Operations During Shelter-In-Place Order

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Contra Costa County has extended the Shelter-in-Place order (“Orders”) until May 3, 2020 and included new restrictions summarized below: 

  • Social distancing requirements are mandatory.  Unless strict compliance is explicitly waived, everyone must comply with the social distancing requirements at all times. 
  • Most construction—residential and commercial—is prohibited. Exceptions are made for healthcare facility construction directly related to the COVID-19 response; affordable housing; public works projects when designated as essential by the lead governmental agency; shelters and temporary housing; projects necessary to provide critical services to certain vulnerable individuals; construction necessary to secure an existing construction site; and limited essential residential or business repairs.    

The Order removes public works and housing construction from the list of essential infrastructure.  Construction is restricted to the types of projects described below:

  • Projects immediately necessary to the maintenance, operation, or repair of essential infrastructure.  This means that construction related to essential infrastructure is not allowed if the infrastructure will not be ready for an extended period of time.  The expansion of an infrastructural facility that will not be completed for a year, for example, is not fulfilling an immediate need. 
  • Projects associated with healthcare operations, but only if the construction is directly related to the COVID-19 response.   
  • Affordable housing, including multi-unit or mixed-use development with at least 10% income-restricted units.  Other residential construction is not permitted. 
  • Public works projects, but only if they are specifically designated as an essential governmental function by the lead governmental agency. 
  • Shelters and temporary housing, but not including hotels or motels. 
  • Projects immediately necessary to provide critical non-commercial services to those experiencing homelessness, elderly persons, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and persons with special needs. 
  • Construction strictly necessary to ensure that a site that is shut down under this Oder is safe and secure. 
  • Construction or repair necessary to ensure that a residence or a building containing essential businesses is safe, sanitary, and habitable if that work cannot be reasonably delayed.

Central San has been asked how these new restrictions will impact current construction projects underway as well as future construction projects within Central San’s jurisdiction. 

Central San’s office remains closed to the public with many staff working from home.  Permit Counter staff will schedule appointments for drop-off/pick-up of plans for review.

*An issued permit does not permit construction in violation of the County Health Order. See the County Executive Summary to further clarify which construction project types are allowed under the Order.  Additional information provided beneath the table below.

Permit and Inspection Services during COVID-19
County Health Order dated March 31, 2020

Type of construction

Can I get a CCCSD plan review?

Can I obtain a permit and get an inspection?

Residential

New emergency work for residential sewer repairs

Yes

Yes – Repair work must be approved by Central San prior to permit application

Already started, permitted construction of residential remodels or additions, but project is not yet complete

N/A

Only to restore to safe, sanitary and habitable conditions

New residential housing connections

Yes

Only if it is affordable housing – verification by local jurisdiction must be provided showing at least 10% of the units are income-restricted

New residential remodels or additions

Yes

No. Inspection & construction prohibited by Order

Commercial

New emergency work for commercial sewer repair

Yes

Yes – Repair work must be approved by Central San prior to permit application

Already started, permitted construction of improvement or repair of an “Essential Business”

N/A

Only to restore to safe, sanitary and habitable conditions and habitable conditions

Already started, permitted construction of improvement or repair of an existing building not meeting the definition of “Essential Business”

N/A

Only to protect materials or make site safe and secure

New commercial building or alterations, repairs, or improvements to space meeting the definition of “Essential Business” per County Health order

Yes

Only Healthcare Operations directly related to COVID-19 response 19 response

New commercial building or alterations, repairs, or improvements to an existing space not meeting the definition of “Essential Business”

Yes

No. Inspection & construction prohibited by Order

Residential Construction

Central San will only issue sewer permits for repairs necessary to ensure a home is safe, sanitary and habitable.   All requests for a necessary repair permit must first be called into the Inspection Hotline at (925)229-7373.  A Central San inspector will determine if the repair is essential and a permit can be issued.

Once authorized by the Inspector, submit the application to permits@centralsan.org.  Repair Applications are available at https://www.centralsan.org/permitting.  Upon receipt of the application, a staff member will contact you to finish processing the permit.

All other open permits are suspended until the Orders is lifted, except to secure the site to prevent damage to materials and to ensure that the site is safe or to construct “affordable housing” as defined by the Order and verified by Central San.

If you believe your project qualifies under any of these scenarios, please contact the Permit Counter at (925) 229-7371 or permits@centralsan.org to discuss the submittal requirements for qualified projects.

Commercial Construction

Commercial construction projects are not considered to be “essential” unless it is necessary to the operation or maintenance of an “essential business” as defined by the Contra Costa Health Order (example: healthcare facility, grocery stores, etc.).

All other open permits are suspended until the Orders is lifted, except to secure the site to prevent damage to materials and to ensure that the site is safe.

If you believe your project qualifies under any of these scenarios, please contact the Permit Counter at (925) 229-7371 or permits@centralsan.org to discuss the submittal requirements for qualified projects.

Inspections

Unless a project is necessary to the operation or maintenance of “essential infrastructure” or an “essential business” as defined by the Contra Costa Health Order, it will be suspended until the Order has been lifted.

Central San inspections will only be conducted for necessary repairs and essential projects.  Requests for inspections must be submitted by 3:00 PM the business day prior to the requested inspection at (925) 229-7373 or inspections@centralsan.org

To ensure the safety of Central San staff and to prevent the spread of the virus, inspections will be conducted by strictly adhering to social distancing practices.

ENFORCEMENT

If a Contractor misrepresents an emergency repair or performs sewer work without a permit, the Central San Inspector will issue a Notice of Violation (NOV). If a second incident occurs within 1 year, the Contractor will be issued a second NOV and their registration with Central San will be placed on-hold such that no additional permits will be issued by Central San for the duration of the SIP Orders and up to 1 year (whichever is longer).

Plan Reviews for “Non- Essential” Construction Projects

All plan reviews currently underway will be completed and Central San staff will continue to review plans for non-essential construction projects. However, a permit will not be issued for a project unless it is an “essential” project as defined by the Contra Costa Health Order.

Please contact Permit Counter staff to discuss the plan review submittal process at (925) 229-7371 or permits@centralsan.org