Friday, September 25, 2020
HRACRE REQUEST TO AMEND THE REGULATION
Virginia Department of Labor and Industry
600 East Main Street, Suite 207
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s (“DOLI”) recommended regulations adopting a Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19, 16 VAC 25-220 (the “Regulation”). This comment letter is provided on behalf of the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate (“HRACRE”).
As the primary representative for the commercial real estate industry in the Hampton Roads area, HRACRE has 458 members who will be directly impacted by any unintended consequences from extensions of COVID-19 regulations. As is expected of the commercial real estate industry, safety is a top priority, and HRACRE continues to support legislation and regulations that protect individuals from this deadly pandemic. An overly broad approach to infection mitigation, however, will inflict unnecessary damage on an already burdened industry.
HRACRE strongly advises the board that it is unreasonable to apply the Regulation for an open-ended time frame. The current Regulation proposes that COVID-19 safety regulations would last without any official termination date or date for reevaluation. This type of open-ended regulation would unnecessarily burden the commercial real estate industry. Further, the lack of a termination date requires DOLI to engage in this same laborious rule making process to end the regulations once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. A simple amendment causing the Regulation to sunset with the Governor’s State of Emergency Declarations would achieve several goals: 1) give the commercial real estate industry clarity and security on which to plan operations, and 2) provide the government with a self-imposed duty to reevaluate the need for the Regulation.
Therefore, HRACRE recommends that the board amend the Regulation to terminate simultaneously with the expiration of the Governor's State of Emergency Declarations.
Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate (HRACRE)
291 Independence Boulevard, Suite 223
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462