Yuma is extending the expiration date of most permits to help developers and those in the construction and real estate industries as they struggle with difficulties related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Yuma City Council adopted a resolution extending the time of some permits to 180 days for those taken out before June 1. The extension will be added to the date of expiration on any permit issued prior to June 1, with the expectation that it should give the developer or property owner sufficient time to complete all requirements.

For permits taken out after June 1, the Department of Community Development will “anticipate any necessary extensions in a prospective manner,” a city staff report stated.

The report pointed out that Arizona is still under a public health emergency declaration and for a certain period the governor ordered the closure of certain businesses and implemented measures intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As a result, many businesses engaged in the support of real estate, land development, construction, project design, project management, engineering and surveying and other related development industries may have experienced difficulties related to delays, materials shortages, staffing and supply chain disruptions and other impediments, the report said.

These disruptions to the development industry may have impacted anticipated projects in Yuma that have previously been issued approvals, permits or authorizations that contain completion deadlines, expiration dates or are subject to other timing considerations, the report added.

City officials hope that the extension may provide some relief and limit the economic impact COVID-19 has on the start and completion of approved development projects.

The extension applies to permit approvals granted by the council, planning commission, hearing officer, zoning administrator and building official, which could include, among others, zoning approvals containing conditions of development relating to the timing of filing applications for subdivision plats, the expiration or term of building permits, the time period upon which to install certain public infrastructure, and other construction- and development-related approvals containing deadlines or timing considerations. 

Additionally, while the 180-day extension applies to most permits and authorizations issued by the city, it does not apply to permits or authorizations governed by a federal or state law prohibiting extensions; in pending non-compliance or enforcement actions; or subject to a court order or proceeding.

The extension also doesn’t apply if it would create an immediate threat to public health or safety or if it involves a contractual term or development agreement previously made with the city.

“There are no known economic impacts to the city as a result of the proposed extension,” the report said.

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