A bill entitled “An act relative to infrastructure investment, enhanced competitiveness & economic growth” – now known as the “Jobs Bill” – was signed into law yesterday by Governor Deval Patrick. The Jobs Bill contains provisions enhancing local infrastructure initiatives and streamlining the process for creating local District Improvement Financing Districts. See our post on an earlier version of the Jobs Bill here.
Of great interest to real estate owners and developers, the Jobs Bill “doubles down” on the Permit Extension Act of 2010 (“2010 Act”). The 2010 Act extended by two years most local and state land use permits that were in effect between August 15, 2008 and August 15, 2010 (the “tolling period”). Those two-year extensions ran from the original expiration date of the permit.
The new Jobs Bill does two important things: it adds two years to the original tolling period and doubles the extension of qualifying permits from two years to four years. Thus, permits in effect between August 15, 2008 and August 15, 2012 will be extended for a total of four years, either by adding two years to the previous two-year extension (for permits in effect between August 15, 2008 and August 15, 2010), or granting a fresh four-year extension (for permits issued between August 15, 2010 and August 15, 2012).
For example, a three-year wetlands permit issued in September 2008 and originally set to expire in September 2011 – which under the 2010 Act was extended to September 2013 – will now be valid until September 2015.
This is terrific news for developers of previously-approved projects that are just getting off the ground now that the real estate market has stabilized and appears to be on the upswing.