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Fresh off our recent article highlighting Boynton Beach’s new building recertification requirements, we highlight Boca Raton’s updated Building Recertification program. This article covers everything you need to know about Boca Raton’s Building Recertification Program (Ordinance 5589) and the significant changes it makes to the way building recertification is conducted. It ultimately focuses on what it means for your commercial building or condominium and compliance process. Let’s jump right in.

Boca Raton Building Recertification Ordinance 5589 Overview

The Boca Raton City Council’s decision to pass Ordinance 5589 underscores its increased commitment to building safety standards in the city. At its core, this ordinance aims to enhance the structural and electrical safety of buildings within the city, focusing on older and more occupant-dense structures. As building managers and members of condominium governing boards, understanding the nuances of this ordinance are essential to ensuring compliance and the safety of your buildings and occupants.

What Has Changed in Ordinance 5589?

Ordinance 5589 represents a significant shift towards more stringent and comprehensive building safety standards in Boca Raton. It establishes the Boca Raton Building Recertification Inspection Program, which mandates the recertification of buildings based on age and size, incorporating structural and electrical inspections. This ordinance represents the city’s response to the growing concerns over building safety and integrity, aiming to prevent incidents and ensure buildings are maintained to modern standards now and going forward. Notably, it defines “threshold buildings” that require recertification as those over 30 years old, taller than three stories or 50 feet, or having an assembly occupancy classification that exceeds 5,000 square feet and can accommodate more than 500 persons. If your building meets any or all of those thresholds, your building must be recertified based on the guidelines in this updated program. (Note: single-family homes and duplexes are exempt from these requirements.)

What You Need to Know About the New Boca Raton Building Ordinance

Criteria for Recertification:

The ordinance outlines clear criteria for buildings that require recertification, focusing on age, height, and occupancy levels. This move ensures a proactive approach to maintaining building safety and integrity, prioritizing structures that, due to their characteristics, could pose significant risks if not properly maintained. The city will notify buildings meeting the criteria.
Geographic Zones and Inspection Schedule:
Boca Raton has been divided into four geographic zones for the purpose of organizing the recertification inspections.

Boca Raton building recertification program zones map

Zone 1 – The Barrier Island, east of the Intracoastal Waterway
Zone 2 – Intracoastal Waterway west to Dixie Highway
Zone 3 – Dixie Highway to west of I-95
Zone 4 – West of I-95

This zoning strategy ensures a systematic and efficient approach to evaluating buildings across the city, starting with those located on the barrier island and extending westward. The city has proposed a four-year inspection schedule to manage the initial backlog effectively.

Boca Raton Building Recertification Process: Simplified

Understanding the recertification process is key for building owners and managers to ensure compliance and the safety of their properties so we’re going to spend some time on it. Here’s the essence of what the process entails:


The City of Boca Raton will notify building owners of buildings meeting the criteria at least one year before their recertification deadline, giving ample time to prepare for the necessary inspections. Recertification is then required every ten years.

Inspection Reports

Upon notification, building owners are required to submit a detailed engineering/inspection report that includes both structural and electrical assessments conducted by qualified professional engineers. This report must identify any issues found and propose actions to rectify them. City Council resolution No. 39-2022 established fees for submitting and reviewing reports for the Building Recertification Program. A fee of $500 per recertification has been adopted as part of the City’s review of each application.

Review and Compliance

The City’s Building Official then reviews the submitted reports to ensure they meet the ordinance’s updated requirements. Depending on the findings, owners may need to correct their reports, submit a Repair Plan detailing how deficiencies will be addressed, or, if compliant, proceed to full recertification. Following initial recertification, buildings must be recertified every 10 years.


Compliance with Ordinance 5589 is not just a legal requirement but a key measure to ensure the safety and well-being of all Boca Raton residents and occupants. Failure to submit the required reports, develop a Repair Plan, or complete the necessary repairs within the specified timelines can result in code enforcement violations and fines. Building managers and condominium governing boards must understand their responsibilities under this ordinance to avoid penalties and, more importantly, to contribute to a safer community.

Closing Thoughts

Ordinance 5589 represents a significant advancement in the City of Boca Raton’s commitment to building safety. By outlining clear requirements for the recertification of aging and potentially at-risk buildings, the ordinance provides a framework for maintaining and enhancing the structural and electrical integrity of the city’s infrastructure, consistent with what we’ve been seeing from municipalities across Florida. Building managers and condominium governing boards are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the ordinance’s requirements and to take proactive steps to ensure their buildings comply with these new standards.

As local building engineering and inspection experts with decades of experience, the team at Building Mavens is here to guide you through this new recertification process. Our team is well-versed in the requirements of Ordinance 5589 and equipped to provide comprehensive building inspection and recertification services to ensure your building meets all necessary safety standards. Whether you need assistance preparing for your initial recertification, navigating the submission of your engineering/inspection report, or developing a Repair Plan to address identified deficiencies, we are here to help.

Ensuring your building’s safety and integrity is not just a regulatory requirement but a critical investment in its longevity and value. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in meeting the latest Boca Raton building recertification requirements and maintaining the highest standards of safety and compliance.

Additional Resources


About the Author

Portrait photo of Scott Harvey-Lewis of Building MavensScott Harvey-Lewis is the owner and President of Building Mavens, a leading Milestone Inspections and Engineering Consulting firm based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is a distinguished forensic engineer with over 18 years of experience. Holding a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Florida and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, Scott’s expertise is fortified by his Licensed Professional Engineer status in Florida and LEED Accredited Professional designation.

With a comprehensive background spanning public and private projects, Scott’s proficiency encompasses structural engineering design, construction oversight, and forensic analysis. His role involves investigating structural failures, construction defects, and code compliance to ensure project integrity while upholding safety standards and building codes. Beyond his investigative prowess, Scott is a skilled design engineer, contributing to diverse architectural facets including building envelope systems and designs for various materials. His extensive portfolio includes projects ranging from residential designs to commercial structures like warehouses and piers. Across all phases of project development, from conception to inspection, Scott’s dedication to innovative and compliant engineering solutions shines through.

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