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Posted on April 18, 2020 at 10:54 AM by grodericks grodericks
* What services professionals can I have do work at my home?
* Why is the Town still doing landscaping work at the Park?
* Is the Order mandatory or just guidance?
* Why is the Town still working on the Town Center Project?
* Can I go for a walk? Can I go to the Park? Ride my bike?
* Can I get deliveries at home?
* Can I run my home occupation business?
We also encourage you to sign up for the San Mateo County Alert System. This is the emergency contact system for the County. The Atherton Police Department will use this system to alert areas of emergencies or potential safety concerns. When signed up, you will receive a message on the voice or text communication method that you have registered. Sign up here.
During the duration of the COVID-19 Emergency, the City Council will meet each Wednesday to certify the continuing existence of a local emergency and ratify any rules, regulations and changes in operations enacted by the Director of Emergency Services (the City Manager). Links to those Agendas can be found here. Audio of the meetings and/or video of Zoom meetings (where feasible) are being posted on the Town’s Youtube Channel. The Town will continue to release information on a regular basis from various sources.
We are also hosting a Town Hall Meeting tomorrow, Friday, April 16 at 4 pm (via Zoom). The Meeting will be facilitated by the Mayor. The Mayor will facilitate some Q&A from panelists at the beginning of the meeting (attendees will be muted during this portion of the meeting). Following the Q&A, the panel will break out into separate Zoom Break Out Rooms for Q&A from meeting attendees. The Break Out Rooms will be facilitated by the Mayor and/or a member of staff. Panelists include public safety (police and fire), Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Dr. Linda Barman, Associate Director of Stanford Express Care Clinics, Dr. Paul Jamelian, Stanford Health Care, and Normal Fogelberg and Tom Prussing from the Atherton Disaster and Preparedness Team (ADAPT).
Town of Atherton
Changes in operations became effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and will continue, at this time, through May 4, 2020. This Order is subject to extension. The full text of the County’s SIP Order is available via the following link. Residents are urged to stay informed and follow the recommended COVID-19 prevention measures and the directives from the San Mateo County Health Officer.
- FAQ section of the County’s website for COVID-19
- FAQ section of the County’s website on the Shelter in Place (SIP) Order
- FAQ section of Town website
Activity must be done compliant with social distancing protocols. Social distancing requirements include maintaining at least 6-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.
With social distancing protocols in place and activities related to essential activity only, recreating outdoors is a different experience. There are less vehicles on the road. The vehicle activity is often at different times of day than usual. Driver’s may be lulled into a different driving style paying less attention or driving faster than usual. This is a dangerous combination with pedestrians on the edge of the road trying to abide by social distancing protocols and more cyclists than usual - with many being small children out at different times of day.
For walkers, it is recommended that you wear bright colors or reflective clothing. If walking during early morning, dusk, or night, carry and use a light. Pay attention to your surroundings and others out walking as well. Always walk facing traffic, if possible. Try not to put yourself or others in a boxed-in situation that hampers your or their ability to properly abide by social distancing requirements. If you come up upon others and you are walking as a family group, try not to walk abreast of each other, walk in single file to allow others to pass safely. Pay attention to vehicles and cyclists as they will be moving faster and may not expect as many pedestrians as usual. Often, when walking and trying to observe social distancing pedestrians will take an outside path to provide that distance - that path may take them further into the roadway or in the path of a cyclist or they may be walking with the flow of traffic as opposed to the normal facing traffic. Be careful and always check before moving into the right-of-way or roadway. If you are walking on a path, such as in the Park, and you are a family group, be courteous when passing others and walk single file to accommodate social distancing. If jogging, County Health recommends a social distance between joggers of 33 feet and face coverings for all jogging or walking.
For cyclists, the best plan remains to ride in a family group or ride solo. Avoid crowded areas where there may be a lot of pedestrians out walking. Remember, these areas are now different. Pay attention to the surroundings and watch for pedestrians trying to avoid other pedestrians for social distancing. This may put them in your path. Slow down if you see this sort of activity ahead. Always watch for vehicles and remember, the people out and about will not be the normal crowd you typically experience. With respect to distancing, County Health recommends a social distance between cyclists of 66 feet and the use of face coverings.
For drivers, you have the most responsible job. Pay attention. Slow down. Watch for walkers edging out into the roadway. They may do so to create space between them and another walker. Don’t try and pass unless it is safe to do so. They may not see or hear you coming. Neighborhoods will be more crowded at all times of the day as people find new ways to recreate in their areas. If you don’t have to be out and about in a vehicle - stay home.
