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Posted on: April 9, 2020

Construction in Fremont under Shelter in Place Order

COVID-19 City Updates about Construction

The City of Fremont wants to inform our community of the types of construction allowed in Fremont under the revised Shelter in Place Order issued by the Alameda County Health Department to help limit the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Order was issued on March 31, 2020 and is in effect until May 3, 2020.

Construction of Market Rate Housing

The revised Shelter in Place Order prohibits continued construction of most market rate housing developments on the basis that this type of construction is considered non-essential.

To align with the revised Order, the City is not performing building inspections for market rate housing developments and is enforcing the Order when necessary. The Order does allow construction as needed to secure and close down construction sites, so the City expects some activity to continue over the next couple of weeks. Also, the City is performing inspections on completed units that require no additional construction to receive their final permit for occupancy. As soon as the Alameda County Health Department determines it is safe for construction to move forward, the City plans to resume building inspection services for these types of developments.

The public can report construction that seems unauthorized by contacting the City’s Code Enforcement team at 510-494-4430 or by email. Please include the address, a description, and contact information if additional information is needed.

Construction of Affordable Housing

The Shelter in Place Order allows the construction of affordable housing to continue, as it is considered an essential activity. Pursuant to the Order, the City also considers the construction of buildings with at least 10% affordable units as an essential activity that can continue.

There are several affordable housing developments under construction in Fremont, especially near the Warm Springs/South Fremont BART Station. Construction of those and all other affordable units in Fremont can proceed under the Order, so the City is moving forward with building inspections.

During construction and inspections, City staff, developers, and contractors are required to follow the social/physical distancing requirements and hygiene protocols recommended by the Alameda County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Building Inspectors wear personal protective equipment (PPE); use hand sanitizer where hand-washing facilities are limited; practice social/physical distancing protocols; limit contact with surfaces at the inspection site; and observe if anyone is exhibiting shortness of breath or persistent coughing, at which time the inspection is halted and the inspector leaves the premises.

Construction on Existing Homes

For construction on existing homes to be considered essential and allowable under the Shelter in Place Order, the construction should be necessary to maintain a safe and sanitary home and minimum habitability. 

Remodeling projects that involve the only kitchen and/or bathroom in the home and do not require moving walls or altering plumbing and drain lines may continue if delaying completion would pose a safety, security, or sanitation risk to residents or impact the habitability of the home.

Any remodel or renovation project that has not yet started shall be postponed until the Order is lifted unless it is necessary to restore the home to a safe, sanitary, and habitable space.

For example, if a neighbor is undergoing a bathroom remodel and does not have a functioning bathroom, the construction can continue to finish the bathroom. However, if a neighbor hires a painting contractor to repaint surfaces in their home that are otherwise safe, that is not allowed.

For many emergency type construction projects that are allowed to proceed under the Order, the City is offering Remote Video Building Inspections. Please note that if a project is not permitted to continue construction under the Order, the City cannot provide video inspections. For more information, please review our Remote Video Building Inspections article.

The public can report construction that seems unauthorized by contacting the City’s Code Enforcement team at 510-494-4430 or by email  Please include the address, a description, and contact information if additional information is needed.

Construction of Public Works Projects

The Shelter in Place Order allows public works construction to continue as it is considered “essential infrastructure” and includes work related to roads, public transportation, buildings, and utilities (water, sewer, gas, and communications).

City projects continuing construction work include the following: Temporary Housing Navigation Center; Warm Springs/South Fremont BART Station West Access Bridge and Plaza; Downtown Event Center; traffic safety improvements; pavement maintenance; sidewalk repairs; and ADA accessible curb ramps. 

Construction for essential infrastructure projects includes utility work from agencies like Alameda County Water District (ACWD), PG&E, Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast. Under the County Order, employees from these agencies are allowed to work on these projects in partnership with the City.

Construction on these projects is moving forward safely, as City staff,  utilities, developers, and contractors are following social/physical distancing requirements and hygiene protocols.

Additional Information

For more information on what types of construction projects are allowed, please review the County’s Shelter in Place Order or contact the City’s Building and Safety Division at 510-494-4460 or by email.

For more information about building inspections, please contact the City’s Building Inspection team at 510-494-4400 or by email.

For more information about affordable housing in Fremont, please visit the City’s Housing webpage or sign up for the City’s Affordable Housing Interest List to receive information when units become available.

For more information on essential services and updates on how the City of Fremont is monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the City’s Coronavirus webpage.

For more information about the Shelter in Place Order, please contact the Alameda County Public Health Department at 510-268-2101 or by email.

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