On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed New York Senate Bill 8236A into law. Under this law, local governments can extend expiration dates up to 120 days for any building permits and zoning/planning approvals issued before March 7, 2020. The new law takes effect immediately and will be in place until December 31, 2021. This is good news for development. It gives local governments the ability to issue a single resolution automatically extending the expiration date for all active building permits, as well as active zoning/planning approvals, for a period of up to 120 days beyond the expiration date stated in the permit or approval.
Although COVID-19 has negatively impacted many, this law takes the sting out just a little. If you received a building permit, or zoning/planning board approval before March 7, 2020, you may not have to worry about obtaining any extensions. This is especially important if the permit or approval can only be extended a certain number of times, or for a certain amount of time. Thus, you should be able to get additional time beyond the normal expiration time period set forth in the permit/approval. For example, a developer obtains approvals on March 1st that expire within six (6) months. They are unable to complete their project before September 1st, but they may be able to get up to a 120-day extension without applying for an extension, or a new permit/approval. More importantly, the new law should eliminate the developer’s need to request multiple extensions for additional time, especially if the municipality normally limits the number of extensions that can be granted, or the amount of time during the extensions. So, if you were worried because COVID-19 stopped or slowed down your construction/building project, this law can provide some relief.
Please note that in order to take advantage of this law, the local municipality must adopt a resolution authorizing the automatic extension of time. Therefore, it’s important to reach out to the local municipal officials and make sure they take action. Feel free to contact John W. Furst, at 845-569-4377, a partner in the firm’s land use and municipal law practice, with any questions or comments.