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City of San Bruno Shelter-In-Place Order Detailed Construction Information


City of San Bruno Shelter-In-Place Order Detailed Construction Information Updated April 10, 2020 Allowed Construction Under COVID-19 Shelter-In-Place Order


Construction on private property is limited by the current Shelter-In-Place Order issued by the San Mateo County Health Officer which became effective on March 17, 2020, and which was updated and extended on March 31, 2020; the statewide Shelter-In-Place Order issued by the Governor in Executive Order N-33-20 on March 19, 2020.


Construction projects that fall under one of the eight permitted categories as essential businesses under the Shelter-In-Place Order may continue, provided that they prepare, post, and implement a Social Distancing Protocol at the construction site, and carry out the work in compliance with all Order requirements.


Permitted construction categories are defined as the following types of projects:

  1. Projects immediately necessary to the maintenance, operation, or repair of Essential Infrastructure

  2. Projects associated with Healthcare Operations, including creating or expanding Healthcare Operations, provided that such construction is directly related to the COVID-19 response

  3. Affordable housing that is or will be income-restricted, including multi-unit or mixed-use developments containing at least 10% income-restricted units

  4. Public works projects if specifically designated as an Essential Governmental Function by the lead governmental agency

  5. Shelters and temporary housing, but not including hotels or motels

  6. Projects immediately necessary to provide critical non-commercial services to individuals experiencing homelessness, elderly persons, persons who are economically disadvantaged, and persons with special needs

  7. Construction strictly necessary to ensure that existing construction sites that must be shut down under this Order are left in a safe and secure manner, but only to the extent necessary to do so

  8. Construction or repair necessary to ensure that residences and buildings containing Essential Businesses are safe, sanitary, or habitable to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed

Most construction work in San Bruno must be temporarily halted in order to comply with the current COVID-19 Order until at least May 3, 2020.


The following list provides examples of types of construction work that is currently allowed to continue under the Order:

  • Multi-unit residential and mixed-use development projects that have at least 10% new affordable housing may continue to work. The only project in San Bruno that currently falls into this category includes the housing under construction at Skyline College, which contains 15.7% affordable units.

  • Construction or repair necessary to ensure that residences and buildings containing Essential Businesses are safe, sanitary, or habitable to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed. Examples of this in San Bruno include:

  • Roof construction at existing occupied dwelling units or buildings containing Essential Businesses for a roof that is leaking or otherwise non-functional to ensure the building is safe, sanitary, and habitable. 

  • Electrical construction work needed to supply electricity to existing occupied dwelling units or buildings containing Essential Businesses to maintain a safe electrical system

  • Other repairs to ensure functioning and safe plumbing and heating systems including essential plumbing, water heaters or sewer line repairs at existing occupied dwelling units or buildings containing Essential Businesses

  • Seismic construction work that is necessary to ensure that existing occupied dwelling units (or buildings containing Essential Businesses) are safe, sanitary, or habitable, to the extent such construction or repair cannot reasonably be delayed.

  • Limited bathroom or kitchen remodels of existing occupied dwelling units that were already underway when the Order was imposed that must continue construction to allow the occupied residence to be safe, sanitary, and habitable to the extent that the renovation cannot reasonably be delayed. For example, if a dwelling unit or buildings containing Essential Businesses does not have a single functional bathroom or an operable kitchen then those items could continue construction.

  • Painting work needed to maintain clean and sanitary walls and ceilings free from mildew, mold, dampness, and vermin, and this painting work may address damage, including smoke damage.

  • Carpet replacement needed to maintain sanitary floor coverings or address damage from mildew, mold, dampness, and vermin.

  • Other emergency repair work to fix damage or address health hazards so that unit may be made habitable, including life safety work. 

  • Construction strictly necessary to ensure that existing construction sites that must be shut down under this Order are left in a safe and secure manner, but only to the extent necessary to do so. An example of this includes boarding up and securing an existing construction site or similar related construction work, but only if strictly necessary to prevent damage to the project. It may also include more significant work, such as completing a roof or new walls to waterproof a building under construction, or ensuring that there is proper drainage to a site after grading has been completed.

  • Non-residential and commercial projects that are deemed “Essential Infrastructure” may continue.  An example of this includes a wireless telecommunications facility to provide wireless network service to residents and employees in the City.

The following list provides examples of types of construction work that is currently not allowed to continue under the Order:

  • Construction on vacant dwelling units or non-residential buildings.

  • Remodels or additions to dwelling units or non-residential buildings.

  • Solar photovoltaic installations.

  • Cosmetic work, or voluntary alterations to window/door/exterior building modifications.

  • Voluntary upgrades or modifications to electrical, plumbing and heating systems

  • EV charging stations.

  • Commercial tenant improvements.

  • Residential additions or remodeling that doesn’t meet the requirements listed above under permitted types of construction.

  • Construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) may not proceed unless required to make the unit habitable and does not include non-essential expansions or upgrades.

  • Painting is not allowed, unless it is either (a) required in order to sell or lease new affordable-housing or income-limited residences or (b) necessary to maintain the safety or habitability of residences or businesses.

The City of San Bruno is currently conducting inspections and processing building permits for allowed construction.

New Building Permit Inspection Process During the COVID-19 Emergency

  • Building inspections for construction projects specifically permitted to be under construction in the Orders of the San Mateo County Health Officer and State of California Executive Order(s), subject to confirmation by the Chief Building Official and the availability of limited staffing levels.

  • Emergency inspections will be performed as determined necessary by the Chief Building Official.

  • Building Final Inspections that require inspection from other departments/agencies and are considered essential for existing projects will be limited to availability. TCOs for essential projects may be granted upon obtaining a Building Final Approval Inspection from the Chief Building Official and Fire Marshall.

  • Inspections for non-essential construction projects will not be available at this time. Please call 650-616-7076 (automated voicemail system) to leave a message to request an inspection. For all other inquiries, please call 650-616-7074 to speak to a Community Development Technician during standard business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday).

Inspections of development projects ensure structural integrity, fire safety, sanitation, disabled access, and energy efficiency of new and existing buildings throughout the community in compliance with approved plans, and local and State building code laws. All permitted building and construction projects require an inspection.







Copyright © 2020 City of San Bruno, All rights reserved.

City of San Bruno

Community & Economic Development Department

567 El Camino Real

San Bruno, CA  94066

(650) 616-7074

sbcomdev@sanbruno.ca.gov

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