Among the construction that's been deemed "non-essential" under new public health orders are new office buildings, and any residential projects in SF where developers chose to pay into the city's affordable housing fund rather than build affordable units onsite.
We learned yesterday that as the Department of Public Health in San Francisco — in conjunction with at least five other Bay Area counties — is extending stay-at-home orders for most residents, except for essential workers, through May 3. The new guidance includes a rule that funerals will be limited to 10 or fewer people, and it creates new limits on the kinds of construction that can proceed.
Affordable housing projects, and market-rate residential projects that have at least 10 percent below-market units on site, are allowed to proceed, as are essential transit, healthcare, and infrastructure projects. But, as Curbed notes, developers that previously chose not to abide by the city's affordable-unit mandate — which in the case of some projects of ten units or more is upwards of 25 percent, but is typically a minimum of 15 percent — and instead to make an in-lieu payment into the housing fund or to develop affordable units offsite, their construction process now grinds to a halt until at least May 3.
With the grim totals of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths likely to mount in dramatic ways across California in the coming two weeks, we can expect that the latest revised order will be revised and extended again.
Meanwhile, renovation and construction work continues across the Bay Area, and it's unclear if the latest order will shut down smaller renovation projects and other construction going on in SF neighborhoods. The order includes exceptions for making sure a construction site is "stable" before it can be shut down, and projects that ensure that homes or businesses are "safe, sanitary, or habitable."
Supervisor Matt Haney tweeted on Monday that he had "heard extensive concerns about this from constituents," adding, "Unless stopping construction, renovation or remodeling is dangerous to do, it should be paused to protect public health."