West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo has issued an emergency executive order that requires that anyone in West Hollywood wear a face covering when out in public and that closes several residential streets to traffic.
The order is the third issued by the city manager thus far in response to the coronavirus pandemic. It also addresses city taxes and fees, construction noise, and rules for neighborhood meetings.
The full text of the new emergency executive order is available on the city’s website https://www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=46373 in PDF format.
Highlights of the order include:
Beginning Saturday, all persons, including workers in businesses allowed to be opened and deemed essential, must wear face coverings. Those face coverings can include scarves (dense fabric without holes), bandanas, neck gaiters, or similar coverings of any other material that reduces transmission of germs anytime they are out in public. N95 or medical-grade masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders.
Face coverings are not required for young children under age two, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance. Children between two- and eight-years-old should only wear face coverings with adult supervision Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica have implemented the same requirements.
Beginning immediately certain streets will be temporarily closed to through traffic for a ‘Slow Streets’ program, creating space for residents to be outside while practicing safe social distancing.
The streets are:
- Sherwood Drive between Huntley Drive and West Knoll Drive (three blocks);
- Hancock Avenue between Holloway Drive and West Knoll Drive (one block);
- Gardner Street between Romaine Street and Willoughby Avenue (one block);
- Lexington Avenue between Gardner Street and Vista Street (one block); and,
- Cynthia Street between Wetherly Drive and Hilldale Avenue (two blocks).
Residents will continue to have regular street access to their dwelling units and residents must adhere to physical distancing and the use of facial coverings, says the city’s announcement of the executive order.
The announcement says the list may be modified through future executive orders in response to feedback from the city’s Transportation Commission, City Council, city staff, and local residents. Notices shall be provided to the dwelling units on the closed street segments before the closure.
Construction Noise Prohibitions
Construction noise is prohibited between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8 a.m., unless authorized through an extended-hours permit. This provision does not apply to the city’s construction projects deemed by the City Council on April 6, 2020 to be an essential function of the city.
Cooling Fans for Older Residents
The city will deliver fans to senior citizens who request them during high-heat days when its cooling center at Plummer Park would have regularly been open to the public. That cooling center won’t be opened because of health concerns.
Waiver of Rent Stabilization Late Payment Fees
The annual rent stabilization fee ($144/dwelling unit charged to landlords for all units covered by the rent increase limit in the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, also known as the Annual General Adjustment or AGA) will remain due and payable on July 1. However, any corresponding late fee for late payments are waived if the fee is paid by October 15, 2020;
Deferred Parking Credit Fee Payments
The annual parking credits payments that some businesses must make to the city, due in July (for the period of July 2020 to July 2021), are deferred this year and not due until September 2020. The twelve-month fee will be pro-rated and businesses will only pay for nine months of parking credits.
Deferred Payment of Hotel Room Tax
Upon written request to the city manager each month and throughout the period of declared local emergency, hotel owners and managers will be able to defer for 30 days payment of the monthly Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), the tax levied on hotel room rentals.
Free Temporary Use Permits
For businesses that have altered their operations in response to COVID-19 and require a temporary use permit for that reason will not have to pay the permit fee during the emergency period.
Neighborhood Meetings on Construction Projects
Neighborhood meetings required for certain development projects under the city’s municipal code or city requirements for project approval may be conducted as follows:
- In lieu of in-person neighborhood meetings, the developer may provide a video presentation of the project and accept written comments and questions for a period of time following transmittal of the video presentation. Comments/questions may be responded to by email communication or posting on the city’s website. The link to the video will be provided in the notice of neighborhood meeting; and
- In lieu of in-person neighborhood construction meetings that take place before construction begins, the developer may conduct those meetings virtually using services such as Zoom, which allow for virtual presentation of construction mitigation details and plan and allow for participant questions and comments.
Design District Assessments Deferred
Assessments for the businesses included as part of the West Hollywood Design Improvement District are deferred from Aug. 1 until Dec. 1 and any late fees and/or penalties are waived
The two prior emergency executive orders that have been issued by the City of West Hollywood are Executive Order No. 2020-1, which implements emergency measures to assist local businesses through the COVID-19 crisis, and Executive Order No. 2020-2 , which implements a series of emergency measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of all city parks and dog parks, which still remain closed at this time.
This latest resolution proclaiming a local emergency was made on March 16 and has just been announced today. The city’s emergency executive orders will remain in effect through June 30, 2020, but may change dependent on the evolution of the coronavirus health crisis.