Construction projects of every type in six Bay area counties—Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara—may resume operations on Monday, May 4, after health officers in six counties issued new shelter-in-place orders on April 29.  While the new orders ease the rules in numerous ways, including certain outdoor businesses and recreation such as golf and tennis, Governor Newsom is poised to shut down California’s beaches effective Friday, May 1 after crowds defied orders in the face of a brief heat wave last weekend.

Section 16.f.v of the new orders classify construction within the category of “Essential Businesses,” so long as health and safety guidelines are maintained:

“Construction, but only as permitted under the State Shelter Order and only pursuant to the Construction Safety Protocols listed in Appendix B and incorporated into this Order by this reference. Public works projects shall also be subject to Appendix B, except if other protocols are specified by the Health Officer.”

Slightly different construction safety rules apply, depending on the size of the project.  The orders also allow all real estate transactions to proceed, with continued restrictions on open houses and in-person viewings.  The orders will remain in effect through the month of May.

The revised shelter-in-place rules are a welcome change from the restrictive initial rules, which established arbitrary distinctions that shut down most construction projects and exacerbated the housing crisis.


Questions? Please contact Bryan W. Wenter, AICP of Miller Starr Regalia.

For more than 50 years, Miller Starr Regalia has served as one of California’s leading real estate law firms. Miller Starr Regalia has expertise in all types of real property matters, including full-service litigation and dispute resolution, transactions, acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financing, common interest development, construction, management, eminent domain and inverse condemnation, exactions, title insurance, environmental law, and land use. Miller Starr Regalia attorneys also write Miller & Starr, California Real Estate 4th, a 12-volume treatise on California real estate law. “The Book” is the most widely used and judicially recognized real estate treatise in California and is cited by practicing attorneys and courts throughout the state. For more information, visit