RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Thursday, February 15, 2007
7 PM

Webcast Video Archive 

APPROVED 

Item 1. Call to Order - Chair Arreguin called Closed Session to order at 6:39 p.m. Pam Wyche called roll. 

Commissioners Present: Arreguin, Blake, Chong, Harrison, Overman, Stephens, Webster, Walden

Commissioners Absent: Kavanagh 

Call to Order - Chair Arreguin called the regular meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. 

Commissioners Present: All Boardmembers present. 

Staff Present: Kelekian, Tine, Wyche

Item 2. Closed Session - 6:30 p.m.

Chair Arreguin announced that the Board met in Closed Session pursuant to a Subdivision (a) of Section 54956.9 of the Government Code to confer with legal counsel regarding pending litigation. The cases discussed were listed in the public meeting agenda.

NO ACTION TAKEN.

Item 3. Approval of the Agenda. The Executive Director requested Waivers 3410, 3412 and 3420 to be continued to the next meeting due to information received which could change staff's recommendation. Chair Arreguin informed the Board that the Spruce Street appeal is continued to the March meeting at the request of both parties. M/S/C (Chong/Harrison) TO APPROVE AGENDA AS AMENDED, REMOVING WAIVERS 3410, 3412 AND 3420 AND APPEAL T-4755/C254 - 1455 SPRUCE STREET, #1. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 4. Public Forum. Mei-oy Gee spoke in response to Agenda Item 9.a.(2), the staff report on how the rate of interest on security deposits that must be refunded to tenants is calculated.

Item 5. Minutes of January 18, 2007 regular meeting minutes. M/S/C (Stephens/Webster) APPROVED AS WRITTEN. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 6. Report given by Housing Director Steve Barton on the current status of Section 8. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.]

Item 7. a. Appeal T-4733/RWN-1438 - 1929 Ashby Avenue. (Continued from December 18, 2006 and January 18, 2007 meetings).

Substitute motion: M/S/F (Chong/Overman) ALL ASPECTS OF COMMISSIONER STEPHENS MAIN MOTION WITH THE FOLLOWING ADDITION: THAT THE BOARD DIRECTS THE HEARING EXAMINER TO ACCEPT THE HOUSING INSPECTION REPORT AS PART OF THE EVIDENCE AND TO ALLOW BOTH PARTIES TO FILE A BRIEF RESPONSE PURSUANT TO A FINDING BY THE RENT BOARD. Friendly amendment was made by Webster and accepted. THE BASIS OF CONSIDERING THIS NEW INFORMATION IS THAT IT IS A CITY DOCUMENT. Roll call vote. Yes: Chong, Kavanagh, Overman; No: Arreguin, Blake, Harrison, Stephens, Webster; Abstain: Walden; Absent: None. Motion failed. 3-5-1-0.

Main motion: M/S/C (Stephens/Blake) THE BOARD FINDS THE HEARING EXAMINER'S DECISION TO PLACE GREAT WEIGHT ON THE DETERMINATION THAT "THE PETITIONER FAILED TO PROVIDE THE LANDLORD WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT THE ALLEGED ELECTRICAL WIRING, MOLD AND HEATER PROBLEMS" AND THAT, AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE OWNER DID NOT HAVE A CONTINUING OBLIGATION TO INSPECT THE UNIT AND REPAIR ANY PROBLEMS THAT ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE EXISTED AT THE TIME. THESE ARE DETERMINATIONS THE BOARD WILL NOT MAKE IN THIS CASE.

THE BOARD REMANDS THE ISSUE OF THE ALLEGED ELECTRICAL WIRING, MOLD, AND HEATER PROBLEMS BACK TO THE HEARING EXAMINER TO MAKE A DETERMINATION, BASED UPON THE RECORD, IF THE TENANT PRESENTED SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AT THE HEARING OF IMPAIRMENT, AND IF SO, WHAT IF ANYTHING IS PROPER COMPENSATION.

Friendly amendment made by Chong and accepted. FAULTY WIRING, IF DETERMINABLE, WOULD CONSTITUTE IMPAIRMENT OF SUBSTANTIAL BARE LIVING REQUIREMENTS. Roll call vote. Yes: Arreguin, Blake, Harrison, Kavanagh, Stephens, Webster; No: Chong, Overman; Abstain: Walden; Absent: none. Passed: 6-2-1-0.

Item 7.b. Appeal T-4755/C-254 - 1455 Spruce Street, #1. (Continued to March meeting.)

