Useful Links

NEFBA continues to closely monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of our apprentices, faculty and staff is our highest priority as leaders work closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information. 

Updated Friday, July 17th, 2020 at 4:00p.m. EST

Good afternoon and Happy Friday NEFBA Members,

It has been a few weeks since our last update, and I wanted to check in to say hello and let you know what’s happening here at NEFBA.

Just like you with your business, we have continued to be flexible and adapt to the circumstances. Currently the office is closed to the public until further notice to ensure the safety of our employees and members. But we are still hard at work every day, and if you need anything at all, please let us know.

Even though our in-person activity has been greatly curtailed, I wanted to share with you just a few of the things we have been doing on your behalf.

What NEFBA Has Been Doing During COVID

  • The Apprenticeship Program was just a few weeks from graduation when COVID struck in March and our classroom partner, Keiser University, closed their campus. Director of Workforce Training Christina Thomas, VP of Training Tim Conlan, and the full apprenticeship team worked tirelessly to get nearly 400 apprentices across the finish line for the school year. This was a monumental task when you consider there was still classroom work to be done (with no classrooms), and individual proctored exams for everyone to finish the academic year. This program is critical to continuing to bring new trained talent to our workforce, and preparations for the new year are currently underway. Done √
  • Fortunately the Housing Industry was designated as “essential” by both the federal and state governments, but the final decision about operating Building Departments was left to local governments. Director of Government AffairsJessie Spradley and the full GA team went to work making phone calls and sending emails to ensure building departments continued to do inspections and issue permits. The value of NEFBA’s strong and years-long relationships with local building officials and other government leaders came into sharp focus during this time. We are extremely grateful to all the regional building officials who understood the need to push through the COVID mess, and who adapted their processes, but kept the home building industry moving. GA meetings have moved to Zoom, are well-attended and open to all members. Done √
  • NEFBA’s Political Action Committee chaired by Past President Curtis Hart conducted more than a hundred candidate interviews, and the PAC has endorsed candidates in 32 different political races across the region. The NEFBA PAC supports only those candidates who are pro-housing. Make your voice heard and vote in the August 18th primary and November 3rd general election. Done √
  • Because we could no longer meet face-to-face, we all became “experts” in Zoom and figured out other ways to make commerce happen, and continue to support each other. We moved our General Monthly Meetings to Zoom, and all Council/Committee Meetings as well. The trade-off for personal interaction is the convenience of not having to leave your home/office to still get the benefit of these meetings. The Sales & Marketing Council’s SMC Huddle provides current insight on the state of the NEFL market, and allows members to continue to stay in touch. Our Professional Women in Building Council is still conducting virtual engagements with their 5th grade mentees. And the Emerging Leaders Program adjusted their schedule to continue this inaugural program as well. Zoom is not perfect, but it is a suitable solution. Done √
  • The Clay, Nassau, and St. Johns County Builders Councils all are meeting via Zoom and actively planning and conducting programming. Clay has a charity project at Wilkinson Jr. High ongoing, the St. Johns Fishing Tournament is Sept. 19, and they are planning a Holiday Home Tour, and Nassau has a sporting clay shoot scheduled for October 15. Thanks to the Chairs of these great Councils and the members who support them. Done √
  • Builders Care has continued their work during the pandemic, and Justin Brown and Eddie McKinnon have built ramps, repaired roofs, and made sure that those who need critical home repairs have not gone forgotten. And, the Custom Builders & Remodelers Council is moving ahead with a wonderful charity project (Jude’s Playhouse) to support a 4-year old boy who is being treated for cancer. Done √
  • NAHB and FHBA have been working equally as hard as NEFBA during this time ensuring the industry stays safe, and that our jobs stay open and our workforce employed. Just as our local relationships kept us working, FHBA and NAHB can reach to the State and Federal leaders for that same commitment to keep us building homes. Their support of the local associations around Florida and the US is critical to supporting the home building industry.  Done √

These are just a few of the things that the Northeast Florida Builders Association, along with FHBA and NAHB, have been doing during the pandemic. Work on a safe vaccine sounds promising, and we are all anxious to return to some new normal. Until then we will continue to fulfill our mission of supporting and promoting the home building industry, our member companies, and you and your employees – whatever it takes.

And finally, THANK YOU – for your patience, and for your commitment to supporting the industry and NEFBA. We sincerely appreciate it.

Have a great weekend!

Bill Garrison, Executive Officer

Updated Thursday, Julu 9th, 2020 at 4:15p.m. EST

Due to the unrelenting nature of the covid-19 pandemic, and the increasing number of covid-19 cases in Northeast Florida, we are closing the NEFBA office to the public and requiring employees to work from home until further notice. Our primary concern is the health of our employees and our members, and until the spread of the covid-19 virus slows, we feel it is in the best interest of everyone that we close the office. All meetings will continue to be conducted via Zoom.

Thank you for your patience and understanding under these unusual circumstances. We are looking forward to re-opening the office and resuming our normal activity as soon as we believe we can do so safely. If you have any questions, please call me at 904-838-0531.

Thank you,

Bill Garrison, Executive Officer

Updated Monday, June 1st, 2020 at 8:40a.m. EST

The City of Jacksonville has announced that they will be re-opening offices June 1st with limitations and restrictions . The limited re-opening of the Building Inspection Division will include the following measures:

Appointment Only

  • On Monday, June 1, the Building Inspection Division and the Development Services Division will begin appointment only services at our location on the 2nd floor of the Ed Ball Building.
  • To make an appointment, please call Tony Fields at 904-255-8211. Appointments will be limited to control the number of people in our lobbies.
  • Appointments can be made for business days between the hours of 9am and 3pm.
  • Please do not arrive more than five minutes before your appointment time.
  • If you arrive 15 minutes after your appointment time, you may be required to reschedule.

