Pressured by Bucks by residents, businesses and elected officials Governor Tom Wolf announced the reopening of the states real estate industry on Tuesday as Bucks County lawmakers apply pressure for retailers to offer curbside pickup service.
Wolf vetoed legislation, HB 2142 sponsored by Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) earlier in the day that would allow all real estate business activities that adhere to social distancing and mitigation measures to re-open.
We continue to review our policies and the scientific data to determine the safest approach for all activities in the commonwealth,” Governor Wolf said. “While at this point more than two-thirds of the state will be in the yellow phase of the state’s reopening plan by Friday, May 22, we are still evaluating how industries may be able to conduct business appropriately in red phase counties, including the real estate industry.
Although I wish we could have done this as a team, I am grateful that Realtors throughout the Commonwealth can finally help families find homes,” Polinchock said.
State Representatives Tina Davis and John Galloway said in a late afternoon statement circulated to media outlets, “We are very glad that Governor Wolf has taken this step to reopen the commonwealth by allowing for limited real estate transactions. “Pennsylvanians in need will now be able to get safe housing, which is critical to the public health and stopping the spread of the coronavirus”
The real estate guidance requires businesses and employees to follow all applicable provisions of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public, which includes provisions requiring that every person present at a work site, business location, or property offered for sale, wear masks/face coverings, and provisions requiring the establishment of protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19, official said.
In person activities should be scheduled limited to no more than the real estate professional and two people inside a property at any one time, the guidance says.
Because of our combined efforts, this plan is a safer, more comprehensive and faster alternative to vetoed House Bill 2412 and will help ensure safety and promote confidence for real estate professionals, homeowners and consumers. We achieve solutions when we work together, said State Rep Perry Warren
Meanwhile Bucks lawmakers continue to pressure the Governor to allow retailers to begin curbside pickup services in a letter sent to the state chief executive.
State Senator Steve Santarsiero said he is requesting curbside pickup be allowed noting the success for restaurants and other essential businesses throughput the state. Santarsiero held a late Tuesday afternoon virtual presser discussing the issue further.
Bucks County business owners and residents continue to express mounting frustration with pandemic protocols and the damage being done to the local economy.
The ever growing and influential Facebook group ReOpen Bucks launched a “business owner” version of their effort Tuesday to discuss specific ways of advocating the reopening of the county economy. Business owners have discussed defying shutdown protocols and reopening their businesses.
Allowing our retail businesses to open for curbside pickup would help both owners and employees to get back on their feet,” said Davis and Galloway.