COVID-19 Update: Baker Issues Guidance Overturning Local Construction Moratoriums

Boston – NAIOP Massachusetts, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, issued the following update regarding the guidance issued by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on March 25:
On March 25, Governor Baker issued guidance clarifying that the March 23 order, “Assuring Continued Operation of Essential Services in the Commonwealth, Closing Certain Workplaces, and Prohibiting Gatherings of More than 10 People”  supersedes and makes inoperative any order or rule issued by a municipality that will or might in any way impede or interfere with the achievement of the objectives of this order. “Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects” are deemed essential.
Therefore, “the Order provides that all construction projects are to continue operations during the state of emergency, but to do so with allowance for social distancing protocols consistent with guidance provided by the Department of Public Health. Local policies, regulations or directives that provide otherwise are in direct conflict with the Order and should be withdrawn.”
NAIOP had urged the administration to issue guidance given the lack of uniformity across the Commonwealth on this issue and this provides added clarity.