SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica City Manager and Director of Emergency Services, Rick Cole, added additional protective terms to his executive order declaring a local emergency to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The executive order declares:
- Eviction protections cover residential and commercial tenants. No landlord shall endeavor to evict a residential or commercial tenant in either of the following situations: (1) for nonpayment of rent if the tenant demonstrates that the tenant is unable to pay rent due to financial impacts related to COVID-19 or (2) for a no-fault eviction if any member of the household is sick, in isolation, or under quarantine.
- Any residential and commercial tenants past due rent accrued during the period of the Executive Order are not automatically excused, for the tenants remain liable for it and must pay it back within six months after the end of the emergency.
- To avoid termination of tenancy and evictions due to nonpayment of rent, tenants must still show their landlord that they are losing income because of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Removals of rental property from the market under the Ellis Act are now suspended in Santa Monica to prevent housing displacement during the local public health emergency to protect the public health and to ensure compliance with local public health guidance related to social distancing and home quarantines and isolation.
The revised executive order includes the following measures suspending parking restrictions, Big Blue Bus fares, and late penalties:
- Big Blue Bus fares have been temporarily suspended. This change went into effect on March 20, 2020.
- Big Blue Bus patrons will use the rear door to facilitate social distancing and to protect the health of operators. This rule does not apply to those who need ADA assistance. This change went into effect Friday, March 20, 2020.
- Late fees have been suspended for city water and sewage bills, parking citations, refuse and recycling collection bills, Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA) charges, Fire Prevention inspection charges, Transient Occupancy Taxes, Utility Users Taxes, and Parking Facility Taxes.
- Penalty assessments related to business licenses and business improvement district assessments have been frozen as of March 1, 2020 and suspended thereafter.
- Parking restrictions in green zones have been suspended.
- Vehicle towing is suspended for abandoned vehicles, expired registration and delinquent parking citations.
This revised Executive Order will be effective through April 15, 2020, unless extended or modified by City Council.