Recap: 1st quarter 2020

As you may know, at our last City Council meeting (March 16, 2020), the City of West Hollywood proclaimed a local emergency due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The proclamation enhances the City of West Hollywood’s ability to access emergency resources at the state and federal level to assist with its novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response. You can read more about this here. In addition, Council also approved two related Urgency Items:

  • The first item approves a temporary moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent resulting from financial impact due to the current state of emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Memorandum to the City Council with this Urgency Item and related draft Urgency Ordinance are available online here.
  • The second item approves emergency supportive services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and gives the City Manager authorization to direct a variety of services. A Memorandum to the City Council with this Urgency Item is available online here.

The Los Angeles County Department of Health has issued a “Safer at Home” Emergency Order to further combat the spread of COVID-19, ordering all residents of Los Angeles County to stay inside their residences, and immediately limit all movement outside of their homes beyond what is absolutely necessary to take care of essential needs. 

Residents of Los Angeles County are required to stay inside their homes unless they are engaged in certain “essential activities.” On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.

YOU CAN… 

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others in the community. 
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies

YOU SHOULD NOT… 

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility

Please note, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) serve as the lead agencies during this health crisis. Based on public health recommendations from lead agencies, and in an effort to safeguard public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, the City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that Los Angeles County has ordered all bars, clubs, gyms, theatres, bowling alleys, arcades, and entertainment venues closed and restaurants are required to end dine-in service and provide take out or delivery service only. This includes the City of West Hollywood. For more information, click here.

Essential vs. Non-Essential Businesses:

The following are considered essential activities and may remain open during this state of emergency:

  • City/County government services.
  • Gas service stations, auto supply, auto repair, bicycle repair shops and related facilities.
  • Health care operations, such as hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, labs, healthcare suppliers, veterinary care providers, mental health providers, cannabis dispensaries, etc. Healthcare operations does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
  • Food providers, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, food banks, pet supply stores, restaurants offering take-out, delivery or drive-thru. No dine-in service.
  • Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing
  • Organizations and businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services (including gang prevention and intervention, domestic violence and homeless services agencies).
  • Gas service stations, auto supply, mobile auto repair operations, auto repair shops, bicycle repair shops and related facilities.
  • Hardware and building supply stores and nurseries.
  • Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, custodial/janitorial workers, handyman services, funeral home workers and morticians, moving services, HVAC installers, carpenters, landscapers, gardeners, property managers, private security personnel and other service providers who provide services to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation to properties and other essential activities.
  • Banks, credit unions, financial institutions and insurance companies.
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes.
  • Laundromats/laundry service.
  • Newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts and other media services.
  • Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities -- for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.
  • Utility companies and other businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support, services, or supplies necessary to operate, provided that strict social distancing is maintained.
  • Individuals or businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, beverages or goods directly to residences or businesses, including rail and trucking.
  • Airlines, taxis, ride sharing services, and other private transportation services providing transportation services necessary for essential activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order.
  • Home-based care for disabled persons, seniors, adults, or children.
  • Residential facilities and shelters for disabled persons, seniors, adults, and children.
  • Professional services, such as legal, payroll or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities.
  • Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities.
  • Military/Defense Contractors/FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Centers)
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted, under restrictions contained in the Order.

While there is no "dine-in service" allowed for restaurants at this time, many of our West Hollywood restaurants remain open and committed to serving our community through take-out and delivery.  Click here for an updated list of WeHo businesses that are working to keep everyone fed. 

WEHO'S RESPONSE:

The City of West Hollywood continues to respond to COVID-19 and has implemented the following actions (some through June 30, 2020) in regards to city facilities, city sponsored and co-sponsored events, all public meetings and all parks and rec programming. Here's the latest:

Events:

  • All non-essential events and meetings, including City-sponsored events, City co-sponsored events, and City-funded events -- as well as any events or filming that require a permit -- will be postponed or cancelled
  • Cancellations include the Helen Albert Certified Farmers’ Market
  • Christopher Street West will postpone all events related to LA Pride in West Hollywood, which had been scheduled in June 2020, and organizers will assess
  • The City encourages postponement or cancellations for private gatherings that cannot accommodate space for social distancing of at least six feet per person
  • The City encourages businesses in the community to develop plans to limit occupancy in order to encourage social distancing mindful of public health recommendations
  • Gatherings of individuals who are at risk for severe illness from novel coronavirus, such as seniors and people with immunodeficiency or autoimmune disorders, should be limited to no more than 10 people (examples include people at senior centers, assisted living facilities, multi-unit housing buildings, and support groups for people with underlying medical conditions)

Parking:

The City of West Hollywood is suspending the following parking regulations until April 19, 2020:

  1. Permit parking on all residential streets
  2. Street sweeping
  3. All AM/PM rush hour enforcement (including Holloway, La Brea, Fountain, Robertson south of Beverly)
  4. Blocked Driveways - Per complaint only - Call Parking Enforcement 323-650-6757
  5. Loading Zones - Per complaint only - Call Parking Enforcement 323-650-6757

All citations issued that are not currently delinquent will be extended an additional 30 days from their issue date. Please contact the Parking Violations Bureau at (800) 687-2458 with all citation related questions.  

