6184015031_52bb1094fd_zFirst, as a follow up to a previous blog post regarding the Governor’s recent Executive Orders for the Zika virus and Heavy Rainfall, there are two important corrections.

A “Public Health Emergency” was Declared for the Zika Virus in Executive Order 16-29, not a “State of “Emergency”

Only a “State of Emergency” may be used to extend permits under Section 252.363, Florida Statutes.   There is no corresponding right under a “Public Health Emergency.” Therefore, no extension of permits will be issued in connection with the “Public Health Emergency” declared in connection with the Zika Virus.

The Heavy Rainfall SOE Has Been Extended 15 days (Executive Order 16-43)

On February 18, 2016, the same day that the Heavy Rainfall SOE was set to expire, the Governor issued Executive Order 16-43 extending the declaration made in Executive Order 16-30 an additional fifteen (15) days.

Therefore, unless the SOE for Heavy Rainfall is again extended, a permit holder must submit its written notification of intent to the agency that authorized the permit before June 2, 2016 to qualify for a permit extension under Section 252.363, Florida Statutes. For purposes of determining the total duration of an extension under Executive Orders 16-30 and 16-43, authorizing agencies should now grant a total of thirty (30) days, plus an additional six (6) months.

Lake Okeechobee Discharges SOE (Executive Order 16-59)

Most recently, on February 26, 2016, the Governor issued Executive Order 16-59 declaring a SOE in response to the discharge of approximately 30 billion gallons of flood waters from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers and estuaries. The SOE was applicable to Lee, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties.

Unless otherwise extended by proclamation, the Lake Okeechobee SOE is in effect for sixty (60) days. Accordingly, to qualify for a permit extension under the SOE, a written notification of intent must be submitted to the agency that authorized the permit before July 25, 2016. While at this time no extension to the SOE has been authorized by the Governor, an extension could be issued in the near future given the serious statewide concern over the extensive environmental harm to wildlife and the aquatic ecosystem.

Will the extension apply to your permit?

It is important to note that the extension of time is only available for certain permits. The extension covers the following:

  • Development orders issued by a local government;
  • Building permits;
  • Permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to part IV of chapter 373, Florida Statutes;
  • Buildout dates of a development of regional impact (“DRI”), including any extension of a buildout date that was previously granted pursuant to section 380.06(19)(c), Florida Statutes; and
  • Commencement and completion dates for required mitigation in phased developments.

Bottom line

If you are a permit holder in Florida and believe that you may benefit from an extension under this provision of the Florida Statutes, please do not hesitate to contact our office at info@henlaw.com.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore under
Flickr Creative Commons License