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March  27, 2020
Governor Halts all Non-Essential Construction

We hope this finds you, your families, friends and co-workers safe and well.

This morning, Governor Cuomo expanded the list of what was considered to be non-essential business that are required to shut down to include all construction activities except for roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing and homeless shelters.  Emergency construction, which is defined as "a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site" may continue. The order does specifically provide that construction does not include work being performed by a single worker who is the sole worker on a job site. While guidance is scarce, it is our opinion that  this shut down includes all alterations and renovations within buildings except for those related to emergency repairs or to eliminate violations of housing maintenance or building codes. Ongoing apartment alterations/renovations should be stopped as well as any building related work unless it is being performed by a single worker.

While we have not seen guidance from the Department of Buildings yet, we believe Local Law 11 work can continue since it relates to protecting safety of occupants and would be unsafe to allow the project to be undone.  If construction is allowed to continue under the emergency guideline, social distance and safe practices relating to controlling the spread of Coronavirus must be enforced or fines of up to $10,000 could be imposed.

We urge you to follow all recommended protocols to keep safe and reduce the threat of Covid-19 transmission. If you have any questions on this or any other issue relating to your obligations in these uncertain times, please feel free to call us by phone or email us.

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Tane Waterman & Wurtzel, P.C. · 120 Broadway Ste 948 · New York, NY 10271-0996 · USA

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