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City Emergency Orders Suspend Parking Restrictions, Big Blue Bus Fares, Late Penalties on City Bills, COVID-19 Related Commercial and Residential Evictions, and Ellis Act Evictions
March 18, 2020
UPDATE: All orders associated with the local COVID-19 emergency have been extended to April 30, 2020. All local emergency orders are available at santamonica.gov/coronavirus.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Last night, City Manager and Director of Emergency Services Rick Cole signed additional supplements to his executive order proclaiming a local emergency to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Cole’s revised first supplement to his executive order (read it here) follows new guidance from California Governor Gavin Newsom and includes the following orders related to residential and commercial evictions:
- New eviction protections cover residential and commercial tenants. No landlord shall endeavor to evict a residential or commercial tenant in either of the following situations: (1) for nonpayment of rent if the tenant demonstrates that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 or (2) for a no-fault eviction if any member of the household is sick, in isolation, or under quarantine.
- Any residential and commercial tenants’ past due rent accrued during the period is not excused under the Order, the tenants remain liable for it and must pay it back within six months after the end of the emergency.
- To avoid termination of tenancy and evictions due to nonpayment of rent, tenants must still show their landlord that they are losing income because of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Removals of rental property from the market under the Ellis Act are now suspended in Santa Monica to prevent housing displacement during the local public health emergency to protect the public health and to ensure compliance with local public health guidance related to social distancing and home quarantines and isolation.
“The modifications to the eviction ban are particularly important for residents and businesses facing extreme economic hardship as a result of this health crisis that is compounding our existing housing crisis,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “In this time of crisis, we must do what we can to safeguard everyone, including our most vulnerable.”
Cole’s revised fifth supplement to his executive order declaring a local emergency includes the following measures suspending parking restrictions, Big Blue Bus fares, and late penalties (read it here):
- Big Blue Bus fares have been temporarily suspended. This change will go into effect Friday, March 20, 2020.
- Big Blue Bus patrons will have to use the rear door to better facilitate social distancing and to protect the health of motorcoach operators. This rule does not apply to those who need ADA assistance. This change will go into effect Friday, March 20, 2020.
- Late fees have been suspended for City water and/or sewer bills, parking citations, refuse and recycling collection bills, Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) charges, Fire Prevention inspection charges, Transient Occupancy Taxes, Utility Users Taxes, and Parking Facility Taxes.
- Penalty assessments related to business licenses and business improvement district assessments have been frozen as of March 1, 2020, and suspended thereafter.
- Parking restrictions in green zones have been suspended.
- Vehicle towing is suspended for abandoned vehicles, expired registration and delinquent parking citations.
This is effective through April 15, 2020, unless extended or modified by further Executive Order or action of the City Council.