Electronic Permit Submissions

  • All contractors, designers, expediters, etc. are required to submit permits electronically.
  • We have expanded electronic permit submission to include all permit types.


  • Everyone entering the Ed Ball Building, citizens and staff alike, will be screened.
  • Screening will include a temperature reading and the completion of a short questionnaire.
  • If you do not pass the screening, you will not be allowed to enter the building.

Face Masks

  • All visitors to the Ed Ball Building will be required to wear a face mask at all locations within the building.
  • Face masks will not be provided, so please come prepared.
  • If you cannot comply, you will be asked to leave the building.

Social Distancing

  • While you personally may not feel at risk from the coronavirus, you do not know the risks others may be facing.
  • Please respect others and practice social distancing. If you cannot comply, you will be asked to leave the building.


  • Please limit elevators to two people at a time.

If you have any questions, please contact Joshua Gideon at (904) 255-8521 or Thank you.

Updated Monday, May 11th, 2020 at 8:15a.m. EST

Update on NEFBA Operations

May 4 – May 17, 2020: Office remains closed to the public, all employees are required to work from home to the fullest extent possible. Anyone who needs to come to the office can, with an appointment. No more than 4 people in the office at the same time, and everyone following CDC guidelines to minimize the likelihood of spread of the covid virus.

May 18 - May 30, 2020: The NEFBA office will re-open to a scaled-down normal operation, following the Governor’s “Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.” recovery plan. No meetings or events will be held at the office through at least May 30, 2020. Employees can return to work from the office but may opt to work from home through May 30. CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of the covid virus will apply.

June 1, 2020: Dictated by circumstances on May 18, 2020, government recommendations, and the decisions of the NEFBA Executive Committee.

Updated Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 at 8:15a.m. EST

Revised Monday, May 4, 2020, until further notice. Starting Monday, May 11, 2020, Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, the Nassau County Building Department office and lobby will remain closed to the public. Permit processing will begin after receipt of a completed permit application and all required documents. We are still processing and issuing permits via the follow methods.

  • All permit applications and revisions must be submitted using one of the following options:
    1. Email to,
    2. Fax to (904-321-5763),
    3. Upload to Munis Self Service on our web site at ,
    4. Drop-off permit application & plans at our office utilizing outside drop-box at front entry doors, M-F 8am-5pm. (excluding government holidays) (48-hour quarantine prior to processing)
    5. Mail-in permit application & plans to our office at the above address. (48-hour quarantine prior to processing)
  • Permit applications and revisions with large plans must be submitted using one of the following options:
  1. Drop-off permit application & plans at our office utilizing outside drop-box at front entry doors, M-F 8am-5pm (excluding government holidays).  (48-hour quarantine prior to processing)
  2. Email permit application with separate PDF attachments, ( no jpg pictures ), to our department at, email size limited to less than 50 mb per email. For larger files, you can use a cloud storage space like OneDrive or Dropbox, if you need assistance with larger documents, please contact us and we will be glad to assist you. Email to include:
    1 PDF- Permit Application, (Properly completed)
    1 PDF- Structural Engineering, (Digitally Signed & Sealed & unlocked)
    1 PDF - Architectural Plans (If required, Digitally Signed & Sealed & unlocked)
    1 PDF- Truss Engineering and layout sheet (Digitally Signed & Sealed & unlocked)
    1 PDF - Florida Energy Calculations
    1 PDF- Florida Product Approvals
  3. Mail-in permit application and plans to our office at the above address. (48-hour quarantine prior to processing)
  • Emailed plans and documents, required to be signed and sealed by Florida Statute (i.e. Structural Engineering, Elevation Certificates, etc.), will need to be digitally signed and sealed by the design professional of record. Send files “unlocked”. Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and other design professionals, must initially register with our department by completing and submitting the Digital Signature Delivery Form (see attached form).
  • To better assist our customers, during the COVID-19 Pandemic and per FBPE, we will accept scanned originals of manually or digitally signed and sealed plans through July 14, 2020. This will give design professionals adequate time to obtain a digital signature certificate from any valid 3rd party certification authority and register their digital signature with our department.
  • Permit applications will be routed to all required departments, for their review and approval.
  • All permit applications must be paid for via Credit Card, E-Check or Contractor Escrow account, you must call 904-530-6250 to verify the amount and get the permit number, to use as a reference.
  • All approved permit applications and documents will be scanned by our department and emailed to the permit applicant. A 48-hour quarantine will be required for all plans and documents picked up from our office , utilizing outside drop-box at our front entry.
  • Elevation Certificates: Building Under Construction and Finished Construction Elevation Certificates; Digitally signed and sealed, email to for approval. Manually signed and sealed elevation certificates can be dropped off at our office utilizing outside drop-box or mail to our office at the above address.Thank you in advance for your cooperation to implement this new revised process. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Building Department at 904- 530-6250 or by email at

