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Real Estate Alert: Florida Legislature provides permit extensions

Earlier this year, the 2011 Florida Legislature acknowledged the challenging real estate market in Florida by passing and enacting legislation providing for the extension of certain permits and development approvals (Chapter 2011-139, Sections 73 and 79). Whether an extension is available depends on the type of permit, the current expiration date of the permit, whether a statutory time extension was previously granted, and under which section of the law the request is made. Permits extended under this new law continue to be governed by rules in effect at the time the permit was issued, except when the rules in effect at the time the permit was issued would create an immediate threat to public safety or health. Of particular note, extension requests must be made in writing to the applicable authorizing agency by December 31, 2011. This alert provides information on the different categories of requests.

Extensions of previously extended approvals

Under Section 73, permit holders who received a time extension under section 14 of Chapter 2009-96 (as reauthorized by section 47 of Chapter 2010-147) can obtain a two year extension from the previously scheduled expiration date. This extension is in addition to the extension previously provided; however, permits that were originally extended for a total of four years cannot be further extended under this new legislation.

New extensions

Under Section 79, any building permit, and any permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or by a water management district which has an expiration date from January 2, 2012 through January 1, 2014, may be extended and renewed for two years after its previously scheduled expiration date. This extension cannot, in combination with any other permit extensions authorized by law, exceed a total of four years.

Ineligible permit extensions

The extensions provided in this new legislation do not apply to the following:

  • A permit or other authorization under any programmatic or regional general permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • A permit where the owner or permittee is in significant noncompliance with the conditions of the permit or authorization.
  • A permit or authorization which, if granted, would delay or prevent compliance with a court order.

How to extend a permit

The holder of a permit or authorization who is eligible and desires to seek the extension should, no later than December 31, 2011, submit written notification to the authorizing agency:

  • Identifying the specific permit or authorization for which the holder desires to extend, and
  • The anticipated timeframe for acting on the authorization.

The above criteria provide a guideline for the extension, but the legislation itself should be consulted for more detailed criteria and eligibility requirements. If you wish to take advantage of these extensions, timing is crucial. McDonald Hopkins can help you determine eligibility and provide timely notice.

For more information, please contact:

John T. Metzger

Jessica T. Lifshitz

or any of our Real Estate attorneys by clicking on the link below.

Real Estate

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© 2011 McDonald Hopkins LLC All Rights Reserved. This Alert is designed to provide current information for our clients, friends and their advisors regarding important legal developments. The foregoing discussion is general information rather than specific legal advice. Because it is necessary to apply legal principles to specific facts, always consult your legal advisor before using this discussion as a basis for a specific action.