March 27, 2020 Update

Supervisor Katie Rice 

March 27, 2020

Week two of Marin County’s Shelter-in-place order: I applaud everyone’s efforts to adhere to the shelter-in-place order, to keep your cocoon (circle of close contacts) confined to family unit (and pets!); to not let up on the vigilant hand-washing and social distancing practices when away from home on those essential outings. These actions are critical to “flattening” the curve and providing our health care system the maximum ability to care for those needing hospitalization.

In response to the local shelter-in-place order and keeping the community informed and engaged, the County of Marin is making it easier for residents to participate at Board of Supervisors meetings during the COVID-19 emergency with a new online option for remote participation. To learn more, read the latest press release and consider participating.

My office continues to field questions from residents (and we are happy to do so) – but first check the County’s COVID-19 website and FAQ. It is thorough, added to, refined, updated frequently answering health questions, questions regarding the Order, and a myriad of other questions coming in from residents. Calling out in this Friday update several of the more frequent inquiries we are getting from neighbors as they see construction and home maintenance work happening around them.

What kind of construction is allowed under the Order?

For residential projects/construction that is already underway, work may continue to completion, so long as social distancing practices are used during construction. The Order prohibits beginning new construction projects unless they are adding to the supply of our county’s housing stock. (e.g. building a new home, a second unit, etc.) or maintaining the habitability of homes in order to avoid displacement of residents. Commercial construction projects related to maintaining or upgrading essential businesses may proceed, as can government and health care infrastructure projects.

For those considering getting started on the planning and permitting of a new project: currently, the County building officials are only accepting and issuing Building Permit applications for the following types of work for new projects in unincorporated Marin: (1) new housing construction (e.g. building a new home, a new second unit, new multi-family housing, etc.); (2) necessary work to maintain essential businesses (e.g. grocery stores, restaurants, healthcare facilities, etc.); and (3) necessary work to maintain the habitability of homes.

Further information about the modified operations of the Building Division and Planning Division during this emergency are available at

How about residential and commercial landscaping, gardening, and other commercial outdoor services?

Routine landscaping, gardening and other commercial outdoor services that provide general upkeep are not deemed essential and are not permitted under this Order. The County urges non-essential outdoor services to be deferred to minimize risk of transmission. However, there are some outdoor services that would be considered essential and are permitted under this Order, including fire reduction work, maintaining growth along curbs and medians in order to ensure visibility along roadways, minimum basic operations necessary to maintain the value of a business, and other tasks that are essential to the health and safety of the public.

What if I need my dog walked? Can my house cleaner come?

Dogs need exercise too, and if you can’t provide the necessary exercise for your pet, then you may continue to have someone else walk your dog -- but only to the extent necessary for health and sanitation. The same would hold true for house-cleaning services, pool-service, etc. Bottom line: Non-essential home services (inside or out) should be deferred to minimize risk of community transmission. Use your common sense, take the most conservative approach, postpone any work on or at your own residence or property that really isn’t necessary if it requires having someone from outside your family unit come to your home.

Again, if you haven’t already, to get the most up to date and accurate information, sign up for updates at the County’s Coronavirus website and check out the FAQ’s as well.

 Katie Rice Signature


Contact Info:

Supervisor Katie Rice



District 2 Aides:

Nancy Vernon



Jen Gauna