State Statutes Provide Insight on Obtaining Permit Extensions
With local governments operating at a reduced capacity to maintain public safety, builders across the country are concerned about existing permits expiring before projects are finished. Obtaining permits can be costly and time consuming, which can negatively impact builders' bottom lines. To help builders reach out to local elected officials, NAHB developed a template letter that outlines the importance of obtaining a permit extension. There also are existing state statues that members can reference to help navigate the permit extension process. New Hampshire New Hampshire has successfully implemented permit extensions due to the COVID-19 crisis. The New Hampshire Home Builders Association worked with Governor Chris Sununu (R) to place language in Emergency Order #23. New Jersey Last month, New Jersey Senate Bill 2346 was introduced, creating a new extension period under the "Permit Extension Act of 2008" that covers permits in existence during the period in which the COVID-19 public health emergency or state of emergency is in effect. The bill is working its way through the New Jersey legislature. Florida When Governor Ron DeSantis (R) issued Executive Order Number 20-51 on March 1, 2020, COVID-19 was designated as a public health emergency. Therefore it did not activate the tolling/extension statute. This leaves it to the cities and counties to decide if extensions will be granted. The Florida Home Builders Association has written Gov. DeSantis requesting he amend the executive order to designate COVID-19 as a "natural emergency." To access more information about each state, visit the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response section on nahb.org.