Massachusetts lawmakers have once again come to the aid of real estate developers with projects stalled by the stresses on the economy including tight credit markets. The Economic Growth Act, which the state legislature recently passed and the Governor is expected to sign, will further extend the validity of state and local permits by amending the Permit Extension Act of 2010 (summarized in this Goulston & Storrs client advisory: “Massachusetts Extends Project Approvals for Two Years”).
The 2010 Permit Extension Act was meant to promote job growth and long-term economic recovery by establishing a two-year extension, with limited exceptions, to permits or approvals in effect or existence at any time during the qualifying period from August 15, 2008, through August 15, 2010.
The Economic Growth Act expands eligibility under the 2010 Permit Extension Act by two years (through August 15, 2012) and extends the shelf life of qualifying permits by four years instead of two from the original expiration date. Thus, a qualifying permit that was originally set to expire on September 1, 2011, would instead expire on September 1, 2015. Neither the permit holder nor the issuing agency would need to take any action to implement the automatic four-year extension.
The Permit Extension Act applies to all qualifying permits issued by any municipal, regional or state entity unless expressly exempted by the Act. It expressly applies to local, regional or state permits, certificates, licenses, certifications, determinations, exemptions, variances, waivers, building permits, other approvals or determinations of rights, and any order, except for enforcement orders.
The Permit Extension Act FAQ posted on the website of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development contains helpful guidance. Nevertheless, permit holders are encouraged to independently analyze the effect of the Permit Extension Act, as amended by the Economic Growth Act, to any specific permit or approval.
The authors, Yuanshu Deng, Matthew Kiefer, and Marilyn Sticklor, are members of the Goulston & Storrs Real Estate Group.
For questions about the information contained in this advisory, please contact your usual Goulston & Storrs attorney or either of the following attorneys:
This advisory should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer concerning your situation and any specific legal questions you may have.
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