Property owners, developers, construction industry professionals, and other permit- and authorization-holders may have even more opportunities for further extensions due to Hurricane Nicole in 2022.
The following provides an overview of the permit extensions available under law, including what gives rise to the extensions, the types of permits and authorizations that are covered, and how long your extension could potentially be. Because every situation is unique, Katie Berkey, Esq., AICP at Becker can advise you on whether and how this law can apply to your particular case.
Qualifying for the Extension
On November 7, 2022, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 2022-253 declaring a 60-day a state of emergency, unless extended further, for 34 counties in Florida in light of Subtropical Storm Nicole, which later strengthened into a category 1 hurricane. On November 10, 2022, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 2022-256 to make the prior Executive Order applicable to the entire state. From January 5, 2023, to August 25, 2023, the Governor extended the state of emergency another five times pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 2023-02, 2023-48, 2023-87, 2023-133, and 2023-170.
As a result of these sequential Executive Orders, qualifying permit-holders can extend certain permits and authorizations for a total of 24 months and 360 days as long as they follow the procedures set forth in the orders. It is important to note, however, that under Section 252.363(1)(a), Florida Statutes (2023), the maximum extension period may not exceed forty-eight (48) months in total in the event of multiple natural emergencies for which the Governor declared a state of emergency.
Six types of permits and authorizations qualify for an extension under these circumstances:
- The expiration of a development order issued by a local government, which includes a wide variety of local government approvals that permit development activities
- The expiration of a building permit
- The expiration of a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district for management and storage of surface waters pursuant to Part IV of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes
- Consumptive water use permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to Part II of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, for land subject to a development agreement under Sections 163.3220-163.3243, Florida Statutes, in which the permittee and the developer are the same or a related entity
- The buildout date of a Development of Regional Impact
- The expiration of a development permit or development agreement authorized by the Florida Statutes, including those authorized under the Florida Local Government Agreement Act under Section 163.3221, Florida Statutes, or issued by a local government or other governmental agency
Notifying the Authorities That You Are Invoking Your Right to an Extension
You do not need to apply to a government agency to get permission to extend qualifying permits and authorizations. Rather, the extension occurs as a matter of law as long as you supply a written notification of your intent to exercise your right under the statute to the appropriate government body within the allotted time period.
How Becker Can Help
If you hold permits or other authorizations in Florida and would like assistance in reviewing and evaluating possible opportunities for extension to preserve your development rights, please contact Katie Berkey, Esq., AICP.