What phase are we in with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order? What does that mean?
Sumner is currently in the Governor’s Phase One. You can link here to find out more information that his office has provided about Phase One and what it means. You can also read the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order.
The Governor’s Office has provided guidance on what businesses are essential.
- To clarify status, or request inclusion on the list, please fill out this form.
- If you want to report suspected violations of the governor’s orders regarding essential business functions, evictions, and social distancing, please fill out this form.
On April 24th, the Governor rolled out a plan to allow low-risk construction activities to resume during his Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order, but the construction projects must strictly comply with the Governor’s outlined requirements. You can find them here: Construction Safety Guidelines.
If anyone wishes to report a violation of the job site requirements, please do so directly to the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), who has exclusive enforcement authority: L&I Call Center at 1-800-423-7233 or via email to email@example.com.
The Governor has also expanded the eviction moratorium and added protections for commercial tenants. Click here to learn more. If a landlord is not following the moratorium, contact the State Attorney General’s Office. You can also use this link to the Coronavirus Eviction Complaint form: https://fortress.wa.gov/atg/formhandler/ago/COVID19EvictionComplaintForm.aspx
How will the City of Sumner be enforcing this?
The short answer is that for the most part, this is an honor-system kind of thing. We’ve seen the true repercussions of not adhering to it with what Italy is facing. That said, here are some more details:
POLICE OFFICERS’ ROLE OF ENFORCEMENT
It’s important to remember that this is a gubernatorial order to the people of Washington, not something being mandated by the City of Sumner. For Sumner Police, “enforcement” means engagement and education with the Sumner community. We view our role as one of education, especially on how to keep you, your family and the entire community safe, especially our vulnerable populations. We understand that some people still need to carry out essential services to keep our community strong and sustainable. We have no plans to create checkpoints or have officers carry tape measures to enforce social distancing requirements, but we will take action to penalize violators in the most extreme and wanton circumstances. Violation of a Governor’s Proclamation is a gross misdemeanor under RCW 43.06.220 and officers may refer appropriate violations for criminal charges.
The Liquor and Cannabis Control Board has asked us to let them know if we see any bars or restaurants serving alcohol in a manner violating the code, basically remaining open for business and on-site consumption. We will educate these establishments about the order and if necessary refer charges to the prosecutor. Once again, We will do so and further enforcement will be taken by them. As for others who are maybe not following the rules, again that is on their conscience. At this point, social pressure and refusing to patronize businesses that blatantly flaunt the rules will have greater impact than anything the city can do. In Sumner, we’ve seen people trying really hard to comply, which is wonderful.
We have now closed all parks to use in order to eliminate social gatherings. Please continue to use the Sumner Link Trail and our sidewalks and streets to walk and bike with social distancing. Our Parks Department will be doing minimal maintenance on the parks, working alone and always practicing social distancing, in order to ensure the parks will be in good condition for use this summer.
What about the city’s own projects/staff?
We are striving very hard to also lead by example. Most of our staff are still serving you, but they’re doing so from home. A number of our staff fall under the Governor’s specific list of exempt personnel including our water, treatment facility and police officers. They are also making adjustments to maintain social distancing as they continue to serve.
What’s the process if I am deemed “essential”?
Understandably, there is much concern around business closures and what constitutes an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” under the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25: Stay Home – Stay Healthy.
Per proclamation 20-25, essential workers will not need a pass to get to work, nor do they need to register with any system.
We encourage you to review the “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” list attached to this proclamation.
- If your job is included in any of the categories, you should continue to work and do not need further authorization to do so.
- If your job does not fit into any of the categories listed, you are encouraged to “work from home” if possible, but should not physically go to your place of work for the period stipulated in this proclamation.
- If you are unsure about if your job is covered by this list or not, please submit a request for clarification here: https://bit.ly/essential-business
How does this affect construction/permits?
The order is very clear that permitting and construction related only to essential functions must continue. All other construction and development must stop. Here are more details:
- The City will continue to permit construction related to transportation, warehousing and distribution of essential items for responding to the emergency, and medical facilities.
- Let us know if your project expedites producing supplies necessary for coronavirus, for example, a tenant improvement to begin manufacturing face masks.
- For all other projects such as housing, commercial improvements, non-emergent remodeling, etc., we cannot issue permits until the State order is lifted. We realize this may cause your project delays and inconveniences, but we must follow the State directive to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.
- Please know that even if we can’t issue permit(s) for your projects, we are still processing them. Our staff continue to work remotely to review applications so that when the Order is lifted, we can issue your permits as quickly as possible.
- The Governor has clarified that commercial and residential construction in general are not considered essential and must cease. Exceptions are for construction related to essential activities as outlined in the order; to further a public purpose related to a public entity or facility, which we’ve already determined which of our projects proceed and which cease; and to prevent damage or unsafe conditions or address emergency repairs. Click here for the Governor’s Construction Guidance Memo.
- In other words, if your plumbing has failed and you can’t run any water, by all means call a plumber, but a kitchen remodel you’ve always wanted does not count. Please consider the health of our contractors as well.
- Speaking of home remodels, the City of Sumner does not require permits for many common home projects. If you are doing one of the following, you can proceed with no further need to contact the City. Just make sure that you continue to obey the order: as in, you should already have your materials on site and not need to come in contact with any other people outside your household in order to proceed.
- Trim work
- Detached accessory/structures such as sheds, play toys, play houses, garages, etc. provided they are 200 square feet or less (these still need to meet height limits/setbacks so email us and we’ll help you)
- Fences are supposed to submit a signed fence agreement form. You can obtain this form online, and email completed form to Bonnie or Allison. We also have Chrissanda or Scott to help walk you through the information.
- Replacement of exterior siding applied over existing structural panel sheathing.
- Replacement of windows and doors with no change in the framed opening size.
- Residential photovoltaic solar energy installations in compliance with IRC Section M2302.
- Flag poles not greater that 35 feet in height whose display complies with the United States Public Law 94-344.
- Mechanical – replacement of an electric existing forced air heating unit or electric heat pump.
- Plumbing – replacement of an existing electric water heater.
This affects City projects too. Because SR 410/Traffic Avenue interchange is essential to transportation, that project will continue. However, our Loyalty Park Playground construction will be delayed.
How has this affected calling 911?
It really hasn’t. Please do NOT call 911 if you see someone you think is violating the order. While that person is putting himself/herself in extra risk, we need to keep 911 for “normal” emergencies only. Please note that the dispatcher will ask if you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. Please answer honestly; it will not affect whether or not we respond. All it does is alert our officers to wear extra protective gear to protect themselves if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. Please do this small part to help us stay healthy to continue serving Sumner.