“Resumed Activities,” Including Landscaping, Now Permitted under Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order

On March 23, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-21, which was a “temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.” The Order went into effect on March 24, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., and was subsequently extended through April 30, 2020.

On April 24, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-59, which extended the existing stay-at-home mandate until May 15, 2020, but also relaxed certain restrictions with respect to workers who perform the so called “resumed activities” and expanded essential services to include moving companies and storage facilities. Under the new Executive Order, resumed activities specifically include maintenance, lawn care, landscaping, and moving and storage operations.

The Order now permits business operations to commence for maintenance workers and groundskeepers who are necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of places of outdoor recreation, subject to certain enhanced social-distancing rules that are set forth in the Order. These enhanced social-distancing rules include, but are not limited to, barring gatherings in which people cannot maintain six feet of distance from one another, limiting in-person interactions with clients to the maximum extent possible, providing PPE such as gloves, goggles, shields, and masks as appropriate, adopting protocols to limit tool sharing between workers, and ensuring frequent and thorough cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. If you observe maintenance workers and groundskeepers failing to adhere to social distancing or equipment requirements, you should immediately contact their superiors.

Community Association Boards will be pleased to learn that these relaxed restrictions should permit most companies providing outdoor maintenance, lawn care, and landscaping operations to reopen their businesses immediately. Association beautification committees across the State will likewise appreciate that garden stores and nurseries are included in the resumed activities and should be able to reopen immediately, subject to the enhanced social-distancing rules.

Of particular interest to Community Associations, workers at moving companies and storage facilities are now considered essential service employees. These companies may commence business operations, subject to the enhanced social-distancing rules. The Order also permits the following activities to commence which may impact Community Associations:

• Boating, including the use of motorboats;

• Golfing;

• Use of Parks, and daytime use of State Parks;

• Travel; including moving from one residence to another within the State or moving into an entirely new residence within the State.

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If you have any questions regarding the resumed activities, please contact one of the experienced attorneys at our firm.