Florida Legislature Extends Deadline to Seek Permit Extensions to October 1, 2013

During the 2013 Regular Session, the Florida Legislature enacted a measure again extending the deadline for holders of certain specific development approvals to seek a two-year extension for these approvals. Pursuant to legislation enacted in 2011 and 2012, any building permit and any permit issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to part IV of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, with an expiration date from January 1, 2012, through January 1, 2014, is extended and renewed for a period of two years after its previously scheduled date of expiration. The 2012 law established a December 31, 2012, deadline for permit holders to notify permitting agencies of the holder's intent to utilize the extension.

The 2013 measure again pushes back the deadline to October 1, 2013, thereby extending the timeframe for permit holders to notify permitting agencies of the need for the two-year extension.

Approvals Subject to Extension

The qualifying entitlements include:

  • any building permit
  • any permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or by a water management district pursuant to part IV of chapter 373, Florida Statutes
  • any local government-issued development order or building permits including certificates of levels of service

Permit holders are limited to a combined maximum of four years of extensions under the 2013 measure and similar, previously enacted extension opportunities. Thus, the permit or other authorization holder is barred from an extension under the 2013 legislation if the holder already received four years of extensions pursuant to similar extensions provided by prior legislation enacted in 2009, 2010, 2011and 2012.

The extension does not apply to permits or authorizations under any programmatic or regional general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. Permits deemed to be in significant noncompliance with the conditions of the permit or authorization are also ineligible for the extension.

Notification for Extension

To obtain the extension, the permit or other authorization holder must submit written notification to the authorizing agency by October 1, 2013. The written notification must identify the specific authorization for which the holder intends to use the extension and the anticipated timeframe for acting on the authorization. Holders of eligible permits or other authorizations are not required to make a payment to the authorizing agency for use of the extension. 

Because the extension of time is available only upon notification, developers should review their existing permits and promptly determine whether they are eligible. Lenders for ongoing development projects may wish to confirm that their borrowers are taking the necessary steps to avail themselves of this extension as well.