Pursuant to this directive, on April 29, 2020, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order allowing construction projects to resume in Pennsylvania’s largest city. The order permits construction to restart May 1, 2020, however it also contains several restrictive conditions. This order only applies to work under permits issued before March 21, 2020. These restrictions include limitations on new projects, interior residential construction, work in occupied multi-family dwellings, and certain types of demolition. Additionally, almost all work is prohibited on weekends or after 5 p.m.
The full list of restrictions and limitations includes:
- The order does not allow the resumption of construction projects involving underpinning, demolition of attached structures, and/or projects that require support of an existing party wall.
- No work is permitted within any occupied dwelling unit, with an exception for emergency repairs.
- Work is not permitted within any occupied multi-family dwelling unit or within any shared common area, except emergency repairs.
- Work is only allowed between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for emergency repairs.
- Each contractor must appoint a Pandemic Safety Officer who must obtain COVID-19 training certificate from one of the training sites approved by L&I.
- Each contractor must maintain a COVID-19 Safety Plan at the work site and comply with all commonwealth and city orders related to COVID-19. This includes the governor’s April 23, 2020 “Guidance for Businesses in the Construction Industry Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency.”
- No more than four workers are permitted on-site at any time per dwelling unit for permitted work on one and two-family dwellings.
- No more than four workers may work at a commercial site which is enclosed and less than 2,000 square feet. One additional worker is allowed for each additional 500 square feet of enclosed area over 2,000 square feet.
- All construction permit applications filed on or after the order must be applied for and issued online. Only those permits issued online may start construction.
- Permits for projects that require ZBA action cannot be issued until further notice.
- No construction work may commence on any projects for which building or demolition permits were issued after March 20, 2020, as such projects will be the subject of future guidance from the city.
Mayor Kenney’s order follows Governor Wolf’s April 23, 2020 guidance on re-opening construction across the state.
The Coronavirus Task Force at Klehr Harrison stands ready to assist you in your business and legal needs. We will continue to provide additional information and guidance as the COVID-19 situation develops.
Co-authors Peter Norman, of counsel, and Patrick McKnight, associate, are members of the Litigation Department at Klehr Harrison.