Beveridge & Diamond
 

Governor Signs Law Extending Most State, Regional, and Local Development Permits for Two Years

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. - Massacuhsetts Client Alert, August 12, 2010

On August 6, 2010, Governor Deval Patrick signed the Permit Extension Act into law automatically extending for two years most local, regional, and state land use permits.  The new law provides relief to owners and developers who have been unable to proceed with residential, commercial, or industrial projects due to the lack of available financing caused by the recent recession and sub-prime mortgage crisis.

The new law, commonly referred to as the Permit Extension Act, extends for two years beyond their original term most state, regional, and local permits that were effective during the period of August 15, 2008 to August 15, 2010.  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 are a notable exception to the Act as Chapter 40B is the subject of a repeal petition that will be on the ballot in November 2010. 

In addition to excluding permits and licenses issued by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife for hunting, fishing, or aquaculture, the Permit Extension Act also places some restrictions on extensions related to sewer connection permits and the transfer of permits.  To the extent an approval based on a connection to a sanitary sewer system is extended by the Permit Extension Act, the extension is contingent on the availability of capacity in the sewer system.  In addition, if an owner of property or holder of the permit transfers the property or a project, an extension is only valid if the new owner or permittee upholds all the terms of the permit as would have been required of the original owner or holder of the permit.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. was pleased to prepare the original draft of the bill and to support the work of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and Home Builders Association of Massachusetts (HBAM) in helping to secure its passage.  For more information please contact Brian C. Levey (blevey@bdlaw.com) or Marc J. Goldstein (mgoldstein@bdlaw.com).