In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the Florida legislature passed bills giving landowners the right to obtain two-year extensions of certain types of development permits simply by sending a letter to the permitting agency. This year the Florida legislature passed CS/HB 7023, which contains provisions very similar to the bills passed in 2009 through 2012.
Section 46 of CS/HB 7023 provides that any building permit, local government issued development order, FDEP permit and certain water management district permits, with an expiration date from January 1, 2014 through January 1, 2016 can be extended for two years. This extension is in addition to any existing permit extension, provided however, that the statutory extensions cannot exceed four years in total (i.e. if you already used the bills enacted in 2009 through 2012 to extend the expiration date of a permit by a total of four years, then you cannot use CS/HB 7023 to get a further extension). In order to exercise the right to a permit extension under CS/HB 7023, the property owner must give written notice to the authorizing agency by no later than December 31, 2014. The letter must identify the specific permit or authorization for which the extension is being exercised and the anticipated timeframe for acting on the permit or authorization.
There are certain types of permits which cannot be extended under CS/HB 7023, including, (i) a permit or other authorization under any programmatic or regional general permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, (ii) a permit or other authorization held by an owner or operator determined to be in significant noncompliance with the conditions of the permit or authorization as established through the issuance of a warning letter or notice of violation, the initiation of formal enforcement or other equivalent action by the authorizing agency, or (iii) a permit or other authorization, if granted an extension that would delay or prevent compliance with a court order.
Permit holders should review all of their existing permits to see if an extension is authorized.