New Development Extension Opportunities Provided by the 2013 Florida Legislature

by Akerman LLP
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The Florida Legislature has provided numerous extensions for development permits and approvals over the past several years, which have typically required that the holder of the permit or approval provide notice to the issuing agency by a specific deadline. Such was the case for the two-year extension provided under Chapter 2012-205, Laws of Florida (House Bill 503). In case you missed filing for that extension, Chapter 2013-213 (House Bill 7019) gives you another chance to do so. The 2013 bill also contains a new extension opportunity in the Florida Keys.

New Deadline to File for 2012 Two-Year Extension
The original deadline to file notice of the two-year extension under Chapter 2012-205 was December 31, 2012. Chapter 2013-213 extends this deadline to October 1, 2013. While the criteria for this particular extension limits its applicability, it presents an opportunity for many projects that missed past extensions or were recently approved. To exercise the extension, the holder of the permit or authorization must provide written notice to the authorizing agency by the new deadline, identifying the authorization being extended and the anticipated timeframe for acting on the authorization.

With a few exceptions, the extension applies to building permits and permits issued by the 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. The extension includes local government-issued development orders and building permits, including certificates of levels of service. The commencement and completion dates for required mitigation associated with a phased construction project are likewise extended.

This extension can be combined with certain other extensions, but cannot be taken by DRIs that received the 4-year DRI extension under Section 54 of the Community Planning Act (Chapter 2011-139). In addition, it cannot be combined with the 2-year extensions under section 14 of Chapter 2009-96, as reauthorized by section 47 of Chapter 2010-147; section 46 of Chapter 2010-147; or section 74 or 79 of the Community Planning Act to exceed 4 years in total.

New Three-Year Extension for Unincorporated Areas in the Florida Keys
Chapter 2013-213 also provides a new three-year extension for certain projects within the Florida Keys Area of Critical State Concern. This extension applies only within those areas to be served by central sewer systems by December 2015 in unincorporated Monroe County, excluding special wastewater districts.

The extension applies to building permits and permits issued by the 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, 2016. It includes local government-issued development orders and building permits, including certificates of levels of service. The legislation does not require that notice be provided to the authorizing agency.

This extension can be combined with certain other extensions, but cannot be taken by DRIs that received the 4-year DRI extension under Section 54 of the Community Planning Act. It cannot be combined with the 2-year extensions under section 14 of Chapter 2009-96, as reauthorized by section 47 of Chapter 2010-147; section 46 of Chapter 2010-147; or section 74 or 79 of the Community Planning Act, to exceed 7 years in total.

Clients are urged not to delay in filing the notices required to exercise the extensions. The various extensions may or may not apply to specific development approvals. Akerman can assist clients in identifying which extensions apply and in providing the required notifications to the appropriate agencies. Akerman can also assist development interests and local governments in understanding and taking advantage of other opportunities provided by the recent changes in Florida's growth management framework.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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