Nassau County Building Department Update 

Updated Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 at 11:45 a.m. EST

Please be aware that The City of Jacksonville and St. Johns County have both made moves to waive or reduce certain Building and Development related fees this week in response to the COVID-19 health emergency. On Monday, the City Council approved a $159 Million Dollar CARES Act Spending Bill. in CARES Act funding. Included in this legislation was $4,000,000 to reimburse a moratorium of mobility fees (6 month waivers) and $5,000,000 to reimburse a moratorium of building inspection fees (6 month waivers). The Building Department Fees that are waived include:
  1. Building Inspection Permit Fees
  2. Application fees imposed regarding the subdivision of land
  3. Fees for the approval and filing of plats
  4. Fees for the approval of final engineering plans
  5. Work in rights-of-way permits
  6. Zoning Code
  7. Tree Removal and Relocation
  8. Comprehensive Plan Amendments
  9. Solid Waste tipping fees
  10. Fire and Rescue plan Review Fees.
In order to qualify, a project must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy either 24 months from application (less than $1,000,000 value) or 36 months from application (Over $1,000,000). The mobility fee moratorium only applies certificates issued during the 6 month period. Please see attached white paper and legislation for more details.
On Tuesday, St. Johns County approved a Resolution which temporarily reduced certain County development and permit fees by 30%. The fee reductions will take effect on May 1, 2020 and automatically expire on August 4, 2020, unless extended or reauthorized by the Board of County Commissioners. The reduced fees include:
  1. Permit issuance fees including permit extensions, safety inspections, move-on site and field inspection fees;
  2. Demolition fees for both residential and commercial structures
  3. Electrical, plumbing, swimming pool, irrigation, gas, mechanical and solar permit fees
  4. Plat review and plat vacation fees
  5. Construction plan review and construction inspection fees
  6. As-built review
  7. Lot grading
  8. Single-family residential driveway permits
  9. Clearing and tree preservation
  10. Final inspection/re-inspection fees
  11. Communication tower permit fees
  12. Fire inspection fees.
The Commission did not reduce impact fees or utility connection fees. A full copy of the Resolution including the schedule and fees can be found here.

St. Johns County's schedule of fees and services

Updated Friday, April 17th, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. EST

Good afternoon NEFBA Members,

As this week comes to a close it seems as if the intensity of the covid situation is beginning to ease, and we are entering a more hopeful phase of preparing to “open” the economy back up. Even though the peak of the pandemic in Florida is not projected to be until May 3 (according to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation), we are all anxious to see and hear some positive news. But we also need to be realistic about what “opening” the economy will look like, and the devastating effects the loss of 22,000,000 jobs in four weeks will have. Our patience and grace will be tested, but we will rise to the challenge.

Every one of us is reeling from this situation. But urgency is being replaced with resolve. Frustration with new social and work norms is being replaced with acceptance. Some are even embracing the new reality. It is energizing to hear members explaining their new ideas adapting their operations to still provide value to their customers. The silver lining of this crisis is American ingenuity figuring out how to keep moving forward despite covid. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

Zoom, zoom, zoom. I hit my zoom wall on Wednesday and know many of you are in the same place. What a hugely valuable resource virtual meetings are, but it means brushing up on our time management skills. We would never subject ourselves to five hours of in-person meetings in a day, but before you know it, you are committed to five hours of Zoom meetings. Figuring out the right way to maximize Zoom but not let it consume your whole day is something else to figure out.

Speaking of Zoom, we held our first General Monthly Meeting via Zoom webinar, and to the 90+ who participated – thank you. We have done a thorough review of the meeting format and have made several changes that will enhance the experience for the May 20 meeting. Virtual meetings are here for the time being for sure, and likely a long time after. We are quickly adapting our seminars and presentations and even socials to the virtual platform.

The Government Affairs meeting will be held via Zoom April 22, at 8:30 am. From 2:00–3:00 pm on April 22, we are hosting a Building Official Virtual Panel with the chief building officials from Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties. And at 4:00 pm that same afternoon, the Professional Women in Building Council is hosting a Wine Down Wednesday social. April 22 is going to be a busy day at NEFBA, which is just how we like it. The links to the Zoom meeting for all of those events are on our Calendar of Events.

Last but most important, THANK YOU!! to all the builders and subcontractors and their employees for being All In on the covid safety effort. Most importantly to keep us all safe, but also to publicly demonstrate how serious we take this situation, we have adopted and promoted COVID-19 safety measures recommended by the CDC. NEFBA has been leading in this effort from the beginning, and it has paid dividends as we work closely with our building departments and local officials to keep our sites open. We appreciate all the photos and videos on social media of your crews and your mitigation efforts. Thank you again. #SafetyIsEssential

I hope you get to enjoy the beautiful weather, and recharge for what will surely be another challenging week ahead. If you have questions, suggestions, comments, or just need to talk, we are here for you. All the staff’s contact information is on our website, and my cell phone number is 904-838-0531. Let us know how we can help you.

Thank you,
Bill Garrison

Updated Monday, April 13th, 2020 at 2:40 p.m. EST

Updated Monday, April 13th, 2020 at 7:45 a.m. EST

COVID-19 Jobsite Safety Stand Down from NAHB:

NAHB takes safety seriously. On Thursday, April 16, we are urging members, and all residential construction companies, to halt work for at least 10 minutes for a COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down to educate workers on what they should do to keep themselves safe from coronavirus and to help “flatten the curve” for everyone.

NAHB has developed detailed blueprints — in English and Spanish — for builders to conduct their COVID-19 safety stand downs, including guidance on sharing the resources digitally.

The Department of Homeland Security recently designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business,” allowing construction to continue in places under stay-at-home orders. Although this designation is not binding on state and local governments, it does mean that there could be more workers on construction sites in the coming weeks.

