Governor Extends COVID-19 Related Emergency Order Opening Door for Additional Extensions of Permits and Development Orders

Bilzin Sumberg Publication
Client Alert
July 8, 2020

This is a follow up to our previous client alert regarding potential extensions of permits and development orders based on the gubernatorial COVID-19 state of emergency.  On July 7, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-166, extending the state of emergency declared by Executive Order No. 20-52, which was previously extended by Executive Order No. 20-114, for another sixty (60) days throughout the State of Florida. Executive Order No. 20-166 recognizes that the impact of COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the State of Florida and its residents. A copy of the Executive Order can be reviewed here.

As a reminder, the State has classified the coronavirus crisis as a “natural emergency” which is defined in the Florida Statutes as “an emergency that is caused by natural events, including, without limitation, hurricane, storm, flood, severe wave action, drought, or earthquake.” This interpretation allows for the tolling of certain permits for the duration of the emergency declaration and for up to six months in addition to the tolled period (which may be further extended based on future Governor declared states of emergency).

This latest Executive Order extends the state of emergency until September 5, 2020. Under Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, the holder of the permit or other authorization has ninety (90) days after the end of the State of Emergency to notify the issuing authority of its intent to exercise the tolling and extension granted by the statute. The original Executive Order No. 20-52 was issued on March 9, 2020, and now covers a total of 180 days. This allows the holders of permits or authorizations to seek an extension of 180 days plus six (6) months. Accordingly, unless the state of emergency is extended further, the deadline to notify the issuing authorities of the extension and tolling is December 4, 2020. 

Bilzin Sumberg remains available to assist our clients in extending permits and otherwise preserving development rights. If you have any questions, please contact us.

This information is intended to inform our clients and other friends about legal developments, including recent decisions of various municipalities, legislative, and administrative bodies. Because of the rapidly changing landscape related to COVID-19, we intend to send out regular updates. The information we provide is not intended as legal advice and viewers/readers should not rely on information contained in these materials to make business or legal decisions. Before making any legal decisions, consult your lawyer. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you need assistance responding to the many issues which have arisen, and will continue to arise, out of this situation.
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