A roundup of local home and garden news, including the California Association of Realtors' advice for agents in the field, Menlo Parking processing permit applications online and ways to enjoy Filoli's lush gardens on the internet.
REAL ESTATE AN 'ESSENTIAL SERVICE' ... The federal government recently added residential and commercial real estate services to its revised list of essential services needed to maintain "critical infrastructure" during the coronavirus crisis. Despite the federal reclassification of real estate as an essential service, the Bay Area's stay-at-home order greatly affects how business can be conducted. Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, which have both extended their stay-at-home orders through May 3, classify real estate as an essential service but caution that as many activities as possible should be accomplished online. Since the vast majority of real estate activities require some in-person interaction, the California Association of Realtors has released guidelines for Realtors on navigating transactions while maintaining proper social distancing. Read Santa Clara County's order at sccgov.org, San Mateo's order at smcgov.org and find the California Association of Realtors' guidelines at car.org.
PERMIT CENTER MOVES ONLINE ... Menlo Park has moved to a virtual permit center in response to COVID-19, according to a city press release issued on Wednesday. Staff will continue to process applications currently on file and are reaching out to applicants who submitted their applications between January and March to ask that plans be submitted electronically. The city is not issuing new building or encroachment permit applications at this time, and all construction activity remains suspended temporarily, according to the press release. To speak to a planner, email the planning division at email@example.com.
ONLINE BLOOMS ... There's no substitute for seeing and smelling acres of flowers in person, but there is a way to enjoy one of the Midpeninsula's most abundant gardens from home. Shuttered by the stay-at-home order, Woodside's Filoli estate is using its Facebook page and Instagram to offer a window into what's currently in full bloom in the estate's 16 acres of gardens. For more information, go to facebook.com/FiloliEstate and on Instagram at @_filoli.