As part of the safety stand down, members are being asked to pause all work for at least 10 minutes to relay coronavirus safety precautions, such as maintaining a distance of no less than six feet with others at all times, cleaning and sanitizing frequently used tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis and ensuring the proper sanitation of common surfaces and equipment. The safety information can also be distributed digitally (through email and/or text).

NAHB and other construction industry partners have also developed a comprehensive Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction that outlines the steps every employer and employee should take to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. It describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken on the job site, personal protective equipment and work practice controls to be used, cleaning and disinfecting procedures and what to do if a worker becomes sick.

NAHB and industry partners also have created a quick-reference job site checklist for employers and employees and a job site safety poster — available in English and Spanish — that can be distributed throughout the workplace. Access those materials here.

Updated Friday, April 10th, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. EST

Good afternoon everyone,

As we close out another week under the influence of this extraordinary virus, we can look forward to celebrating Passover and Easter with our family and friends, even if it may be through virtual means. My wife and I have gained a whole new appreciation for Facetime and phone calls to family.

The impact of this virus is all too real. Over the last four weeks, 17,000,000 people have filed for unemployment, pushing the estimated unemployment rate to 13%. That is higher than any time since the Great Depression. These facts only remind us of how blessed we are as an industry to have been designated as Essential and allowed to continue working during this pandemic.

Despite the covid pandemic, we are all quickly adapting to this new world. We are becoming experts at Zoom, learning all about virtual home tours, and figuring out how to still conduct business with covid looking over your shoulder all day. I recall Daniel Davis’s comments at the groundbreaking for our new office when he talked about how we may get knocked down, but we never quit. This time will be no different.

To help prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC has recommended that people wear some sort of mask when they are out mingling with others and keeping 6-8’ distance is difficult. To help spread this message, we created our own flyer (attached) and social media campaign. Wearing a mask on the jobsite will help prevent the spread of the virus and is a very visible statement that builders and subcontractors are following the CDC recommendations.

Thank you to all the builders who have agreed to support this recommendation. Top down support for this effort is critical, and we appreciate it. The logos of those builders have been included on the attached flyer. Let Jessie know if you want to be added.

NEFL building departments are still operating, with modified procedures, but permits are being issued, inspections are happening, and homes are still being sold. This week our Government Affairs team was able to get a satisfactory resolution to the issue about “open construction” in the City of Jax Beach. The COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER on our website has all these updates, and lots of other valuable information. Please let us know if there is something we need to address.

All NEFBA Council and Committee meetings are now being held via Zoom. The Calendar of Events on our website now includes the Zoom meeting link. Until we can meet again in person Zoom meetings let us continue to meet, share information and support, and keep moving forward as an association and an industry. If you haven’t tried it yet, please join one of the upcoming Zoom meetings. It is the next best thing to actually being there.

On Wednesday, April 15, we are hosting the regularly scheduled General Monthly Meeting via Zoom. The link to join the meeting is also on the Calendar of Events, and here:

Thank you to the many NEFBA members who have reached out to offer encouragement and suggestions on how we can better support each other. Your feedback has kept us focused on our mission and kept us motivated through this challenging time. And lastly, I want to offer a profound sense of appreciation to all the NEFBA employees who have adjusted to this new reality of working from home and kept NEFBA up and running.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter,

Bill Garrison


Updated Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. EST

NEFBA has updated the COVID-19 Keep Our Jobsite Safe Flyer.  It can be found under the HR Resources Section of Useful Links or by clicking here.

Updated Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 9:20 a.m. EST

NEFBA has partnered with Masks4Jax.  Masks4Jax is a grassroots movement whose sole goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our Jacksonville community. We have a simple message. Adhere to the CDC recommendations of:

1. Social distancing
2. Hand washing
3. Avoiding contact with your face, and
4. Wearing non-medical grade masks in public.

The first three guidelines have been extensively covered in the media. Wearing masks in public, however, is a new concept in our society. Our goal is to make masks widely available through partnerships with large scale manufacturers and businesses around Jacksonville, as well as through a grassroots effort to sew handmade masks. Our first initiative will be to distribute 30,000 masks to 50 locally-owned restaurants around the city. Since it would be counterproductive for people to congregate in one location to pick up masks, local restaurants are the best option for distribution with great safety protocols already in place. Local restaurants will be handing out two masks per customer, free of charge, with every to-go order. Click here for a full list of participating locations.

In addition, we are also partnering with the media and local businesses to properly educate the public on the wearing, handling, and cleaning of these masks.

Updated Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EST

Notice from The City of Green Cove Springs Regarding Inspections:

The City of Green Cove Springs is still doing inspections.

• For exterior inspections or interior inspections of unoccupied buildings, they will be scheduled and performed as they normally would be.

  1. E-mail or call 904-297-7050 at least the day before the requested inspection date; provide a contact name and number for your inspection.

• For interior inspections of occupied buildings, they will be done as VIDEO INSPECTIONS.

  1. E-mail or call 904-297-7050; provide a contact name and number, as well as one to two times the contact is available for inspection. Staff will confirm the requested time slot is available and schedule the inspection.
  2. On the day of the inspection, the on-site contact should VIDEO CALL the Building Official, Bill Golberg, via FACETIME or WHATSAPP, at 727-514-0006 at the agreed upon time.

Updated Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 at 7:50 a.m. EST

Memo from the City of Atlantic Beach:

Based on the Governor’s and Mayor’s Executive Orders and the Florida Building Code, the following procedures and policies will apply until further notice.  Please monitor this web page for the most current information.  This Pandemic is unprecedented and these procedures and policies are necessary for the life safety of residents, neighbors, and construction crews.  They may change as the situation unfolds.

