CA & MB Now Allow Construction

By Dave Fratello | March 24th, 2020

The city's construction ban has ended, shortly after taking effect.

The Manhattan Beach City Council met Monday to consider a range of COVID-19 policy issues. Removing the construction ban was its biggest move related to real estate.

The state has recently clarified that housing construction is exempt from its order for Californians to stay at home. The city interprets this broad allowance for construction to overrule any local limitations. Hence the quick end to the prohibition.

Manhattan Beach had first followed LA County's lead, narrowing allowable construction to "critical infrastructure," plus "essential maintenance and repair."

The city's short-lived ban was comprehensive: "Residential and non-residential construction activity is prohibited for the duration of the State of Local Emergency."

No more.

According to the city's press release, "Construction and all related activities that support construction, are considered part of the essential workforce under the State Order. The exemption is not limited to critical infrastructure construction, but any type of construction site and construction project, including housing construction." (Boldface added.)

Construction worksites will need to abide by "social distancing protocols." The city's press release states that "many contractors" have informed the city that they will do so.

Construction contractors and anyone else in Manhattan Beach who fails to abide by social distancing could be subject to penalties. The city council meets Wednesday to consider an "urgency ordinance" to address such penalties.

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