Governor Declares State of Emergency Due to Hurricane Isaias
On July 31, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-181, declaring a sixty (60) day a State of Emergency in each county along Florida’s east coast ahead of Hurricane Isaias. This includes areas from Miami-Dade to Nassau counties.
Section 252.363(1)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that certain qualifying permits and authorizations are eligible for an extension once certain States of Emergency are declared for the length of time the declaration is in effect plus an additional six (6) months. A written request for such an extension must be submitted to the authorizing governmental agency within ninety (90) days after the State of Emergency has expired. § 252.363(1)(b), Florida Statutes. Four types of permits and authorizations qualify for an extension under these circumstances:
- a development order issued by a local government, which includes a wide variety of local government approvals that permit development activities;
- a building permit;
- a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to Part IV of chapter 373; and
- a Development of Regional Impact’s (DRI’s) build-out date.
Governmental agencies have no affirmative obligation to take action extending the foregoing permits and authorizations pursuant to § 252.363(1)(a), Florida Statutes. Rather, the extension occurs as a matter of law in response to a written notification of intent to exercise the tolling and extension granted by the Statute. Florida Op.Atty.Gen., 2012-13, April 25, 2012.
Accordingly, the above referenced Executive Order allows for a sixty (60) day plus an additional six (6) months extension for qualifying permits and authorizations in a county along Florida’s east coast due to Hurricane Isais, unless the underlying State of Emergency is extended further by the Governor. Keep in mind this extension opportunity is in addition to any available under the COVID-19 State of Emergency that is still in effect and discussed in greater details in my post dated July 9, 2020.
If you hold permits or other authorizations in a Florida Atlantic coast county and would like assistance in reviewing and evaluating possible opportunities for extension to preserve your development rights in light of Hurricane Isaias, please do not hesitate to contact Kathleen O. Berkey, Esq., AICP.