• 2012 Hurricane Season Provides Another Opportunity to Extend Eligible Permits
  • November 16, 2012
  • Law Firm: Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor Reed Professional Association - Orlando Office
  • If there's any good news in a hurricane or tropical storm, this is it: an officially declared state of emergency allows permit-holders to extend their permits, as well as certain other government authorizations. Not only are permits and other authorizations extended for the length of the emergency but for an additional six months thereafter. The extension may apply to the expiration date of a development order, building permits, permits issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) or the water management district, and the buildout date of a development of regional impact - including any extension of a previously granted buildout date.

    Governor Scott issued Executive Order 12-199 on August 25, 2012, declaring a state of emergency due to Tropical Storm Isaac (later upgraded to Hurricane Isaac). The state of emergency was effective state-wide and expired on October 24, 2012.*

    In addition to the state of emergency issued as the result of Isaac, a previous Executive Order, Executive Order 12-140, was executed by the Governor in response to Tropical Storm Debby (See e-Blast dated June 28, 2012). On August 20, 2012, the Governor extended Executive Order 12-140 by 30 days for projects located in Okaloosa, Calhoun, Bay, Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties, as well as coastal portions of Walton, Wakulla, Jefferson, Dixie and Taylor counties.

    Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, provides, in part, that permits and other authorizations are extended for the length of the state of emergency and for an additional six months thereafter. The extension applies to the expiration date of a development order, building permits, permits issued by the FDEP or the water management district pursuant to Part IV, Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, and the buildout date of a development of regional impact, including any extension of a buildout date that was previously granted pursuant to Section 380.06(19)(c), Chapter 380, Florida Statutes.

    In order to request a permit extension, a permit holder or its authorized agent must provide written notice to the permitting agency of its intent to extend the permit or development order within 90 days following the expiration of the state of emergency. Therefore, permit holders can give notice of a 6 month, 60 day extension for eligible permits on or before November 22, 2012 under Executive Order 12-140; a 6 month, 85 day extension on or before December 17, 2012 under Executive Order 12-140 and Executive Order 192 for those counties specified above; and, a 6 month, 60 day extension on or before January 22, 2013 under Executive Order 12-199. Simultaneous extensions can be noticed, as follows: an extension of 1 year, 120 days under both Executive Order 12-140 and Executive Order 12-199 if notice is provided by November 22, 2012; for 1 year, 145 days under Executive Order 12-140, Executive Order 12-192 and Executive Order 12-199 if notice is provided by December 17, 2012 but only for those Counties listed above. The extension notice must identify the specific permit or other authorization qualifying for the extension.

    *As many of you may recall in 2011, when we previously extended permit build-out dates as the result of an Executive Order, the state of emergency was subsequently extended several times. Each extension of the emergency created the opportunity for a further time extension of eligible permits and other authorizations.