Beveridge & Diamond

Automatic Extension of Development Permits Increased From Two to Four Years Under Latest Economic Development Law

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. - Massachusetts Client Alert, August 8, 2012

On August 7, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law a sweeping amendment to the Permit Extension Act enacted in 2010.  The law affords owners and developers a broader class of automatic permit extensions than ever before in two distinct ways. First, the new law doubles the length of the automatic extension of most local, regional, and state land use permits from two (2) to four (4) years. This extension is completely self-executing and requires no action by either the permit-granting authority or developer. Second, the new law also doubles the time period to which the automatic extension applies: The 4-year extension applies to permits and approvals obtained anytime during the four-year period of August 15, 2008 through August 15, 2012, two years longer than the original law. 

The Act covers permits and approvals issued under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, Zoning Act, Subdivision Control Act, Wetlands Protection Act and many other pieces of land use legislation. Comprehensive Permits issued under G.L. c. 40B remain a notable exception to the Act. 

Found at Sections 74 and 75 of H. 4352, An Act Relative to Infrastructure Investment, Enhanced Competitiveness and Economic Growth in the Commonwealth, this robust legislation will provide much needed relief to owners and developers who have been unable to proceed with residential, commercial, or industrial projects due to the continued slow pace of the economic recovery and a lack of available financing.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. was pleased to prepare the original draft of the bills resulting in both the Permit Extension Act and now its extension and thanks both the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and Home Builders Association of Massachusetts (HBAM) for their hard work in securing the passage of these important bills.  For more information please contact Brian C. Levey ( or Marc J. Goldstein (