  • a. Must be located on active commercial property with the approval of the property owner, cannot block any drive aisles or parking spaces.
  • b. Cannot be located in the County Right-of-Way.
  • Note: Permanent power supply will reclassify use from Mobile Food Dispensing to Restaurant and will require Final Site Plan approval.

Planning and Zoning

If the information you are seeking is not shown please contact the Reviewer on Call team at (941) 748-4501 ext. 6871 or send an email to the reviewer on call.

You may also come in to see us at the Zoning Counter at 1112 Manatee Avenue West, 4th floor, Suite 408. The Reviewer on Call Team handles all questions regarding zoning, land use and development in the unincorporated areas of Manatee County.

Where can I find the zoning for my property?

Zoning can be found using our GIS mapping system

When the map loads in the box titled live maps layer visibility place a check mark in the box next to Zoning/DRI for current zoning.

To find your future land use category place a check mark in the box next to Comprehensive Planning.

Database can be searched using, property identification number, owner's name or property address.

Property Identification numbers can be obtained from the Manatee County Property Appraiser's Office.


What are the building setbacks for my property?

Setbacks are measured from the property line into the interior of the lot where the structure or building will be placed. Please note, structures cannot be placed in any easements or buffers.

If your property is located in a standard zoning district, setbacks can be found in the Land Development Code Chapter 4 (see Table 4-3 Village Districts, Table 4-4 Agricultural and Residential Districts, Table 4-5 Mobile Home Districts, Table 4-6 Office, Commercial, Industrial  and Extraction Districts). 

If your zoning is PDR (Planned Development Residential), setbacks can be found by contacting the Reviewer on Call at 941-749-3070.

Can I have a business in my home?

Manatee County Land Development Code does allow some home occupations without any approvals with the following limitations:

  1. The home cannot take on the appearance of a business.
  2. There cannot be any outdoor storage or display of merchandise.
  3. There cannot be any retail or wholesale transactions.
  4. No assembly, processing or fabrication operations are allowed.
  5. No signs advertising the business are allowed.
  6. The business can occupy no more than 25% of the home or two hundred (200) square feet of the first floor, whichever is less, exclusive of an open porch, attached garage or similar accessory uses.
  7. No traffic should be generated in greater volume than normally expected in a residential neighborhood.

Please contact the Reviewer on Call at 941-748-4501 ext 6871 or send email to to see if your proposed business meets the aforementioned conditions.

I would like to subdivide my property, what is the process?

If you are dividing your property in lots of less than five acres, a subdivision plat will be required when the third lot from the parent parcel* is created or a street is created for access. Parent Parcel is the property in its original configuration that has not been divided since May 4, 1981.

All lots created must meet the zoning district regulations for the zoning district where the property is located.

If the property is in a platted subdivision, recorded with the Clerk of Courts, you must submit an application to replat.

Please contact the Reviewer on call at 941-748-4501 ext 6871 or send email to to start the process for subdivision plat approval.

How do I apply for a retail alcohol beverage license?

Manatee County is only a signatory agent for retail alcohol beverage licenses. To apply for a license you must contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Manatee County will review the state license for zoning compliance. A review fee of $50.00 will be assessed.

I'm ready to begin development, what is my next step?

The first step in the development process is to schedule a pre-application conference. A pre-application conference is an informational meeting that is used to discuss the process and the code requirements before submission of the land use application for obtaining approval of the proposed development. A conceptual plan will be required.


Where can I find a copy of my platted subdivision?

Platted subdivisions are recorded with the Manatee County Clerk of Court

What are my setbacks for a Residential Pool and Screened Pool Enclosure?

Setbacks for swimming pools and screened pool enclosures are five (5) feet from the side and rear property lines, however no pool or pool cage shall encroach in any easements or drainage swales.

Please see the below list for more specific FAQs within our department.