The Building Department and all of City Hall are closed until further notice.

Application for Building Permits and Plan Review.

We are not accepting paper documents at this time.  Please go to the Building Department web page  to find instructions for electronic plan submittal and permit application.

At this time, we are limiting building permits to essential work, but Plan Review will continue and building permits, other than essential work, will be issued when it is safe to start construction.

Essential work includes:

  1. Repair or replacement of Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing equipment and fixtures, and roof repair/replacements.
  2. Continuing already permitted work, with some conditions.
  3. Other essential or critical work, determined on a case by case basis.  Until further notice, only essential and critical work will be considered.

Building permits for essential work will be given out without payment of permit fees.  Permit fees can be paid at a later date.


We are accepting permit applications without the required notarized signatures until the permit is actually issued.  There are remote notary services, available on line, as well.


Building permits will not be issued for non-essential enclosed construction projects, until further notice.




Building Inspections.

Inspections should be scheduled by applicants in the usual way, by calling (904) 247-5814.

Inspection of already permitted and essential work continue to be done, with some conditions.

At this time, we are not conducting inspections in occupied buildings.  Inspection of other enclosed or close spaces will be at the Inspector’s discretion.

Inspections in unoccupied enclosed spaces may be conducted after the space has been left unoccupied for 24 hours.

Only one trade crew at a time is allowed in a new building, once it is enclosed.  This will include new houses, starting with the rough trades and continuing through final inspections.  Workers shall adhere to all social distancing requirements and sites shall be provided with basic infection prevention and safety equipment to reduce the risk of exposure to the COVID 19 virus.

Contractors repairing or replacing equipment or fixtures in occupied buildings (Considered essential work) should schedule the inspection for the day the work will be completed and then call the Building Department to schedule a Remote Video Inspection when the work is complete and ready for inspection.  Please find the instructions for a Remote Video Inspection on our web page

Florida Law and the Florida Building Code still apply.  A STOP WORK ORDER will be posted on any work started without a building permit posted on site, or work not complying with the above provisions.

These policies are intended to protect the lives of residents, workers, and the neighbors in the vicinity of construction projects.  Your cooperation will be appreciated.

For further information, call (904) 247-5800 or email

Updated Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 12:20 p.m. EST

Summary of Measures Implemented by Select Northeast Florida Local Governments In Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic as of April 6

Two weeks ago we sent a summary of the measures being implemented by northeast Florida local governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is an update based upon additional inquiries with selected local governments, and additional reviews of relevant information posted on their websites. While the following summary presents the best information available to us at this time (COB April 6), nevertheless, and given the rapidly evolving environment, users may wish to query a particular website for updated formation, and appropriate URLs are included herein.

City of Jacksonville:

  • Most of the Jacksonville City Council Committees will begin meeting on their regularly scheduled days and at their regularly scheduled times, via the video conferencing platform ZOOM, starting on April 6th, with the exception of the Land Use and Zoning Committee which will not resume meeting until April 21st. The Committees will not be considering any items which require public hearings at this time and the agenda meetings which usually precede the regular meetings have been canceled. Each Committee meeting will have a different ZOOM meeting number and a different ZOOM password assigned to it. In order to join a meeting, participants will need to check the Committee’s page on the City’s website to obtain the necessary information. It is anticipated that a limited number of items requiring public hearings may be on the agendas starting the week of April 20th, but it is unlikely that any controversial items will be considered until the Council Chambers have been re-opened to the public. All Planning Commission meetings have been cancelled for the month of April.
  • Based upon the Mayor’s Safer at Home Executive Order (EO 2020-05), most government employees are now working remotely.
  • The Clerk’s Office Official Records Department is closed until further notice. The Clerk's Office is encouraging electronic recording of documents, but has also implemented a drop-box for walk-up customers. The drop box is located in the lobby of the Recording Department in the Duval County Courthouse located at 501 West Adams St. Jacksonville, FL 32202. Please ensure that a transmittal sheet is completed and that a self-addressed stamped envelope is provided for the return of all drop off packages. The Clerk’s Office Beaches Branch is closed.

Atlantic Beach:

  • Scheduled City Commission, board and committee meetings are canceled through March 31.
  • City Hall is closed to visitors. Interactions with City staff must be made by telephone (247-5800) or online (

Neptune Beach:

  • Public meetings are canceled through March 31.
  • City Hall is closed to the public. City services will continue.

Jacksonville Beach:

  • City Hall and all other City Buildings are closed to the public, but the Department of Planning and Development is continuing to process applications and conduct inspections. Permits are not being issued for work deemed nonessential. Inspections are only being performed for permitted open construction and the outside of occupied structures for residential and commercial properties. The fire marshal continues to perform life-safety inspections, when necessary. While plan reviews continue, the City will not issue permits for nonessential construction until the conclusion of the State of Emergency.
  • On April 2nd the City issued a notice to all contractors and private property owners prohibiting all nonessential construction activities. The only construction activities that may continue are those involving emergency repairs necessary to maintain safety, sanitation, and essential operations of buildings and critical infrastructure and open, unenclosed construction sites. Social distancing and infection guidelines must be adhered to at these sites.

Clay County:

  • All County Commission, Committee and other County meetings are canceled through April 13.
  • The Administration Building has limited public access and will be conducting business by appointment only. The switchboard is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 904-284-6300 to help schedule an appointment with the appropriate department.
  • For the Clerk’s Office Recording Department, a drop-box system is now available for public use at the Clay County Courthouse main lobby entrance in Green Cove Springs. Documents and payments placed into these secure boxes will be received, dated, and stamped same day.

