When Florida’s governor issued his stay at home order, it contained a carve out designating construction as an essential service. Since the order’s debut, many have embraced the construction carve out as allowing any and all construction. Alas, the devil may be in the details, more specifically, the building department interpreting those details to decide whether a construction project is really “essential.” A new project not yet started vs. a project already underway. A plumbing upgrade for grandma who needs a walk-in tub vs. adding an extra bathroom. A re-roof or installing a new dormer window. A permit application to repair structural damage vs. a permit to build a free standing garage with a bonus man-cave on top.
For those of you that haven’t already committed the governor’s “construction carve out” to memory, pertinent provisions from the governor’s order include:
So does the foregoing mean a green light for anything under the construction sun? Not so fast, according to some local officials.
As recently reported in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronavirus/fl-ne-coronavirus-construction-workers-20200410-okgqgbimavghlkz6coi74lryka-story.html, places like Coconut Creek are allowing reroof jobs to move forward but it has suspended some interior improvements. Fort Lauderdale is likewise not allowing construction on occupied buildings unless the work involves what the department deems a “necessary” repair. So what does your local building department think? You might want to call and find out. Doing so could help avoid expensive confusion courtesy of a stop work order or a fine – or worse, a love note from your local or state licensing board. End game, the language is arguably open to interpretation and a call to your local building department can quickly vet whether your project will pass the “essential” sniff test.
A full copy of the governor’s executive order defining construction related services as essential can be viewed at https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-91-compressed.pdf
To view time-sensitive resources and learn more about the protocols Shutts & Bowen is implementing to protect its employees and clients from COVID-19 exposure, click here.
- Governor DeSantis Signs Bill to Increase Cap on Continuing Public Works Contracts
- Avoiding Potential Liability Exposure as Businesses Reopen
- 50 SHADES OF CONSTRUCTION – What Is and Isn’t “Essential” Construction Might Be A Little More Gray Than You Thought.
- Risky Business: Florida’s Government Contractors Should Make Sure Their Contract Modifications Are Valid (a/k/a Don’t Inadvertently Donate Millions of Dollars’ Worth of Work to the Government)
- How to Keep the Government from Shutting Down Your Jobsite During Coronavirus: Know the Rules and Follow Them
- Stop Work Orders and Construction Project Site Abandonment Series: Part 2 – Construction Project Site Abandonment
- The Corona Virus Effect – Empty Roads May Pave the Way to Help Lessen Economic Damage
- Proactive Measures that can Provide Relief to Key Players in the Construction Industry
- Stop Work Orders and Construction Project Site Abandonment Series: Part 1 – Stop Work Orders
- How the Governor’s Emergency Orders Will Affect Building Permits and Inspections
- Federal Government Contracting
- Florida Government Contracts
- Florida Public Contracts
- Public Contracts
- General Liability
- Regulatory Compliance
- Small Business
- Statute of limitations
- Statute of repose
- Construction Litigation
- Design Professionals
- Forum Selection
- Attorneys' Fees
- Offers of Judgment
- Prevailing Party
- Designer Liability
- Unlicensed Contracting
- Expert Science
- Senior Associate
- Of Counsel
- Senior Associate