Development Services FAQs

Changes to FEMA Flood Maps

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has completed a multi-year assessment of the County's coastal flood risk and updated flood maps.

Effective October 7, 2021, permits issued by the County will need to meet the new flood zone and Base Flood Elevation (BFE) requirements (even if the application was received before October 7).

To see how the flood risk may have changed for a property or area, visit Hillsborough County's Flood Zone Comparison Viewer. Please view our fact sheet for additional information.

Contractor Licensing

  1. How do I obtain a contractor license in Hillsborough County?

    Due to State of Florida House Bill 735 Hillsborough County no longer offers local licensure. If you are seeking a contractor license please contact the State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR).

  2. How do I renew a Local Specialty contractor license?

    For Insulation, Painting, Paving, Tile/Marble: Local Specialty Licenses are no longer required and have been identified as trades which no longer require a contractor license in Hillsborough County per State of Florida House Bill 735.
    For Local Specialty Licenses with permitting abilities (Carpentry, Concrete, Garage Door Installation, Hurricane Shutters, Masonry, Siding/Windows/Doors, Signs (non-electrical), Structural Steel, Waterproofing/Guniting/Sandblasting, Plaster/Stucco)
    Or
    For Local Specialty Licenses with State Certified License equivalent (Aluminum Structure, Demolition, Drywall, Glass & Glazing, Irrigation, Marine):

    The registration expiration for your license has been extended to July 1, 2023 for permitting privilege needs; no fees are due. After July 1, 2023, your license will be null and void in Hillsborough County. To continue work, your company will need to have a licensed qualifier. A State Certified contractor license will be required if you will continue to work after July 1, 2023. Please refer to the License Comparison table to determine which license may be an option for you. Obtaining a State of Florida contractor license will be the only option available. Please visit Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) for information on how to obtain State Certified contractor license.

  3. How do I renew a State Registered contractor’s license or a State Certified contractor’s license in the HillsGovHub online system?

    License Verification must be completed prior to renewal. If License Verification has already been completed, Complete License Renewal. No fees are due.

  4. What will happen to my license after July 1, 2023?

    If the work you perform requires a license, you must obtain licensure via the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR).

  5. How do I obtain a license with the State of Florida?

    The State of Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) must be contacted for further information.

  6. What is “grandfathering” and is it available through the State of Florida for a long-time license holder?

    For State Registered contractors, “grandfathering” is an option open to transfer your license into State Certified status under certain circumstances. State Registered license holders should contact the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) and refer to Senate Bill 1966 for more details. Grandfathering is not available for Local Specialty licenses. .

  7. How do I obtain a contractor’s license for my trade if the work I do is still regulated?

    Local specialty licenses are no longer available in Hillsborough County. Contact the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) to apply for trades listed on the License Comparison table to determine which license may be an option for you. For specific work not listed, please email questions to Licensing@HillsboroughCounty.org.

  8. If a local license is no longer required for my trade, do I still need a Hillsborough County Code Compliance Bond?

    A Hillsborough County Code Compliance Bond is required as long as you have an active Local Specialty license.

    Effective 7/1/2021, Insulation, Painting, Paving and Tile/Marble license categories have been identified as trades which no longer require a contractor license in Hillsborough County and no longer require bond.

    All other Local Specialty license holders had their expiration date auto extended to 7/1/2023. These license holders will be required to maintain a bond until 7/1/2023 unless otherwise advised by Hillsborough County staff.

    For all other business requirements please refer to State & local laws for business operations.

  9. How can I add a delegate (formally known as authorized agent)?

    Delegates must be added via HillsGovHub. See the top of page 4 on the Manage My Account User Guide for the steps to add a delegate to your license. Delegates must have an account utilizing the same email address used to add them as a delegate. If they have not yet registered for HillsGovHub with their email address, have the delegate(s) complete this step first.

  10. Is a fee required to register or renew my State Registered/State Certified license in the HillsGovHub online system?

    There are no fees associated with a registration in the HillsGovHub online system.

  11. How do I update my Workers Compensation, General Liability, COI, contractor information and other information?

    All updates must be made via HillsGovHub as outlined in the Update Contractor Information User Guide. Updates can no longer be performed via email. License Verification must be completed prior to making any updates.

Natural Resources

  1. Do I need to remove a tree?

    Generally, all trees on developed residential lots with tree trunks measuring 12” DBH (Diameter at Breast Height, 4.5 feet above ground) or larger require a permit before being removed. A guide for residential tree removal is available. For non-residential properties, trees with trunks greater than 5” DBH require a permit. All street trees will also require a permit prior to removal. Trees that are determined to be hazardous by a certified arborist do not require a permit for removal. Additionally, certain trees do not require a permit for removal.

  2. Do I need a permit to prune a tree?

    A permit is not required however, all tree trimming activities are subject to the industry criteria provided by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A 300 Pruning Standards and in the case of large oaks requires a Grand Oak Pruning Affidavit. The Grand Oak Pruning affidavit must be completed by a certified arborist and they must be on site during pruning activity. A certified arborist can be found at http://treesaregood.org/

  3. I was told we don’t need permits anymore to cut down trees. Is this true?

    No. However, House Bill 1159 was signed in to law in the summer of 2019. It states that if you have an ISA Certified Arborist declare your tree a dangerous tree, it will be exempted from our permitting process. This only applies to residential properties and not commercial or HOA/CDD common grounds.