St. Johns County:

  • The Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Auditorium located in the County Administration Building at 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, for the purpose of receiving an Emergency Management update and considering whether to extend the local state of emergency. The Board may also consider and take action on any other business that may lawfully come before it during the special meeting. The regular board meeting will begin thereafter. St. Johns County has delayed all quasi-judicial hearings noticed until the County can improve its telephonic public communications system for public comment.
  • The County posted the following message on its webpage:
    St. Johns County Boards and Committees Public Comment Call-in Participation
    In accordance with Executive Order 20-69 and St. Johns County Emergency Proclamation 2020-03, St. Johns County Boards and Committees that meet during the COVID-19 health emergency may do so remotely under communication media technology and without a physical quorum of the members present. Members of the community who would like to participate in public comment during these meetings may do so by calling 904.209.1265. The meetings can be viewed on GTV, Comcast cable channel 3, or online at While all meetings remain open to the public to attend in person, St. Johns County facilities are under limited public access restrictions. Written or physical documentation for a meeting may be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners at 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084, or by email at For more information, please call 904.209.0300.
  • Limited Public Building Access – All St. Johns County facilities continue to operate under limited public access restrictions.
  • The Clerk’s Office is closed to the public for non-mission critical court functions; however, several online services are available while the Judicial Center is closed. To record documents in the official records, link to to use one of the Office’s e-recording vendors. The Office has also partnered with the County to provide recording of real estate related documents at the County’s permitting office.
  • Additionally, all St. Johns County Tax Collector offices are closed to the public until further notice. The Tax Collector is encouraging residents to complete eligible transactions online at

St. Augustine:

  • The City of St. Augustine adopted Administrative Order 2020-06 cancelling all public meetings, including City Commission, Code Enforcement Adjustments and Appeals Board, Historic Architectural Review Board, and Planning and Zoning Board, except for emergency meetings as needed, until May 8th. The City also cancelled all non-essential meeting that do not address the immediate operations and function of municipal business.
  • City Hall offices are closed to the public.

Nassau County:

  • The Nassau County Board of County Commissioners continues to meet at least once a week, but most of the Commissioners are attending remotely. The next scheduled meetings are April 8 (10 a.m.), 13 (6 p.m.), 15 (9 a.m.) and 27 (6 p.m.). The public may attend the meetings. The Commission room has been reconfigured to hold no more than 35 people and all attendees must sit at least 6 feet apart. The Planning and Zoning Board meetings scheduled for April 21 and May 5 have been cancelled. The Conditional Use and Variance Board meeting scheduled for April 23 has been cancelled.
  • County Planning and Development offices are closed until further notice, and any meetings with staff are being handled using virtual technology. No new land use and rezoning applications are being accepted. No paper submittals for Development Review Applications are being accepted, with the exception of subdivision plats. The Development Review Committee (DRC) continues to meet at 9 a.m. every Tuesday, but the public is not allowed to attend.
  • The Clerk’s Office is transacting business at its Yulee location only.

City of Fernandina Beach:

  • The city has implemented an online/paperless permitting system for building permits called: EnerGov. The City will hold its first virtual City Commission meeting on April 7 at 5 p.m.; the only people who will be physically present will be Mayor Johnny Miller; City Manager Dale Martin, Director of IT Mr. Dana Whacker and the City Clerk Caroline Best, the rest of the City Commission will attend remotely. The public may not attend in person. Public comments can be emailed to Dale Martin at beginning at 5 p.m. that day until public comment time is closed which will be approximately 6:30 p.m. The public comments received during this time will be shared with the City Commissioners and will become part of the permanent record of the meeting. It is unclear exactly how the comments will be “shared.”
  • City Hall and other City offices remain closed to the public, but staff is accessible by phone or email.

Updated Monday, April 6th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST

In light of the CDC’s recent “Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings,” NEFBA is encouraging all workers who may come within 6-8’ of others while working to comply with the CDC’s recommendation to wear a cloth mask to help minimize the likelihood of transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

The use of a cloth mask does not change the need for following all other CDC guidelines: safe social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitizing surfaces and often-touched handles, etc., and staying home if you have a fever or other COVID symptoms, are all still required to help stop the spread of the COVID virus. Wearing a cloth mask is one more step to help flatten the curve, and bring an end to this scourge.

To learn more about how to properly wear a cloth mask, and other valuable information about masks, please see the CDC website:

cloth mask graphic

Updated Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST

The St. Johns County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller (SJCCOC) is active and operational for specific county and private sector business needs including construction and real estate recordings.

In conjunction with St. Johns County Building Services, SJCCOC has posted a clerk at the Permit Center Building to assist with hard copy recordings, including notices of commencement. This arrangement will be in effect as long as the permitting office is open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business leaders, citizens and stakeholders are strongly encouraged to use the eRecording service available through vendors listed on the following webpage:

SJCCOC will communicate any changes to this policy via email and our social media page. Please contact the office at (904) 819-3600 or SJCCOC Brandon Patty via his cell at (904) 599-8688 or email,, with any questions or concerns.

Updated Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 at 10:45 a.m. EST

Yesterday’s order contained confusing language whether or not it superseded local ordinances and whether or not a local could adopt a more restrictive measure. He has clarified in most recent order, Executive Order Number 20-92 (attached) that yesterday’s Safer at Home Order, 20-91, supersedes all local orders.

What does this mean for us in construction? It is absolutely clear that a local government cannot adopt a more restrictive order, one that may declare construction non-essential.

