State Authority and Municipality Deadlines Extended at Least 45 Days After State of Emergency Ends
On April 3, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker signed an emergency bill into law aimed at addressing the logistical challenges COVID-19 has forced municipalities and state authorities to face. Specifically, the bill extends certain deadlines for applicants to municipalities and state authorities for at least 45 days after the state of emergency is lifted or such other date prescribed by law. These deadlines include:
- Pending hearings commenced before March 10, 2020 shall be tolled;
- New hearings will not commence; and
- Constructive approvals/grants will not result from failure to act within the 45 days.
However, municipalities may still conduct hearings in accordance with the recent Open Meeting Law Order (“Order Suspending Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law,” G.L. c. 30A, § 20, found here), and may still issue decisions or permits on applications for which meetings have already been held.
The bill further tolls the deadlines for all existing permits issued as of March 10, 2020, for the duration of Governor Baker’s declared state of emergency and tolls the time limitations to record during any time where the Registry is closed or its rules restrict in-person access. The bill also provides that municipal filings may be done electronically through a website that municipalities will establish or as an attachment to an email to the clerk, secretary, or other municipal officer.
If you have any questions on the impact to your state authority or municipality filings, please feel free to contact your Bernkopf Goodman team member, or the authors of this client alert, Jason Manekas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617.790.3308, or Nick Schneider, at email@example.com or 617.790.3326.
The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to produce global uncertainty, interrupt supply chains, restrict travel and raise employee safety concerns, among other challenges.
Bernkopf Goodman LLP is closely monitoring cases here and abroad and combining our capabilities to provide critical guidance to clients in an urgent and quickly evolving situation. If you have questions about how COVID-19 could impact you or your business, please contact us.