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News & Knowledge

Permit Extensions in Response to COVID-19

April 07, 2020

By: Tara TedrowRebecca Wilson, & McGregor Love

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor DeSantis has issued Executive Order No. 20-51 declaring a state of emergency for all 67 counties in the state of Florida. In addition to providing services to those in need, an Executive Order of this kind also has the effect of extending the expiration dates of many types of building and development permits issued by state and local jurisdictions, as confirmed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in an update to their frequently asked questions.

Florida Statutes Section 252.363 provides that, pursuant to a declaration of a state of emergency for a natural emergency, permits and other development orders are extended for the length of the state of emergency and for an additional six months thereafter. The coronavirus pandemic has been deemed a “natural emergency” for purposes of Section 252.363. The extension applies to the following:

  • the expiration of a development order issued by a local government,
  • the expiration of a building permit,
  • the expiration of a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or water management district, and
  • the buildout date of a development of regional impact (DRI), including any extensions of a buildout date that was previously granted. 

It is important to remember that extensions of permits are not automatic. If you choose to exercise your right to extend your permit’s expiration date, you must properly notify the relevant permit authority within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration. The notice must be in writing and identify the specific permit or other authorization qualifying the extension.

UPDATE: The process for requesting tolling and extension of a permit expiration may vary depending on the local government. In Orange County, a permit holder must notify the issuer of permit in writing of its intent to exercise the tolling extension. The permit holder will then be asked to fill out a “Declaration of State of Emergency Written Permit/Development Order Extension Notification” form. The appropriate division will then review the request (in conjunction with the County Attorney's office, if necessary) and after determining that the project is eligible for an extension, extend the expiration date, as applicable.

If you need assistance with or have questions regarding permit extensions, the Land Use, Zoning & Environmental Group at Lowndes is here to help.

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This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.
Tara

Tara is a shareholder in the firm’s Real Estate Transactions, Development, Land Use, Zoning & Environmental practices. Tara’s practice focuses on land use and development, as she assists clients statewide on entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office, and mixed uses. Tara works with local governments and other regulatory authorities in order to address the needs of her clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence, and property rights. Additionally, Tara is the Chair of the Cannabis and Controlled Substances Group, where Tara assists clients in complex regulated industries such as alcoholic beverage, hemp and marijuana licensing. On the alcoholic beverage side, Tara offers additional value to clients throughout Florida in the hospitality, restaurant and entertainment industries through her experience with alcoholic beverage licensure and Florida’s alcoholic beverage laws. On the cannabis side, Tara works with physicians, lenders, real estate developers, landlords, ancillary service providers, licensed Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers, cultivators, processors, retailers and license applicants, helping them to navigate the ever changing regulatory landscape of marijuana and hemp regulations. Tara is a regular presenter and speaker at industry seminars and conferences. As of the fall of 2018, Tara was the first professor in the state of Florida to teach a law school course on marijuana law and policy at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Tara also assists clients in the national hemp industry in obtaining licensing and approvals for processing, retailing, cultivation and other forms of secondary byproduct monetization. She is the only person in the state to be appointed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to both the inaugural Industrial Hemp Advisory Council created under Senate Bill 1020 and to the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee, which she Chairs.

Prior to joining the firm, Tara worked as a legal extern for the University of Florida General Counsel and Office of the Vice President as well as for the Orlando Juvenile Public Defenders Office. For over a decade, Tara has also worked professionally as a private speech and debate coach and taught at multiple national debate institutes, including the National Debate Forum at Emerson University, the National Symposium for Debate at Grinnell College and Victory Briefs Institute at UCLA.

Tara Tedrow is a contributing writer at the Orlando Sentinel and has spoken about various real estate topics on Fox News.

Rebecca

As early as 6th grade, Becky Wilson advocated for the causes she believed in. Her concern about nuclear waste and water contamination in her hometown of Dothan, Alabama – and her thorough research – promoted her to press a state legislator with questions in the school auditorium. Having grown up in the south, Becky got in trouble for questioning authority – yet that life experience served her well.

After clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C., Becky landed in Orlando, quickly building a reputation at Lowndes for being thorough, outspoken, and a tireless advocate for clients. She ultimately found her niche in land use, collaborating with architects, transportation engineers and local governments to move her clients’ projects – and Central Florida – forward. Becky became one of the youngest female shareholders at the firm. Today, she is Chair of the Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Group.

Her clients include property owners, developers, lenders and other participants in the development of high-rise, hotels, planned communities, large “power-centers,” mixed-use projects, office buildings and big box commercial projects, projects within historic districts, multi-family developments, senior living, and affordable housing. Becky works closely with the local government entities to address the needs of her clients related to zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, administrative lawDevelopments of Regional Impact (DRI’s), procurement issues, due diligence, and property rights.

Undoubtedly, Becky’s diligence, activism and southern charm were responsible in part for her recent appointment as chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) of Central Florida District Council, a global multidisciplinary real estate organization with more than 40,000 members dedicated to the responsible use of land, and creating and sustaining thriving communities.

McGregor
McGregor assists clients with entitling projects for commercial, residential, industrial, office, and mixed use. He works with local governments and other regulatory authorities to address the needs of clients related to environmental permitting and compliance, zoning, comprehensive plans, concurrency, site plan approval, variance and waiver requests, due diligence, and property rights. With a background in land use and business litigation, McGregor previously worked for other law firms where he focused on the representation of Florida businesses and business investors.
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