I talked to the county inspector and it only made things more confusing.
He says "service equipment" (meters and disconnects) are allowed at grade. OK that makes sense. In the garage, no equipment can be below grade including switches for the lights. They will have to use battery operated remote switches. I even understand that somewhat.
Then it gets weird. In the elevator lobby/stair well at grade he said you use normal rules. (switches and receptacles placed by 210).
I did a little looking myself and the guiding rules seem to be article 422 of the ICC residential building code (adopted by Florida as the FBC).
That even gets weirder.
First they say
Electrical systems...shall be located at or above the elevation required <FEMA>
then in exceptions they say
Exception: Locating electrical systems, equipment and components; heating, ventilating, air conditioning; plumbing appliances and plumbing fixtures; duct systems; and other service equipment is permitted below the elevation required in Section R322.2 or R322.3 provided that they are designed and installed to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components and to resist hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and stresses, including the effects of buoyancy, during the occurrence of flooding to the design flood elevation in accordance with ASCE 24. Electrical wiring systems are permitted to be located below the required elevation provided that they conform to the provisions of the electrical part of this code for wet locations.
R322.1.7Protection of water supply and sanitary sewage systems.
They start out describing NEMA 6 equipment and then end by making it sound like anything 3R will work.
I can see why people are just making up the rules as they go along.
Our fear now is we know the county inspector is going to retire at the end of next month and I doubt they will be at final by then.
The open question is who will do the final and does he have the same interpretation of the rules. Add to that the city of Ft Myers Beach is taking over the process and we may be dealing with a whole different building department.
Ah the joys of beach building