Public Meetings:

  • All public meetings, including Advisory Board and Commission meetings, will be cancelled unless the City determines there are essential business items to be discussed; the City Council meeting calendar is currently being reviewed and updates will be posted at weho.org/calendar
  • To view essential-business City meetings, tune in to WeHoTV at:

Recreation Programs:

Facilities:

  • Aquatic Center full closure through Tuesday, June 30 or until further notice
  • West Hollywood Park full closure through Tuesday, June 30 or until further notice
  • Plummer Park full closure through Tuesday, June 30 or until further notice
  • Farmers' Market cancelled until Monday, June 29
    • As a way to connect our Farmers’ Market community with the Farmers’ Market vendors, a list of vendors and their contact information can be by clicking here
  • Pocket Parks closed until further notice
  • Jewish Family Services available by phone and email  
  • iTennis closed until further notice
  • No group lessons or events.  

Facility reservations:

  • All facility reservations internal and external cancelled at Aquatic Center through Tuesday, June 30
  • All facility reservations internal and external cancelled at West Hollywood Park through Tuesday, June 30
  • All facility reservations internal and external cancelled at Plummer Park through Tuesday, June 30
  • All facility reservations internal and external cancelled at Kings Road Park through Tuesday, June 30

Park Programs and Events:

  • All recreation activities and events at Aquatic Center cancelled through Tuesday, June 30
  • All recreation activities and events at West Hollywood Park cancelled through Tuesday, June 30
  • All recreation activities and events at Plummer Park cancelled through Tuesday, June 30
  • All recreation activities and events at Kings Road Park cancelled through Tuesday, June 30

For the time being, many of the City's employees are working remotely (from home). We appreciate your patience.

Updates and more info...

For updates and information about the current numbers of COVID-19 cases in the United States and in Los Angeles County, the spread of the virus, severity, treatments, precautions, and other important public health information in multiple languages, please visit websites for:

Regarding COVID-19 testing: if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, call (do not immediately visit) a medical provider. Your doctor or local urgent care can help determine next steps based on your symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms include: fever, trouble breathing, and persistent pain or pressure in the chest. The CDC notes that, while supplies of tests are increasing, it is important to prioritize tests for people who are experiencing symptoms in order to best safeguard community health. The CDC offers guidance about testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html

The City of West Hollywood will continue to post updates on its website at www.weho.org/coronavirus and the City encourages community members to follow @wehocity on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and turn on notifications for up-to-date information regarding details in the City of West Hollywood.

Obviously, life has changed here in Weho and all around the world. We will get through this!

#WehoStrong

While we are focused on our response to the impacts of COVID-19, we also need to make sure the City continues necessary operations. 

It is also important that we think beyond this crisis. There will be some rebuilding to do -- both in terms of helping our residents and rebooting our businesses. However, I'm confident that working together, Weho will rebound and be stronger than ever.

To wrap up, below are some initiatives I brought forward first quarter of 2020 that were adopted by Council:

Economic Development:

  • Economic Development Study - directed staff to perform an economic development study that includes an assessment of the current economic conditions in the City, as well as any gaps that may exist, and recommendations for improvement.
  • Pop-Up Businesses - directed staff to evaluate ways to encourage pop-up businesses in vacant storefront spaces in order to encourage economic development, improve public safety, and enhance the City’s brand as a creative, innovation center. Thank you, Councilmember Duran, for co-sponsoring.

Housing:

  • Housing for Middle Income Households - directed Housing, Planning and Design Studio staff to collaborate on analyzing ways to incentivize the development of housing that expands options for middle-income households, including an analysis of the “missing middle” housing types. Thank you, Mayor D'Amico, for co-sponsoring.
  • Regulating Short Term Rentals - directed the Community & Legislative Affairs Division to amend the City’s established Legislative Priorities for 2019-2020 State Legislative Session to include supporting legislation to strengthen the regulation of short-term rentals, including measures to gather information on the number of short-term rentals in the state and the impact short-term rentals have had on the housing market.

Social Services:

  • Domestic Violence Advocacy and Education - directed staff to advocate for additional protections for victims of domestic violence at the state and federal level, to use the City’s social media channels to educate the public on domestic violence issues, and to work with our contracted providers to evaluate the current level of services provided for domestic violence prevention and assistance and determine if additional resources are necessary to meet the community need. Thank you, Mayor D'Amico, for co-sponsoring.

Ethics:

  • Code of Ethics - directed staff to include the Institute of Management Consultants USA Code of Ethics into all contracts. This was an item I originally brought forward in 2018, which was to create a code of ethics for City consultants and contractors. The Council direction was to send to the Ethics Task Force for review.

Remember:

  • Stay at home, practice social distancing.
  • The City will post updates on its News and Updates page and encourages community members to follow @wehocity on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and turn on notifications for up-to-date information regarding details in the City of West Hollywood.  

I know this is a lot of information. It's not intended to overwhelm -- but rather, to keep you apprised of what the City and its partners are doing in response to COVID-19. If you need more information or have questions regarding an issue that is not covered, please feel free to contact me.  You can call or text me at 310-801-9839. For city-related questions or comments, please email me at lmeister@weho.org. For all else, you can reach me at lauren@meister4weho.com.

Stay safe!


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