Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, allows holders of certain permits to an extension of time for permits and authorizations when the Governor declares a state of emergency. A state of emergency was recently declared in Martin, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach Counties. To be eligible for the extension, the permit holder must file a particular notice within a certain time, explained below. There are currently three separate opportunities for development extensions available within certain affected counties pursuant to recent emergency declarations by Governor Scott. This Practice Update pertains to the emergency declaration for the algal blooms in South Florida, pursuant to Executive Orders 16-155 and 16-156. Information on previous Executive Orders 16-136 and 16-142 can be found in our June Practice Update.

Under Section 252.363, within 90 days of the end of the state of emergency, the holder of the permit or authorization must notify the government entity or agency who issued the permit in writing of its intent to extend the duration of the permit. The notice must reference section 252.363, Florida Statutes, identify the specific permit or other authorization qualifying for extension, and identify the particular state of emergency under which the extension is being sought. The filed notice automatically extends (tolls) the duration of the permit for a time period equal to the duration of the state of emergency, and extends the expiration date for 6 months. The local government will not necessarily verify that the notice was filed properly.

With some exceptions, these extensions apply to local-government-issued development orders (such as rezonings and proportionate share agreements with phasing or expiration dates), building permits, Development of Regional Impact development orders, and Environmental Resource Permits issued by the Florida Department of Protection or water management districts. They do not apply to federal permits.

Lake Okeechobee Discharge – Executive Order Numbers 16-155 and 16-156

On June 29, 2016, the Governor issued Executive Order Number 16-155, declaring a state of emergency in Martin and St. Lucie Counties, due to toxic algal blooms and related effects. On June 30, 2016, the Governor issued Executive Order Number 16-156, extending the state of emergency declared pursuant to Executive Order 16-155 to Lee and Palm Beach Counties. Unless modified, the emergency declaration is effective for 60 days and will expire on August 28, 2016. The 90-day deadline for notifying the issuing authority of the intent to exercise the extension of permits and authorizations for EOs 16-155 and 16-156 is therefore November 26, 2016. In the event the emergency order is extended or rescinded by the Governor, these dates would change.