Updated Florida Amendment to Safer at Home Order

Updated Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. EST

In the face of orders from the Mayor of Jacksonville and Gov. DeSantis to close all non-essential businesses, we want to remind everyone that Residential Construction and all of its many supporting industries, such as suppliers and building departments, are considered “Essential” and are allowed to continue to operate, with modifications to protect the safety of the employees.

Because it is impossible to list literally every single occupation that supports the industry, many people are understandably concerned whether or not their specific job is considered essential. Our interpretation of the designation as “Essential” comes from the DHS Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response Version 2.0 (March 28, 2020):  “Workers supporting the construction of housing, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction of housing (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of government shutdown).”

Also from the same document: “Response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic are locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.” Guidance comes from federal and state, but it is up to the local governments to execute their response.

Government leaders are struggling with how to manage this unprecedented crisis. As workers in this industry, we need to ensure we do our part by following CDC guidelines to maintain 6-8’ social distance, be hyper vigilant with sanitizing sites and surfaces, and keep sick workers at home. Make sure ALL workers are taking this guidance seriously to help keep our jobsites open. The more committed we are to these guidelines, the more likely we are to be allowed to continue operating, and less likely to spread the virus.

Misinformation and rumors are rampant right now. Please refer to official statements on the matter. Both Executive Orders are available on our COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER page on the NEFBA website, along with jobsite safety flyers in Spanish and English. The situation is changing rapidly, and we will continue to provide regular updates.

We are all in this together, and we will get through it together.

Please let us know if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions for how we can serve you better.

Safer at Home Executive Order from Governore DeSantis

Emergency Non-Essential Business Closure from Mayor Curry

Updated Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EST

Letter from City of Fernandina Beach on Jobsite Approved Plans (Residential and Commercial.  This information is also listed under the Building Department/Development Resources tab.

Updated Monday, March 30th, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. EST

Message from FHBA President, Michael Bourré 

Updated Thursday, March 27th, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. EST

Dear NEFBA Members, and all other construction industry members,

What a wild and crazy week this has been! But we are still here and working to get homes and commercial buildings built, even if it is under a new set of circumstances. Americans are strong, resilient, and driven. From the very beginning of our nation each generation has had to overcome some existential crisis, and we have come through them all. We will come through this one too, and be better for it.

The entire country is being impacted by a dangerous and highly contagious virus. In order to minimize the negative effect this global pandemic will have on our economy, it is urgent and of the highest importance that we all take seriously the obligation to prevent the spread of the virus. The best way to do that is through social distancing, and vigilant personal hygiene. Stay away from other people, as much as possible, and wash your hands many times during the day. Keep 6’-8’ away from other people, sanitize surfaces often, seek medical attention if you have symptoms, and take this virus seriously. It is spreading rapidly and can be fatal.

Most people are following these guidelines, but unfortunately some people are not. Industry leaders at the local, state, and national level are working hard every hour to keep building departments and jobsites open. But those people who are choosing not to comply with social distancing and preventing spread of the virus by continuing to ignore the warnings, are putting the entire industry at risk of being shut down. Seattle shutdown all non-essential construction jobs for two weeks on Thursday, Mar. 26. It can happen here too. It has been discussed, but so far, we have been successful keeping our jobs open.

Please, please, PLEASE – take social distancing and jobsite hygiene seriously. We have published a jobsite safety flyer, and we will continue to make other announcements about COVID-19 jobsite best practices. The flyer can be found at  on this page under the HR Resources tab, along with other announcements about procedural changes at the regional building departments.

In addition to those recommendations, virtual meetings and sales appointments are another excellent way to work around the need to meet face-to-face. We are using them daily at NEFBA, and will continue to expand their use for our council and committee meetings.

Thank you for being a member of the Northeast Florida Builders Association, the Florida Home Builders Association, and the National Association of Home Builders. Your dues support the work we do year-round, and are especially important now that other sources of revenue are eliminated because of the virus. If you need any help maintaining your membership with NEFBA (which includes membership in FHBA and NAHB), please let us know. We know these are difficult times, and we will make sure we get through this together.

Please be safe,
Bill Garrison, Executive Officer
Northeast Florida Builders Association

COVID-19 Best Practices

Keep Your Job Site Safe!

• Conduct all morning jobsite meetings outside the trailer, with only key personnel, keeping six feet distance per CDC guidelines
• Provide and require use of hand sanitizer before entering a job site and leaving a job site
• Ramp up cleaning and disinfecting of all offsite and jobsite office facilities
• Practice social distancing per CDC guidelines and work in teams of no more than 10 people in one area
• Encourage those who feel sick to stay at home
• Supply jobsites with additional sanitation stations
• When working on an occupied dwelling, ask the occupant if he/she is sick and if they are, postpone work
• Supervisors should talk to employees to ascertain if any are ill or exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19

If you answer “Yes” to any of the below questions please


• Have you been asked to self-quarantine or been diagnosed with COVID-19?
• Have you experienced the recent onset of any illness-related symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
• Have you traveled outside of North America in the last 14 days?
• Have you been on any domestic travel within North America in the 14 days?
• Have you been in contact with any of the following:
Any person(s) who has traveled outside of North America in the last 14 days?
Any person(s) who has been asked to self-quarantine?
Any person(s) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Information from

Updated Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. EST

Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 situation and our responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of all NEFBA members, NEFBA employees, and the general public, the NEFBA office has been closed to the public until further notice. All employees are required to work from home.

