In general, in Hermosa I’ve seen a significant change in the behavior of our residents and nearly everyone is trying to make it easy to practice distancing. I’m proud of our community. Our city government and staff has done some good things too.

But when it comes allowing non-emergency construction, improvements, maintenance , even gardening and tree plantings to proceed unchecked while Hermosa Beach lies in the states epicenter [LA County] of a deadly global pandemic; we’ll that defies all logic and reason.

A few weeks ago Mayor Richard Montgomery [Manhattan Beach] said the construction prohibition, which goes into effect beginning Saturday [3/17] was necessary due in part to the uniqueness of the city’s residential layout. 

“Manhattan Beach has a unique density where construction projects are close together and social distancing is very difficult to accomplish,” Montgomery said.

“Complying with orders to protect against the spread of COVID-19 is of utmost priority right now.

The city [Manhattan Beach] will continue to take actions to protect the public during this pandemic.

Well don’t the conditions in Manhattan Beach parallel Hermosa?

Are we not even more densely packed in many of our neighborhoods?

This past Thursday within 100 yards of my house there were 7 active home construction projects going on. I counted 23 construction workers working at close quarters and this didn’t include the 20 or so construction workers I saw at north school who were not practicing distancing.

The very nature of construction and home improvement easily defeats attempts at physical distancing. Contractors often need to work in close quarters on common surfaces. 

Apparently our city manager needs to be instructed take proactive steps to protect our health and safety during this pandemic. She has taken the absurd position that all home and business construction, home improvements constitute emergency work on critical infrastructure and all cities in our state are at equal risk.

Her waiver even allows for crews, hoists and cranes to plant a large trees. See attached picture of someone’s home on Monterey just east near 22nd street.

Per a recent LA Times article: “LA County is the states epicenter of a very deadly pandemic.”

Finally, please consider this straw-man policy and adopt something similar immediately:

Residential and commercial construction projects that are substantially complete may continue to completion. For all other Hermosa Beach residential or commercial construction projects limited activities may continue to the extent necessary to stabilize the site, temporarily prevent weather damage, or make emergency repairs only. Projects that are “substantially completed” are those projects that have been issued a final occupancy permit.  All other work is prohibited. 

No new residential business or city construction projects may be started."

Thank You, Anthony Higgins

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