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A dump truck doing construction along the Coastal Construction Control Line in Florida.

Navigating Florida’s Coastal Construction Control Line: Key Considerations for Buyers

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Florida’s allure lies not only in its sun-soaked beaches but also in the vibrant real estate opportunities along its coastline. However, for potential buyers and real estate agents eyeing properties nestled by the shore, understanding the implications of the Coastal Construction Control Line (“CCCL”) is paramount. This regulatory boundary, established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“FDEP”), shapes the landscape for coastal real estate transactions.

The Coastal Construction Control Line Demystified

The Coastal Construction Control Line is a regulatory tool designed to safeguard Florida’s coastal areas by mitigating the risks associated with development. While the picturesque views and waterfront access are attractive, the state aims to strike a delicate balance between property development and the preservation of its fragile ecosystems.

Implications for Buyers and Real Estate Agents

For prospective buyers and real estate agents, the CCCL introduces a layer of complexity to the purchasing process. Property located seaward of the CCCL is subject to more rigorous regulations, impacting the potential for construction, renovation, or even landscaping. For example, if there is a total loss at a property that is located seaward of the CCCL and the property owner needs to rebuild, the property owner may only be able to rebuild the structure so long as it does not increase the existing footprint or go any further than the existing development. Thus, understanding the implications of the CCCL is crucial for making informed decisions about the feasibility and limitations of a property.

Permitting Challenges

Buyers considering properties within the CCCL zone should be aware of the stringent permitting process. Any construction or modification plans must typically align with the FDEP’s guidelines, necessitating a thorough understanding of the permitting requirements. This can lead to delays and additional costs, which are factors that buyers should carefully consider when evaluating the overall investment in a coastal property.

FAR/BAR Contracts and Coastal Construction Control Line Disclosure

If a Buyer is looking to purchase a property that lies either seaward of the CCCL or within close proximity to the CCCL, it is best practice for real estate agents to use the Coastal Construction Control Line Rider (“Rider”), which delineates restrictions on coastal properties, guides transactions and ensures compliance with environmental regulations. More importantly, the Rider allows the Buyer to request a CCCL affidavit from the Seller at or prior to closing or to obtain a survey delineating the location of the CCCL. Additionally, the Rider allows a Buyer to waive their right to the aforementioned affidavit and survey. By incorporating this Rider into the contract, a Buyer is on notice of the potential application of the CCCL and can typically address this with the surveyor to ensure it is adequately depicted on the survey, which is critical to ensure that the Buyer is fully informed as to the limitations that may apply to the property due to the CCCL.

In the pursuing coastal real estate in Florida, buyers and real estate agents must navigate the nuances of the CCCL. Thus, it is critical that buyers and real estate agents are fully informed and understand the limitations that may apply to a property as a result of the property lying seaward of the CCCL, which can be accomplished through proper disclosure, usage of the Rider, and proper due diligence. If you have any questions on the CCCL and its effects on real estate transactions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your trusted local real estate attorney.

Picture of Cameron Allen, Esq.

Cameron Allen, Esq.

Cameron focuses his practice on residential and commercial real property transactions.

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