On January 19, 2023, the Governor of Florida issued Executive Order 23-21 renewing the Hurricane Ian State of Emergency, a state of emergency originally declared on September 23, 2022, for an additional 60 days.
This extension triggers important rights for the holders of development orders and building permits within the boundaries of affected counties. Section 252.363, Florida Statutes, provides that “[t]he declaration of a state of emergency issued by the Governor for a natural emergency tolls the period remaining to exercise the rights under a permit or other authorization for the duration of the emergency declaration.” The statute also provides for a six (6) month extension in addition to the tolled period.
These rights apply to the following authorizations:
1) The expiration of a development order issued by a local government.
2) The expiration of a building permit.
3) The expiration of a permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district, pursuant to part IV of Chapter 373.
4) Permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or a water management district pursuant to part II of Chapter 373 for land subject to a development agreement under ss. 163.3220-163.3243 in which the permittee and the developer are the same or a related entity.
5) The buildout date of a development of regional impact, including any extension of a buildout date that was previously granted as specified in s. 380.06(7)(c).
6) The expiration of a development permit or development agreement authorized by Florida Statutes, including those authorized under the Florida Local Government Development Agreement Act, or issued by a local government or other governmental agency.
It is imortant to note that these rights only flow to permit or approval holders in the counties affected by the emergency. The affected areas are listed in the initial state of emergency declaration and often modified by subsequent amendments.
As applied to Hurricane Ian, the original emergency declaration, Executive Order 22-218, declared an emergency in several counties including Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. Thus, unless the existing state of emergency is either terminated early or further extended by additional gubernatorial executive orders, a permit or development order issued by a local government in any of those affected counties is entitled to 178 days of tolling, from September 23, 2022 through March 20, 2023, plus a six (6) month extension.
In order to claim the tolling and extension, the holder of the permit or authorization is required to notify the issuing authority within 90 days after the termination of the emergency declaration.
There are two ongoing state of emergency declarations entitling permit/approval holders in the Tri-County area, and beyond, to tolling and extensions. Those are detailed in the chart below with references to the applicable executive orders, current expiration date, and the deadline to notify the respective local government. Should you have any questions regarding this Statute, the rights it affords permit and approval holders, or need assistance exercising those rights through a compliant notification letter, please feel free to reach out to our office.