— Limited maintenance activities are ALLOWED and will continue in the Park.
— Scheduling of any new events at the Park through May 3 have been placed on hold.
— All currently scheduled private events, training, and classes through May 3 are cancelled. The Town will assist in facilitating a cancellation or postponement without incurring a fee to do so.
— Little League has suspended their activities at the Park.
— Knox Preschool has suspended their services.
— Residential Construction activity is NOT ALLOWED unless related to an emergency situation - there are several that have been approved. To verify if a site near you has been provided limited authorization you can contact the Atherton Police Department Dispatch Center (650) 688-6500.
— Town or Utility Infrastructure Public Works Project are ALLOWED.
— No new elective Building permits will be issued until the SIP Order is lifted.
— Construction on the Town Center Project (City Hall and Police Building) is ALLOWED to continue subject to strict guidelines.
— Essential Governmental Services (to include the work of first responders) are exempt from the Order. For the purposes of the SIP Order, the Town has identified the work of Police, Building, Public Works (MCE, Interwest), Planning, and Administrative Staff are the Town’s employee and contractor first responders and their work in support of the continuation of Town Operations is deemed essential. Throughout this pandemic, the Town will also rely on the support and contribution from many other first responders, that include, but are not limited to fire personnel, EMS personnel, ADAPT, CERT, dispatchers, court personnel, and others. All such personnel are exempt for the purposes of the SIP Order.
On March 13, I issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency. The Proclamation allows the Town to take the steps necessary to protect the safety of our community and Town staff in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These steps range from a streamlined purchasing process to secure the resources necessary to respond in a timely manner to the immediate the implementation of rules or regulations necessary to protect life or property. These rules and regulations can be ramped up or down based on resources available.
On March 18, the City Council reviewed and approved the Declaration of Local Emergency. The City Council also provided specific feedback regarding a prohibition of residential construction activity. There are additional details below. All active sites have been contacted. Some activity will be allowed to finalize for health and safety reasons. This is mostly for occupied residences where portions of the construction need to be made safe for continued access. While sites are closed for physical construction, there will be occasional activity at sites for site security, checking in on equipment (such as flood pumps), checking or adjusting weather-proofing, or the retrieval of equipment. Emergency construction is allowed to continue on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Building Official. The SIP Order does allow for continued work on Essential Infrastructure, such as Town facilities, roads, drainage, and utility work. This includes necessary maintenance of such public infrastructure. There will be activity that occurs throughout Town in these areas by various vendors and agencies.
On March 19, the Governor issued a Statewide Shelter-in-Place Order. That order identified specific critical infrastructure that would remain operational during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During the COVID-19 Response and the State has an FAQ and details page.
On March 25, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and reviewed issues related to the various Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. Chief among these reviews was a review of local construction activity. The City Council reviewed some of the feedback from the Subcommittee of the Builder’s Roundtable and directed staff to continue efforts to refine the requirements that might allow projects to start up again; if and/or when the SIP Order is relaxed.
On March 31, the County issued an update to the SIP Order. This Order extends the Shelter-in-Place through May 4 and prohibits most construction activity, consistent with the Town’s earlier determination locally. In response, the Town revised some of its Shelter-in-Place Orders below. The only significant changes to the existing Order is that the Par Course, Picnic Areas, and Playground Areas will be closed to public access. The Park itself remains open but will be monitored to ensure social distancing is maintained. Portions of the parking in the Park will also be closed.
On April 1, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council discussed the possible resumption of construction activity at the Town Center as essential infrastructure. The Council directed that staff work with SJ Amoroso to define a set of working protocols that would be used should the Council decide to allow the activity to continue in limited fashion. Those protocols would be reviewed by the City Council at their Special Meeting on April 8.
On April 8, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council discussed and approved the resumption of limited construction activity at the Town Center subject to guidelines for operation.
On April 15, the City Council met and validated the continuing emergency and approved the Rules and Regulations enacted pursuant to the Declaration of Emergency. The Council discussed and directed that staff prepare a letter to the County of San Mateo Health Officer regarding identifying ways to move forward with landscaping and gardening activities under COVID-19. The Council also directed that staff add FAQs related to landscaping at the Park versus landscaping of private property and construction activity at the Town Center.