Item 8.a.(1) Recommendation to City Council concerning the Condominium conversion Ordinance. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] M/S/C (Overman/Chong) MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 8.a.(2) Recommendation to modify the Board's rules to allow the Chair to vote last, rather than in alphabetical order. M/S/C (Blake/Overman) MOVE RECOMMENDATION. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 8.a.(3) Proposal to defer to the IRA/AGA /Habitability Committee the issue of standards for determining if space outside a property can be considered part of a lease. M/S/C (Blake/Stephens) MOVE PROPOSAL TO DEFER ISSUE TO THE IRA/AGA/HABITABILITY COMMITTEE. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 8.a.(4) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties.

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3409                 1151 Oxford Street 
3414                 2301 Oak Street 
3418                 1510 Spruce Street 
3419                 1834 Carleton Street 
3421                 3120 Ellis Street 
3423                 1412 Acton Street 
3424                 1602 Ashby Avenue 
3427                 2401 Hillside Avenue 
3430                 2419 Prospect Avenue 
3431                 2107 Hearst Avenue 
3433                 2401 10th Street 
3434                 1528 University Avenue 
3436                 1329 66th Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3402                 2525 Regent Street 
3408                 1910 Berkeley Way 
3410                 1919 Curtis Street 
3412                 1917 6th Street 
3420                 1701 Allston Way 
3422                 1401 Prince Street 
3428                 2339 Ellsworth Street 
3429                 1705 62nd Street 
3432                 2109 Shattuck Avenue 
3438                 1613 6th Street 
3442                 2430 Bancroft Way 
3443                 1770 La Loma Avenue

Chair reminded Board that the Executive Director pulled Waivers 3410, 3412, and 3420 to be continued to the March meeting. Commissioner Chong requested Waivers 3422 and 3442 pulled for discussion.

M/S/C (Overman/Blake) TO APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON ALL WAIVERS LISTED EXCEPT 3410, 3412, 3420, 3422, AND 3442. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

M/S/C (Chong/Overman) IN REFERENCE TO WAIVER 3422, ALLOW OWNER EITHER OF TWO OPTIONS: TO WAIVE 25% AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF, OR WAIVE 50% WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT NO FURTHER WAIVERS WILL BE ALLOWED OVER THE NEXT THREE YEAR PERIOD. Friendly amendment by Arreguin to encourage the landlord to find someone else to manage his or her affairs. Chong amended his motion to REQUEST THAT STAFF ALSO INFORM THE OWNER THAT THE BOARD STRONGLY RECOMMENDS THAT HE OR SHE FIND A PERSON TO HELP MANAGE HIS OR HER AFFAIRS. Roll call vote. Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Kavanagh, Overman, Stephens, Walden, Webster, Arreguin. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Prior to making a motion on Waiver 3442, Commissioner Chong asked staff to consider allowing property owners who have difficulty managing their accounts the opportunity to designate a secondary notice person and to allow early prepayment for those who have difficulty paying.

M/S/C (Chong/Overman) TO MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3442. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 9.a.(1) Committee appointments for 2007. Memorandum from Chair to Boardmembers listing committee appointments attached to agenda and self-explanatory. Commissioner Stephens suggested that alternates be allowed. Chair agreed and asked that Boardmembers contact him if interested in becoming an alternate on a committee they are not already assigned.

Item 9.a.(2) Staff report on how the rate of interest on security deposits that must be refunded to tenants is calculated [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] No questions from Board and self-explanatory.

Item 9.a.(3) Copies of letters from Staff Attorney Brian Kelly to tenant Judith Proctor in response to her letters of February 1 and January 18 concerning Regulation 1267. Self-explanatory.

Item 9.a.(4) Memorandum from City Clerk's office reminding Boardmembers that the 2006 Statement of Economic Interest Forms 700 are due April 2, 2007. Self-explanatory.

Item 9.a.(5) Copy of February 5, 2007 article in USA Today titled "Renters will dig deeper in 2007." Self-explanatory.

Item 9.b.Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1) Budget and Personnel - TBA (To be announced.) 

(2) Outreach - TBA 

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability - TBA 

(4) Eviction/Section 8 - TBA 

(5) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee - No meeting scheduled. 

(6) Ad Hoc Committee on Soft Story Ordinance - No meeting scheduled. 

(7) Future Special Meetings - No meeting scheduled.

Item 9.c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda. Commissioner Kavanagh expressed his gratitude for the Staff Report on the rate of interest on security deposits and asked that the issue begin at Committee and placed on the next IRA/AGA agenda.

Item 10. Adjournment M/S/C (Chong/Harrison) Chair Arreguin adjourned at 9:29 p.m.