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Governor Extends COVID-19 Related State of Emergency

Client Alert
March 2, 2021

This is a follow-up to our previous client alerts regarding potential extensions of permits and development orders based on the gubernatorial COVID-19 state of emergency. On February 26, 2021, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 21-45, further extending the state of emergency declared by Executive Order No. 20-52 (which was previously extended by Executive Orders 20-114, 20-166, 20-192, 20-213, 20-276, and 20-316), for another sixty (60) days throughout the State of Florida. Executive Order No. 21-45 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 April 27, 2021. 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 414 days. This allows the holders of permits or authorizations to seek an extension of 414 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 July 26, 2021, with the potential to extend the permits for over 19 months (the length of the state of emergency plus six months).

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

1 Opportunity to Extend Development Orders and Building Permits for Approximately 8 Months Based on Hurricane Isaias
   Coral Gables Adopts Emergency Order Expanding Temporary Use Permits Due to COVID-19
   Governor Extends COVID-19 Related Emergency Order Opening Door for Additional Extensions of Permits and Development Orders
   Update on Opportunity to Extend Development Orders and Building Permits Pursuant to Executive Order Issued for Hurricane Isaias

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Brian S. Adler

Brian S. Adler

Partner
Jennifer E. Fine

Jennifer E. Fine

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