County Orders on Landscape, Contractors and Wearing Masks

Last Updated: 04-15-20

County Order C19-05 – Essential Business – Commercial & Private Landscape and Construction

We have been receiving several questions and concerns about commercial and private, construction,  landscape, and gardening practices that are allowed under Sonoma County’s Shelter-In-Place Order C19-05, approved April 1, 2020, addressing landscape requirements.

These are examples of questions that are trending over the past few days in our Architectural Office.

  1. Are Commercial Landscapers allowed? (for HOA’s and OVA)
    1. What are they allowed to do?
  2. Are Gardeners at an individual residence allowed? (Residential Units)
    1. Are gardeners allowed at homes?
    1. Can homeowners do their own landscape work
  3. Can I get my roof replaced?
  4. If I see violations of social distancing and mask orders, what should I do?

The Association Office has provided the following information based on contacts with the County of Sonoma and will refer to section 13:1(m) of the C19-05 Order [attached to this communication] to answer these questions to be the best of our ability.  

13:1(m) – Under the Order, “Arborists, landscapers, gardeners, and similar service professionals, but only to the limited extent necessary to maintain the habitability, sanitation, operation of businesses or residences, or the safety of residents, employees, or the public (such as fire safety or tree trimming to prevent a dangerous condition), and not for cosmetic or other purposes (such as upkeep).”

Landscaping

Many landscape contractors, including those hired by OVA and many of our sub-HOAs, as well as Advance Golf Partners, have received direction from the County for operating during this time to assure they are in compliance. OVA’s landscape contractor and AGP have received approval from the County to maintain their properties (common area and golf course) on a reduced schedule, based on 13:1(m) above.

Similarly, landscapers (for HOA’s) and gardeners by residents are allowed to provide the scope of the services listed above, provided that it meets the qualifications.  

While the OVA does not have any authority over landscapers contracted by sub-HOAs and independent homeowners, we have a high level of confidence based on our conversations with those who have contacted the County better to understand Section 13: 1(m) as it applies to the services they provide and what is considered as “essential.”

As we approach fire season, for example, we can expect – and hope—to see many contractors doing fire abatement work throughout Oakmont, including the use of sheep where feasible. This work is allowed and necessary. Removal of dense vegetation and long grasses where fleas, ticks, and mosquitos breed is another such example of what is considered essential.

Residents are allowed to do landscaping on their properties.

Construction

Unfortunately, many questions do not have straight forward answers. A roof with an exhausted life may not be considered essential. Still, a roof with leaks may be crucial and comply with the Order in protecting “safety, sanitation, and operation of residences.  Each property is unique in its own needs, and to know what is considered essential, you as the homeowner should rely on the professional knowledge of your contractor to make determinations.  

  • We urge you to work with the professionals and utilize the County’s website at sonomacounty.ca.gov.
  • The information there is updated regularly, and you may find the answers without having to contact them directly.

Wearing Masks

Sonoma County Order C19-07 – Sonoma County’s top public health official on Monday, made clear everyone must wear a face-covering starting Friday (4/17) All persons shall wear facial coverings before they enter any indoor facility besides their residence, any enclosed open space, or while outdoors when the person is unable to maintain a six-foot distance from another person at all times. You can find the County Order here.

Violations

  • Any questions you may have regarding the County Order regarding essential work being performed, you should report that to the appropriate County entity, not OVA. OVA has no policing authority for the Order.
  • Architectural applications are still required for any exterior work that is outside of routine maintenance.

If you have questions, please send an email to AskOVA@Oakmontvillage.com

Stay Safe and  Stay Well.