Governor Scott has recently issued two emergency declarations applicable to specific Florida Counties, providing opportunities for extending certain development approvals and permits within those areas.

Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, allows holders of certain permits to provide a notice and thereby obtain an automatic extension for permits and authorizations when the Governor declares a state of emergency. This right extends to the area covered by the emergency declaration.

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, and identify the specific permit or other authorization qualifying for extension and the particular state of emergency under which the extension is being sought. The notice extends the duration of the permit for a time period equal to the duration of the state of emergency plus 6 months.

With some exceptions, this extension applies to local-government-issued development orders (such as rezonings and proportionate share agreements with phasing schedules), building permits, Development of Regional Impact development orders, and Environmental Resource Permits issued by the Florida Department of Protection or water management districts.

Tropical Storm Colin – Executive Order Number 16-136

On June 6, 2016, the Governor issued Executive Order Number 16-136, declaring a state of emergency due to the threat posed by Tropical Storm Colin, in the following Florida counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia and Wakulla Counties. This emergency declaration is effective for 60 days and will expire on August 5, 2016. The 90-day deadline for notifying the issuing authority of the intent to exercise the extension of permits and authorizations for EO 16-136 is therefore November 3, 2016. In the unlikely event the emergency order is extended or rescinded by the Governor, these dates would change.

Orange County – Executive Order Number 16-142

On June 12, 2016, the Governor issued Executive Order Number 16-142, declaring a state of emergency within Orange County due to the horrific tragedy that occurred on that date in Orlando. This emergency declaration, which is effective for 30 days, will expire on July 12, 2016. The 90-day deadline for notifying the issuing authority of the intent to exercise the extension of permits and authorizations for EO 16-142 is therefore October 10, 2016, unless the emergency order is extended or rescinded.

Given the widely publicized events which gave rise to this state of emergency, consider that any notice of extension filed based on this particular emergency may be scrutinized by the government and may receive heightened public interest.

Combining Extensions for Executive Orders 16-136 and 16-142

Projects within Orange County can take advantage of both extensions, however, the overlapping tolling period cannot be double-counted. If both extensions are taken, the total time added to a development order or permit is 60 days plus 12 months (tolled time for EO 16-142, plus a total 12-month extension for the two separate executive orders). If notice is to be given for both extensions at the same time, notice must be filed by the earlier deadline of October 10, 2016.

Clients are urged not to delay in filing the notices required to exercise the extensions. As noted above, the various extensions may or may not apply to specific development approvals. Akerman can assist clients in identifying whether extensions apply and in providing the required notifications to the appropriate agencies.

We Stand United

The tragedy that unfolded in Orlando on June 12 is devastating. The senseless violence has profoundly impacted so many in our community and throughout our law firm. At Akerman, we grieve and stand with the victims and their families, and all those affected by this tragedy.

Our more than 1,200 employees across the nation join the millions of voices around the world in solidarity with Orlando and LGBTQ individuals everywhere. We remain united and resilient in the face of adversity.