This post is authored by: Clayton Graham & Thomas GoeltzLandowners and developers in Washington state should be aware of a spate of recent legislation aimed at prolonging the life of active land development permits. Developers who request these extensions in a timely manner could effectively extend the life of their development approvals—including certain building permits, use permits, subdivision and other land use approvals—and may be able to save themselves the hassle and expense of having to restart the entitlement process for stalled development projects.Financial difficulties faced by many developers in the state have prompted a number of cities and counties to adopt ordinances that authorize extensions to certain permit expiration dates. These ordinances apply to a variety of development approvals and permits, and a few of them implement automatic permit extensions.For example, code amendments under Clark County’s Ordinance 2009-06-15 provide that a number of development approval types “are hereby granted a six-month extension,” subject to certain conditions and requirements. However, the vast majority of these ordinances require some action by the owner or developer in order for the extension to be granted. Following are a few examples of ordinances authorizing these extensions: King County Ordinance 16515 establishes an extension schedule for certain building permits, preliminary plats and other land use approvals. Snohomish County Ordinance 09-108 authorizes the planning department to grant extensions to preliminary subdivision approvals. Seattle’s Ordinance 123072 allows extension of certain Master Use Permits (initiated by written request of the project applicant). Redmond Ordinance 2468 extends the approval period for certain single-family residential subdivisions. Pierce County Ordinance 2008-115s authorizes extension of certain submittal requirements, and includes provisions relating to certain development permits, vesting of development rights, and subdivision/plat processing.At least a dozen other jurisdictions—many of them in the Puget Sound area—have passed or are considering similar extension ordinances, including the cities of Kirkland, Issaquah, Renton, Auburn and Everett.This legislation could save developers the expense and hassle of repermitting projects that may have stalled due to a lack of financing or other economic factors. However, a case-by-case evaluation is needed to determine the eligibility of a particular project. The ordinances contain threshold requirements that limit the projects for which an extension may be granted. In many cases, a separate application and discretionary land use approval is required for a permit to be extended, or the project applicant must submit specific documentation to justify an extension request.Other critical factors, such as deadlines and additional application requirements, vary a great deal by jurisdiction. For this reason, landowners and developers should consult an attorney to determine whether they are eligible for an extension under any of these ordinances.