The Executive Committee has scheduled weekly special meetings to make decisions about the NEFBA calendar of events, and other COVID-19 related matters. All events through May 31st are postponed/cancelled. Most committee & council meetings will be moved to ZOOM, information on each ZOOM call can be found on the NEFBA calendar, under the event.

Updated Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. EST

The 12th Annual St. Johns Builders Charity Fishing Tournament scheduled for May 9th, 2020 has been postponed to September 19th, 2020.  All registrations and sponsorships will be moved to the new date.  If you have any questions please contact Leona Brown,

Updated Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. EST

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, Regulatory Division, Jacksonville Permits Section (Corps) has been directed to maximize telework capabilities.  That means that the majority of staff, myself included, are teleworking most days (if not all days).  This, as I’m certain is true with any telework situations you are implementing, creates challenges.

One of these challenges pertains to public notices.  The Corps uses standard mail correspondence to notify adjacent property owners of the availability of a public notice on the Internet.  Unfortunately, staff at home do not have the appropriate resources to implement such action.  As for me, when I have a public notice ready for posting, I’m attempting (emphasis on attempting) to go into my office to compile those notification letters in order to keep projects moving forward.  However, please be advised, there is no standard solution for this concern at this time and our management is attempting to identify a uniform way to address this challenge.

Additionally, as noted in recent communication from Mr. Robin Moore (the Jacksonville District Regulatory Division Archeologist), consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) regarding Cultural Resource Assessment Survey (CRAS) reports still requires the coordination of a printed copy of the CRAS.  Similar to the adjacent property owner notifications associated with public notices, staff working from home do not have the resources to print and mail documents such as a CRAS to the SHPO.  Therefore, in order to address this challenge, the Corps has determined that applicants will need to submit a printed copy of the CRAS to the SHPO.  Therefore, please use the below protocol for CRAS reports.

  1. When the Corps requests a CRAS, the request will also state that a hard copy of the report should be sent by the applicant directly to the SHPO, noting that State review of the report will not be commence without the SHPO being in possession of the hard copy.  You (your client) will need to subsequently provide a printed copy of the CRAS to the SHPO.
  2. If you (or your client) has already submitted a CRAS for the Corps’ review, prior to the Corps actually requesting one, the Corps will advise you (your client) that you (your client) is responsible for submitting a hard copy to the SHPO in addition to submitting a digital copy to the Corps.

Updated Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. EST

From Building Departments
Clay County: We will have reduced front office staff until April 1st, but all functions are still available.  We are encouraging use of the online permitting and inspection portal if at all possible.

City of Jacksonville: Will be closing their lobby to walk-in services starting March 25th.  Please visit their website for more details.

St. Johns County: There will have limited access within the building permit center.  Permit applications and documentation will be dropped off and picked up in the lobby area.  Inspections will continue using normal procedures.  Please visit their website for more informations.

Updated Monday, March 23rd, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. EST

Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 situation and our responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of all NEFBA members, NEFBA employees, and the general public, the NEFBA office has been closed to the public until further notice. All employees are required to work from home.

The Executive Committee has scheduled weekly special meetings to make decisions about the NEFBA calendar of events, and other COVID-19 related matters. All events through Mar. 29 are postponed/cancelled. A new date for postponing events and activity will be made during this week’s Executive Committee meeting and shared promptly.

Training Vice President Tim Conlan and Director of Workforce Training Christina Thomas are managing the Apprenticeship Program’s complex schedule of apprentices, instructors, completing the academic year, and pending graduation. If you have any questions contact Christina Thomas,

Local building departments are being impacted by this crisis and are adapting to continue operating best they can. NEFBA is in daily communication with the Clay, Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns Counties’ building departments to monitor changes to their permitting and inspection processes. All counties are still open and working, with modified conditions, as of the time of this message. Contact them directly for the latest changes in their operations.

There is a COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER red button on our website’s homepage (link). All announcements about the NEFBA schedule of events, and changes to building department procedures will be curated on this page. Monitor that site and this weekly email for the latest information from NEFBA. Employees will be working from home and can continue to be reached via email. We are actively working on setting up video capability so council and committee meetings can continue. Watch for announcements about rescheduled meetings to be conducted by video. We are using Zoom software.

If you need anything at all during this troubling time, NEFBA related or not, please let one of us know. NEFBA’s mission is to support and promote our members, and the development industry. We care about you and want you to be safe and healthy. Whole-body wellness is even more critical these days. Stay in touch with each other any way you can and take very seriously the need for distancing. “Better safe than sorry” is an often-used cliché for a reason.

Updated Thursday, March 18th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST

The decision has been made to cancel the Builders Care Poker Tournament Social night that was scheduled for April 30th.  All registered attendees will be notified via email if this event is rescheduled.

Updated Wednesday, March 17th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST

The decision has been made to reschedule the NEFBA Trade Expo to June 15, 2020 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the UNF University Center.  All registered exhibitors and event attendees will be notified via email.

Updated Monday, March 16th, 2020 at 10:15 a.m. EST

After considering all of the circumstances related to the coronavirus situation, the NEFBA Executive Committee has decided to reschedule all NEFBA events, meetings, socials, Apprenticeship classes/labs,  seminars, and all other activity through at least March 29, 2020. 

Decisions about events after March 29 will be made the week of March 23. We will continue to stay in regular communication with everyone about this situation, and its effects on the school calendar for the remaining of our 2020 training year.

The NEFBA home office has shifted to minimal staff and is not available for in person visits or appointments until after March 29.  The best way to contact staff during this time is through email.

For more information contact:
Bill Garrison, NEFBA Executive Officer: 904/725-4355,

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