NAIOP 2019 Legislative Initiative: Fast Act for Permitting
In another top 2019 priority, NAIOP South Florida leaders fired off letters this week to urge lawmakers to support NAIOP’s Fast Act for permits, which is contained in House Bill 1139. This bill seeks to provide relief to commercial real estate developers and owners facing onerous delays in getting construction permits issued.
Permitting timelines at the local level have become unreasonably lengthy and can take up to a year or more to get a building permit finally issued.
While Florida law requires a decision within 120 days, there is no consequences if a local municipality or jurisdiction doesn’t comply. And then, inspections are rarely available when they are needed.
The Fast Act would require:
- Local governments to establish expedited permit processing at a fee of no more than double the normal permit fee.
- Only 50 percent of a permit fee could be charged initially.
- If a local government does not meet an established deadline for a permit, the fee is reduced by 10 percent for every 10 business days of delay.
- If the permit fee is reduced by more than 50 percent at the time a permit is approved, the local government must issue a refund of any fees that are due to the applicant.
“This is huge for us in South Florida. It can take an office building owner longer to get a permit than its takes to actually construct the necessary tenant improvements to get a growing company and its employees into their new corporate facility,” says Darcie Lunsford, president of NAIOP South Florida and director of the office leasing practice of Butters Group. “These delays are deal killers and a major drag on local businesses and our economy.”