  4. Do I need a permit to remove a sick or dying tree?

    Generally, yes, unless the tree has been declared dangerous by an ISA Certified Arborist. View our Residential Tree Removal Guide for additional information. /p>

  5. Do I need a permit to remove a tree that is causing damage?

    Generally, yes, a permit would be required. A completely dead tree with zero living tissue will not require a permit as long as the tree is not located in an environmentally sensitive area, such as a wetland, wetland setback or wetland conservation area. Dead trees may still require replacement. If there are any leaves on the tree it is not dead.

  6. What kind of trees can I plant?

    Hillsborough County’s has a list of approved trees based on their purpose. Available listings include approved street trees, shade trees, ornamental trees, and hedges.

  7. What is a grand oak?

    Generally, a grand oak belongs to the Quercus genus and has a trunk measuring at least 34” DBH (Diameter at Breast Height, 4.5 feet above ground). When a tree reaches Grand Oak status, it’s one of the largest and oldest specimens of its kind in our area, and it has withstood decades of development, deforestation, windstorms and hurricanes, to prove that it is one of the hardiest and sturdiest trees of its species. For this reason, special regulations apply to the removal and pruning of grand oaks.


     
  8. What permits do I need to clear vacant land I bought to build my new home?

    You cannot remove trees that are larger than 5” in diameter at chest-height until you obtain a Land Alteration and Landscaping Permit (LAL). When you apply for your building permit on HillsGovHub, it includes your application for the LAL permit.

  9. Do I need a permit to cut down a tree (or trees) when building a swimming pool?

    Yes, if the tree is greater than 12” in diameter at chest-height. You will indicate that you need this permit within your pool permit application on HillsGovHub. A tree removal permit (submitted separate from your pool permit) will not be approved without an approved pool permit.

  10. Do I need a permit to remove trees to build a detached garage, carport or shed?

    Yes, trees that are larger than 12” in diameter at chest-height require a permit for removal, you can apply for this removal within the permit within the same application for the garage, carport or shed in HillsGovHub.

  11. Do I need a permit to remove trees to build a detached mother-in-law suite?

    Yes, this requires a Land Alteration and Landscaping Permit. On that permit you will show the trees that you need to have removed. This permit is applied for within the same application as the building permit on HillsGovHub.

  12. Can I install a fence in an area designated as a platted wetland setback?

    Fencing in a wetland setback is a project that requires an approved zoning variance to the wetland setback through a public hearing. It is recommended to consult a zoning counselor to identify height and placement restrictions.

  13. How do I get the county to trim or remove a street tree whose limbs are interfering with traffic?

    Public Works is responsible for maintaining 14 feet of clearance over the roadway on streets maintained by Hillsborough County. Privately owned roads, such as those in many gated communities, are not maintained by the County. Service requests may be submitted online.

Mobility & Impact Fees

  1. What are impact & mobility fees?

      Impact Fees are charges assessed on new development to address the impact they are anticipated to have on County schools, parks and fire systems. Mobility fees are charges assessed on new development to address the cost of updating transportation infrastructure.

  2. Are residential projects charged Impact Fees?

    If a dwelling is being replaced by a larger unit, or a change in use (such as from mobile home to single family home), or if a residential project increases the living area of a home, then impact fees may be assessed. It may be possible to obtain credit for structures that were already present on a property. To be able to provide credit for a prior structure, information is required to be provided to the impact fee team. This can be a demolition permit number or a Property History Record that shows the old structure (aka MAF report), which can be obtained from the Property Appraiser’s Office.

  3. When do I pay my Impact Fees?

    Impact fees must be paid prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy, or prior to release of permanent power. In some cases, impact fees may be required to be paid earlier, such as for some additions.

  4. How do I know what zone I am in or see a fee schedule?

    Maps and fee information, and residential estimates, can be found online or by calling (813)276-8305, or email at impactfees@hillsboroughcounty.org.

  5. Where can I find information regarding Impact Fees?

    Impact Fee information can be found online or by calling (813)276.8305 or email at impactfees@hillsboroughcounty.org.

  6. How do I know what zone I am in or see a fee schedule?

    Maps and fee information, and residential estimates, can be found online or by calling (813)276-8305, or email at impactfees@hillsboroughcounty.org.


     

Inspections

  1. How do I set up an inspection?

    Inspections must be scheduled through the permit record on HillsGovHub. You must be logged in to schedule an inspection.

  2. Can I schedule a Same Day Inspection?

    Time specific inspections can be scheduled based on the workload and availability of the inspection team. The cost is $102.50. The request must be made before 12:30pm the day before. To schedule a time specific inspection, please email beckb@HCFLGov.net or call (813) 564-4696.

  3. How do I find out who my inspector is or when my inspector will be there?

    View the inspection on the HillsGovHub portal to see your inspector. Inspections are for a specific date and are not time specific. You can request am or pm in the comments and we will try to accommodate the request, but these will be based on the inspector’s workload and route and are not guaranteed.

  4. How do I pay a Red tag or Re-Inspection Fee?

    Red tag and re-inspection fees can be paid on the HillsGovHub portal.

  5. Who handles Tie In Surveys?

    For permits applied on and after January 28th, 2019. The Tie-in-Survey will be required to be placed on the jobsite for the building inspector prior to scheduling the next inspection after the Slab inspection has been approved. Tie in surveys are to be uploaded to the record in HillsGovHub and a copy left on site for the inspection..

  6. How can I get temporary power?

    Schedule an ELE-Electrical power release inspection through the permit record on HillsGovHub. You must be logged in to schedule an inspection.