Home front: Palo Alto Development Center closed, webinar on virus’ impact on local market | News | Mountain View Online |

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Home front: Palo Alto Development Center closed, webinar on virus’ impact on local market

Also: Get ideas for getting outside while sheltering in place

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A roundup of local home and garden news, including information about how to access the city of Palo Alto’s Development Center services during the shutdown and a webinar exploring the coronavirus' impact on local real estate markets.

DEVELOPMENT CENTER CLOSED ... Palo Alto’s Development Center is closed as part of the city's response to the coronavirus. As of this week, Development Center services are available by phone, according to the city's website. Additionally, those who need to view fire or building permits, request or cancel inspections or review their inspection history can use the city’s iRequest mobile app or the Citizen Access Portal to accomplish those tasks. Some permit categories are available online for licensed contractors, such as permits for water backflow devices, furnace or boiler replacement, gas leak repair, re-roofing, re-piping, residential window retrofits and water heaters (except tankless). Those in need of assistance with other permit types should call the Development Center at 650-329-2496. Further details are available on the city's Development Center web page at cityofpaloalto.org.

WEBINAR: VIRUS’ EFFECTS ON LOCAL REAL ESTATE ... Learn how the coronavirus pandemic may affect Silicon Valley real estate at a webinar offered Friday, March 20, noon, and again on Friday, March 27, noon by Peninsula-based real estate firm DeLeon. Michael Repka, DeLeon's CEO will discuss the current real estate landscape. The webinar is free. Register at eventbrite.com.

GETTING OUTSIDE DURING A SHUTDOWN ... Like nearly every other organization in the Bay Area, local habitat restoration nonprofit Grassroots Ecology has cleared its event calendar for the time being. Since the group cannot host its regular events where volunteers gather to help rid the local landscape of invasive plants and restore habitat for local wildlife, Grassroots Ecology has begun using its newsletter to offer ideas to get out and (responsibly) enjoy nature during the current shelter-in-place conditions. First up is a recommendation that may also offer a little help to families temporarily conscripted into homeschooling: Engage children in exploring the natural world, whether at a park, nature preserve or on your patio, by having them start a nature journal. Encourage children to use the journal to describe the different plants or insects they encounter outside and show them that the beauty of nature is all around, the newsletter stated. Find more information about Grassroots Ecology and the group's newsletter at grassrootsecology.org.

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The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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