iStock_000000854455XSmall.jpgTropical Storm Debby may have wreaked havoc for most Floridians, but there may be a rainbow after the storm that some permit holders can appreciate. When Governor Scott declared a state of emergency because of the storm by Executive Order, it triggered the permit extension provisions adopted by the Florida Legislature in its 2011 session, codified in F.S. 252.363.

This statute provides that the declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor tolls the period remaining for a permit or certain other authorizations for the duration of the emergency declaration (here, until August 24, 2012). Further, the emergency declaration extends the period for an additional 6 months on top of tolled period for the following:

  • The expiration of a development order issued by a local government.
  • The expiration of a building permit.
  • The expiration of a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to part IV of chapter 373.
  • The buildout date of a development of regional impact, including any extension of a buildout date that was previously granted pursuant to s. 380.06(19)(c).

The permit holder must provide written notification to the permitting agency within 90 days after the termination of the state of emergency of its intent to exercise the tolling period and identify the specific permit(s) subject to the extension. In this instance, the notification period will expire November 21, 2012.

It is important to note that this extension does not apply to:

  • A permit or other authorization for a building, improvement, or development located outside the geographic area for which the declaration of a state of emergency applies.
  • A permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • A permit or other authorization determined by the authorizing agency to be in significant noncompliance with the conditions of the permit through the issuance of a warning letter or notice of violation, the initiation of formal enforcement, or an equivalent action.
  • A permit or other authorization that is subject to a court order specifying an expiration date or buildout date that would be in conflict with the extensions granted in this section.