Expiring permits, development orders or other approvals potentially may be extended based on the Governor's State of Emergency declared pursuant to the Zika Virus.

While development order extensions were afforded under state law based on legislation specific to the then-economic downturn, state law also provides for the tolling and extension of expiration dates based on declared states of emergency.

On June 23, 2016, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 16-149 declaring a State of Emergency in 23 Florida counties related to the Zika Virus. On August 19, 2016, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 16-193 extending the State of Emergency issued on June 23, 2016 for an additional 60 days from the date of the order, or until October 18, 2016. The State of Emergency affects 23 Florida counties, currently for a total of 117 days, or from June 23, 2016 until October 18, 2016. The State of Emergency could be further extended which would potentially afford additional tolling of the expiration dates.

The Governor’s Emergency Orders cover 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.

Pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 252.363, declarations of emergency issued by the Governor toll the period of time remaining to exercise rights under a development permit or other authorization during the duration of the declaration, plus 6 additional months. Consequently, the current potential tolling period under state law for the Zika-related declarations of emergency is 117 days plus 6 months.

Holders of the permit or other authorization must notify the issuing authority of their intent to exercise the tolling extension no later than January 16, 2017 (unless the state of emergency is further extended, which could extend the time within which to submit the required notification). Note however that January 16, 2017 is the celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. While deadlines generally roll to the next business day, in an abundance of caution, we recommend filing the notification no later than January 13, 2017.

Florida Statutes Section 252.363 details what permits, development orders and approvals are and are not potentially eligible for extension.