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Posted on: May 13, 2020

May 5, 2020 - Letter from Mayor Adam Eisen

Here we are in another week of the SIP – and the start of another month of staying at home as much as possible. I know everyone is getting anxious and there is a lot of information out there that is confusing for many...

Dear Half Moon Bay Community (Para ver esta carta en español, oprime aquí),

Here we are in another week of the SIP – and the start of another month of staying at home as much as possible. I know everyone is getting anxious and there is a lot of information out there that is confusing for many. I want to try here to explain as much as I can, and of course our staff and I are available for specific questions you may have.

I do want to repeat to everyone: please don’t forget that we’re in this together. Let’s give each other, and ourselves, some grace. Be kind. Help out where you can. Check on your family and friends via phone or online. There’s a saying going around that’s very fitting – “we’re all in the same boat, but we’re not all on the same course.” I know this pandemic has affected everyone in a multitude of ways, but we’re still one community. Let’s keep that in mind and work together toward recovery.

State vs County Orders – What does it all mean?

Things are going to be tricky over the next few months. The State will start easing some restrictions that may not be eased in San Mateo County, and vice versa – in most cases the local orders take precedence, even if they are more restrictive than the State order. I’ll include a standing section of this letter, for as long as we continue with these weekly updates, that outlines what is currently allowed and what is not allowed in Half Moon Bay and on the Coastside. And if you haven’t already, do pay attention to our Daily Updates online as we include a lot of pertinent and timely information there. We post them online here and they are posted on our social media outlets (links below).

Yesterday, the revised San Mateo County Health Order went into effect, which extends the shelter-in-place requirements through May 31. In light of progress achieved in slowing the spread of COVID-19, the new Order relaxes conditions on certain essential businesses and activities and allows certain outdoor businesses to resume operating. But I want to remind you – we need to continue with social distancing and personal sanitizing activities, in order to build on the progress being made. Failing to do so could easily cause a resurgence of the virus, and our efforts so far will have been wasted.

Generally allowed under the new order are:

  • Construction (both commercial and residential)
  • Outdoor services such as gardening and landscaping; businesses which primarily operate outdoors such as nurseries and garden centers
  • Moving services (both commercial and residential)
  • Real estate transactions (with virtual components)
  • Activities in shared recreational spaces that do not involve shared equipment and that allow for social distancing, such as golf courses and athletic fields

FAQs and the Revised Order are available online at

You likely heard that the State is moving into parts of Stage 2, allowing for loosening of additional restrictions (subject to local orders). Governor Newsom is expected to lay out the groundwork for this at his press conference on Thursday. Beginning this Friday, the State Order allows retail establishments to open with curbside pickup (places like clothing stores, florists, bookstores, and sporting goods stores). The State Order does not include offices, restaurants with seated dining, or shopping malls.

However, here is where this gets tricky: the San Mateo County Order does not allow for the opening of those establishments. Local agencies still retain the option of stricter restrictions if deemed necessary due to the localized spread and movement of the pandemic. If the County feels that the restrictions lifted by the State can be lifted within San Mateo County, they will issue a revised order. If they do not, then the current order still stands and must be complied with locally. If and when the County revises its restrictions, we will be certain to let you know.

San Mateo County Public Health Officer Scott Morrow issued a new message yesterday which you can view here (scroll past the health orders to find the message embedded on the page). Additionally, new guidance has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control for businesses and employers, and can be viewed here.

There are plenty of things that can still be done, however. For example, try out all of Half Moon Bay’s virtual recreation activities. There is something for everyone, whether you are sheltering in place alone or with your family. Check out the variety of activities our website has to offer! Get some fresh air by going on a walk or bike ride (within ten miles of your home). Maybe try some gardening - the nurseries in Half Moon Bay are open, so you can exercise your green thumb! Online courses through are being offered again through the Half Moon Bay Library, which also has a lot of other resources and online events (check “Recent Posts” on the Library website).

Join the Conversation – Working Together Toward Recovery:

 Although the City may be changing some of the ways we are serving residents due to these unprecedented times, we are continuing to provide the services our community depends on – now more than ever. The City must continue to ensure our community is prepared for what may come, whether it’s a medical emergency like this pandemic, or a catastrophic disaster of some other kind.

Today, it is more important than ever that we robustly communicate with our residents and local businesses. Please take a moment to Join the Conversation and complete a survey online about our evolving priorities as a city.

We appreciate your feedback as we continue to engage and update the public on Half Moon Bay’s local recovery needs.

Coastside Chamber of Commerce Store Front / Commercial Rent Survey:

The City Council will conduct a public hearing tonight to consider an urgency ordinance for a moratorium on commercial evictions (staff report and agenda available online). The City Council is requesting that businesses, commercial real estate brokers, property managers, and property owners fill out the Commercial Rent and Eviction Survey being conducted by the Coastside Chamber of Commerce. If you fit into one of those categories, you can take the survey here.

SMC Strong Non-Profit Grant Applications:

Grant applications through SMC Strong for non-profit organizations open tomorrow morning, May 6, at 8:00 a.m. All non-profit agencies providing services in San Mateo County whose operations have been disrupted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted until receipt of 250 applications or Monday, May 11, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., whichever comes first.

Grants are for a maximum of $20,000 and it is expected that these funds will address the loss of revenue and/or unexpected costs, such as: supplies related to health and hygiene (e.g., masks, gowns, gloves, and other protective equipment) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control or the county public health department; technology upgrades or purchase of virtual communication equipment; and other operational expenses related to the shift in services or the provision of emergency services. For frequently asked questions, please click here

You can access the San Mateo County Strong Fund Non-Profit Grant application form here. The application is a fillable form that can be saved to your computer and when complete, sent with a copy of your dated organizational budget for this fiscal year to

Poplar Beach Access Project:

If you missed it last week, a news release went out regarding a construction project at Poplar Beach that closed the main access point as of yesterday, with the closure continuing through June 30. The project consists of replacing the access stairs and handrail, and erosion-control work. Access will remain available a half-mile to the north. You can view the news release here.

Volunteers Needed:

Senior Coastsiders and the Coastside Hope Food Bank are in need of volunteers for meal delivery and food bank distribution. If you are healthy and able to assist, please contact them through the Coastside Collaborative webpage. I know that many of you are seeking ways to help others during this pandemic, so this is a great opportunity for you! For tips on how to volunteer safely, please see the State of California’s volunteer bulletin here.

May 5, 2020 City Council Meeting:

Tonight’s City Council meeting will include a COVID-19 Study Session at 6:00 p.m., followed by our regular meeting at 7:00 p.m. As “usual” there are special remote protocols for Tuesday’s City Council meeting. 

Participants via Zoom can make live comments during the public comment portion of each agenda item. If you wish to comment on an item without participating via Zoom, please email your comment to prior to the meeting, or prior to the close of the public comment period for that item. Comments received will be read aloud at the meeting. Please note that public comments will be limited to three minutes.

 As always, feel free to email me with any comments or concerns. And be sure to stay informed by visiting the City’s COVID-19 Daily Updates webpage, and our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Nextdoor feeds.

Together in partnership, 

Mayor Adam Eisen