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Bay Area Office Landlords Get Further Clarity from Updated Shelter in Place Order

UPDATE: On March 24, we posted a summary of California’s “shelter in place” order issued on March 16, 2020, and in particular discussed the relationship between it and the Bay Area county orders already in effect at the time. As expected, the Bay Area counties have since lengthened the duration of their shelter in place orders to May 3, 2020 (except Solano County, which extended to April 30) and implemented tighter restrictions. Each of the updated orders is largely  the same. Most of the tighter restrictions relate to outdoor recreation, with the notable exception that most construction activity will be shut down.  The below summary from the San Francisco Department of Public Health hits the high points.  The orders also provide further clarity to the “Minimum Basic Operations” exception, so it is clearer that landlords can “protect the value” of facilities and ensure “security, safety, and sanitation.”    

Updated Health Order

San Francisco’s order for people to stay safe at home was updated and broadened on March 31, 2020 in coordination with other Bay Area counties. This was necessary to help slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Our collective effort has so far been beneficial, but more is needed to prevent hospitals from being inundated. The main changes that take effect at midnight on March 31, 2020:

·     Social distancing requirements are mandatory.

·     Use of playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, picnic areas, and barbecue areas is prohibited. 

·     Use of shared recreational facilities like golf courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, and climbing walls is prohibited. 

·     Sports or activities that include the use of shared equipment, like frisbee, basketball, or soccer, may only be engaged in by members of the same household. 

·     Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home are no longer essential businesses under the Order and must cease storefront sales to the public. Minimum basic operations and delivery directly to residences or businesses may continue. 

·     Essential businesses like grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies can remain open but must stop running the parts of their operations that are not essential. Employees who can work from home must do so.

·     Essential businesses must put in place formal rules, a social distancing protocol, to ensure proper sanitation and to ensure that people stay a safe distance away from each other.  

·     Most construction must stop. There are exceptions for projects to help keep people safe and housed. Those include health care projects directly related to addressing the pandemic, construction to house the homeless, affordable housing, and multi-unit or mixed-use developments containing at least 10% income-restricted units. Social distancing requirements apply. Information on construction projects during the coronavirus outbreak will be updated as it is available.

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Authors

Phillip W. Field handles commercial real estate transactions for Mintz. His practice includes the acquisition, disposition, construction, and financing of office, industrial, retail, and multifamily properties. Phillip has experience in development, permitting, and zoning matters.
Gabriel works with commercial real estate, health care, technology, and energy clients in the acquisition, leasing, sale, financing and development of office, multifamily, industrial and R&D properties.