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News Alert…Opportunity to Extend Permits due to Zika Virus

News Alert…Opportunity to Extend Permits due to Zika Virus

Section 252.363(1)(a), Florida Statutes, provides that certain qualifying permits and authorizations are eligible for an extension once a state of emergency is declared for the length of time the declaration is in effect plus an additional six (6) months.  With some exceptions, the extension applies to expiration of local-government-issued development orders, building permits, DEP and water management district permits pursuant to part IV of chapter 373 and to DRI build-out dates.  A written request for such an extension must be submitted to the authorizing agency (i.e., City, County, Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), or Water Management District) within 90 days after the State of Emergency has expired. § 252.363(1)(b), Florida Statutes.

Executive Order 16-149 was issued on June 23, 2016 in response to the threats posed by the Zika Virus in certain parts of the state. The emergency declaration applies to the following counties: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Highlands, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Santa Rosa, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia. While Executive Order 16-149 did not include an expiration date, the maximum length of such a state of emergency is 60 days, unless extended.

The Governor then issued Executive Order 16-193 on August 19, 2016, extending the state of emergency for an additional 60 days. It should be noted that the duration of the emergency declarations under Executive Order Nos. 16-149 and 16-193 overlap. The Governor recently extended the state of emergency for an additional 120 days through Executive Orders 16-233 and 16-288 on October 18 and December 15, 2016, respectively.

Applicants wishing to extend their permit(s) in one of these counties for a total of 6 months and 238 days under these Executive Orders must submit a written request to the authorizing agency by May 16, 2017, unless the executive orders are extended beyond the collective 238 days.

If you are a permit holder in a county identified above and believe you may be eligible for an extension under these Executive Orders, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney in our Land Use and Local Government or Environmental and Water practice group.