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City Manager Signs Public Order Regarding Suspending Certain Deadlines in the Torrance Municipal Code and Suspends Public and Closed Hearings During the State of Emergency
WHEREAS, Government Code Section 8634 empowers the City Council and delegated officials to promulgate orders and regulations necessary to provide for protection of life or property during a local emergency; and;
WHEREAS, the City Council has specifically delegated this authority to the City Manager as Director of Emergency Services in Chapter 6 of Division 1 of the Torrance Municipal Code. Further, the City Council confirmed this delegation of authority by Resolution on March 16, 2020; and
WHEREAS, this order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference the March 4, 2020, the Executive Order issued by Governor Newsom, Order N-25-20 wherein the Governor proclaimed a State of Emergency in California as a result of the threat of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, this order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference the March 12, 2020 Proclamation by the City Manager proclaiming a local emergency, which said Proclamation and order was ratified by the City Council on March 17, 2020; and
WHEREAS, this order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference the March 13, 2020, Proclamation and Order of the President of the United States declaring a national emergency in response to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, this order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference the March 16, 2020, Public Order by the City Manager under City of Torrance's Emergency Authority closing all movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, gyms and fitness centers, bars and nightclubs that do not serve food and prohibiting all restaurants from serving food for consumption on premises; and
WHEREAS, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend guidelines to maintain hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and social distancing to protect public health and slow the transmission of COVID-19; and
PUBLIC ORDER NO. 2020-4
WHEREAS, the California Department of Public Health has issued guidance to postpone or cancel ail gatherings across the State of California to protect public health and slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19. Gathering is defined as any event that brings together people together in a single room or single space at the same time; and
WHEREAS, the California Department of Health states that the timely implementation of aggressive strategies that create social distance and those that reduce close contact of people not regularly together, including limiting gatherings, has proven effective in prior pandemics at delaying rates of transmission and reducing illness and death; and
WHEREAS, this order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference the Governor's Executive Order No. N-33-20 of March 19, 2020, known as the Stay At Home Order, orders all Californians to stay at home. Ail businesses must close except for critical infrastructure sectors; and
WHEREAS, this order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference the Health Officer of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's Order of March 21, 2020, known as the Safer At Home Order, that prohibits all public and private group events and gatherings. All businesses must close except for essential businesses. The Order states that in the absence of a specific immunization or treatment for GOVID-19, social distancing is the only and most readily available tool to prevent this disease; and
WHEREAS, in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, the City of Torrance has reduced the number of staff on-site; and
WHEREAS, remaining City staff are engaged in critical infrastructure duties and/or a significant amount of staff time and resources are being utilized to address the C0\/ID-19 crisis; and
WHEREAS, due to social distancing guidelines and the COVID-19 crisis. City counters are closed to the Public until further notice; and
WHEREAS, the closure of City counters, the Stay at Home Order, the Safer at Home Order and social distancing guidelines have resulted in increasing difficulty for the public to comply with statutory deadlines set forth in the Torrance Municipal Code; and
WHEREAS, public hearings in the City of Torrance often resuit in gatherings of people from the public, which gatherings are currentiy prohibited during the current COVID-19 crisis.
PUBLIC ORDER NO. 2020-4
By virtue of the authority vested in me as City Manager of the City of Torrance pursuant to the provisions of California Government Code 8634, the City Charter, Torrance Municipal Code 16,2.6, the laws and the Constitution of the State of California to promulgate, issue, and enforce rules, regulations, orders, and directives, I hereby declare the following orders to be necessary for the protection of life and property, effective immediately.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
1. The timelines for hearings on appeals set forth in Torrance Municipal Code sections 11.5.3 and 11.5.4 are suspended during the state of emergency.
2. The timelines for view equity claims set forth in Torrance Municipal Code sections 92.41.090, 92.41.100, 92.41.110, AND 92.41.120 are suspended during the state of emergency. 3. All public and closed hearings before the City Council, any City Commission, City Board, or City Committee are suspended during the state of emergency.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED this Order shall apply Citywide until rescinded by the City Council or City Manager.