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South Florida Flash Flooding May Provide Permit Extension Opportunity

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Property owners, developers, construction industry professionals, and other permit- and authorization-holders may have an opportunity to extend them further.

Qualifying for the Extension

On June 12, 2024, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 24-115 declaring a major 60-day state of emergency, unless extended further, for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota Counties due to widespread heavy rainfall and flooding, with additional rounds of heavy rain forecasted for the next several days that will exacerbate the ongoing flood conditions.

As a result of this Executive Order, qualifying permit-holders can extend certain permits and authorizations for a total of 24 months and 60 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:

  1. The expiration of a development order issued by a local government, which includes a wide variety of local government approvals that permit development activities
  2. The expiration of a building permit
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. The buildout date of a Development of Regional Impact
  6. 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 Issuing Authority That You Are Invoking Your Right to an Extension

The extension occurs as a matter of law as long as a written notice of the intent to exercise this right under the statute, identifying the special permit or authorization qualifying for the extension, is provided to the issuing authority within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration.

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 or David J. Moscoso, Esq.

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