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State and Local Opportunities to Extend Certain Permits in Florida Due to COVID-19 May Be Available to Associations

State and Local Opportunities to Extend Certain Permits in Florida Due to COVID-19 May Be Available to Associations

As discussed in our earlier post on March 20, community associations may have access to an extension of opportunities for permits. Although Section 252.363(1)(a), Florida Statutes, as amended in 2019, only provides that certain qualifying permits and authorizations are eligible for an extension once certain “natural emergency” states of emergency are declared, there has been some debate as to whether the COVID-19 pandemic fall under this definition. However, the Florida Division of Business and Professional Regulation, in an update of its Frequently Asked Questions regarding Building Permits from March 20, 2020, has taken the position that the COVID-19 pandemic qualifies as a “natural emergency” and provides an extension opportunity under statute. This debate notwithstanding, Florida lawmakers could still adopt legislation providing community associations and other permit holders the ability to obtain extensions in response to COVID-19’s impacts on the statewide real estate market.
Building Officials also have the authority to grant or otherwise extend permits, and some Florida jurisdictions have already done so. For example, the City of Miami Beach is now providing a one-month extension of permits or violations otherwise set to expire between March 16 and April 16, 2020. If your community association holds permits or other authorizations in Florida and would like assistance in reviewing and evaluating possible opportunities for extension to preserve your development rights in light of COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact Kathleen O. Berkey, Esq., AICP.
Visit www.BeckerCovid19.com for more information on this topic and to view other relevant resources and insights.