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City Issues Emergency Order Limiting Hours for Heavy Construction
By Jorge Casuso
May 8, 2020 -- An new order issued by the City on Friday limits the hours certain construction can take place and temporarily lifts a ban on plastic bags under the coronavirus emergency.
The order also further extends the expiration of Fire Department annual permits of operation to July 1 and makes those working in Santa Monica before March 1 eligible for the City’s housing programs.
A separate order adds specific language that expressly prohibits landlords from collecting interest on accrued rent for tenants impacted by COVID-19.
“These modifications to our local emergency come as we take the first visible steps toward recovery this week with some local businesses reopening,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg, the City’s Director of Emergency Services.
“We continue to take every step we can to address the needs of our residents and local businesses in this public health emergency,” Dilg said.
The order issed Friday -- the thirteenth so far -- prevents excessive construction noise in neighborhoods while the Safer at Home orders are in place.
It limits certain loud construction activities for projects other than public works construction to between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays.
The projects covered by the order include cement cutting or grinding, sandblasting, and the use of pile drivers, jackhammers and pavement breakers.
The order also suspends Santa Monica’s plastic bag ban to align with direction from the Governor that suspends state law provisions that require retailers to charge for reusable and paper bags and bans single-use plastic carryout bags.
In addition, the order extends eligibility for affordable housing programs to individuals who were working in Santa Monica prior to March 1 "but lost employment due to COVID-19 related reasons."
A Fourth Revised First Supplement issued by the City Friday bars landlords from charging residential tenants "interest on unpaid rent for a period of 12 months following the expiration of the order."
It also bars landlords from charging retail tenants interest on that unpaid rent for a period of 90 days following the expiration of the order.
The supplement specifies that the eviction moratorium will apply to “non-retail commercial tenants” only for a period of 30 days after the order expires.
Landlords may not charge “non-retail commercial tenants” interest on unpaid rent while the order is in place.
“Non-retail commercial tenants” are those in office buildings, other than non-profits "who do not collect sales tax on greater than 50 percentr revenues, and do not provide medical, dental, veterinary, fitness, educational, or child, marriage, family, mental health, or substance abuse counseling services."
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