RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Special Meeting/Public Hearing
Minutes

Monday, May 7, 2007
7 PM

APPROVED 

Item 1. Call to Order - Chair Arreguin called the meeting to order at 7:16 pm. Pam Wyche called roll. 

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

Commissioners Absent: Walden 

Staff Present: Kelekian, Kelly, Wyche

Item 2. Approval of the Agenda. M/S/C (Overman/Webster) AT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REQUEST MOVE ITEM 4.b. BEFORE 4.a. IN ORDER TO GIVE A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE BUDGET OVERVIEW FOR THE PUBLIC HEARING PARTICIPANTS. Roll call vote. Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Kavanagh, Overman, Stephens, Webster, Arreguin; No: None; Abstain: none; Absent: Walden. Passed: 8-0-0-1.

Item 3. Public Forum. There were four speakers.

1) Brianna Matsuuka, UC student, concerning college students not always benefiting from rent control when some landlords fear lingering tenancy after graduation;

2) Fred Schoeneman alleging insufficient notice of public hearing, location and unspecific fee and budget information.

3) Anne Whyte, landlord, concerning too short notice of her waiver being heard tonight. M/S/C (Blake/Overman) BOARD TO AMEND THE AGENDA TO TABLE ANNE WHYTE'S WAIVER NUMBER 3467 TO ITS MAY 21 REGULAR MEETING. Voice vote. Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Walden.

4) Pui Kwong Ng, new landlord, concerning receipt of conflicting advice from more than one Rent Board Program Counselor.

Item 4. Public Hearing on the annual registration fee and adoption of the Fiscal Year 2007/2008 Budget. Chair opened Public Hearing at 7:22 p.m

b. Discussion and recommendation of the Fiscal Year 2007/2008 budget overview, staffing model and annual registration fee. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] Executive Director discussed and briefly answered questions on the budget overview and explained the recommendation from the Budget and Personnel Committee.

a. Public testimony on the annual registration fee and 2007/2008 Fiscal Year budget. Seven property owners spoke in opposition of raising the registration fee and of receiving budget information too late to properly review before this hearing: Kathy Snowden, Howard Hickman, Nancy Friedberg, and Sarah Schoeneman from the Berkeley Property Owners Association; Benn Karne, Jonathan Davis, and Lupe Davis, property owners.

Chair closed the Public Hearing at 8:22 p.m.

c. Comments and questions from Board members. Board members discussed budget and fee recommendations from Executive Director and the Budget and Personnel Committee and responded to comments from the public testimony speakers. Executive Director answered Boardmembers questions and elaborated on his budget overview report, Item 4.b.

d. Discussion and adoption of a Resolution setting Fiscal Year 2007/2008 budget guidelines and establishing the annual registration fee.   [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] Executive Director discussed and answered questions regarding the Budget & Personnel Committee recommendation of a maximum operational spending level of $3,525,000 and an annual registration fee of $170 per unit.

M/S/C (Overman/Chong) TO ADOPT RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN, SETTING THE FY 07/08 MAXIMUM OPERATIONAL SPENDING LEVEL TO $3,525,000 AND ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE TO $170 PER UNIT. Roll call vote. Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Kavanagh, Overman, Stephens, Webster, Arreguin; No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: Walden. Passed: 8-0-0-1.

e. Discussion and adoption of a Resolution giving authorization to pass through to certain tenants a portion of year 2007/2008 registration fee as a temporary general adjustment of rent ceilings.  [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] 

M/S/C (Blake/Harrison) TO ADOPT THE RESOLUTION IN THE AGENDA WITH THE FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS BY COMMISSIONER ARREGUIN ON BEHALF OF THE BUDGET AND PERSONNEL COMMITTEE: FIRST AMENDMENT: AFTER THE 6TH WHEREAS WHICH STARTS…since the adoption of statewide vacancy decontrol…ADD THE FOLLOWING WHEREAS CLAUSE: WHEREAS, the Rent Stabilization Board found on May 15, 2006, when it continued to authorize by Resolution 06-03 an increase in the annual registration fee to $154 per unit, that it would be fair and equitable in view of the purposes of the Rent Ordinance to pass along to tenants part of the increase as a temporary adjustment of rent ceilings; and SECOND AMENDMENT: TO CHANGE THE WORDING IN THE TENTH WHEREAS CLAUSE WHICH BEGINS WITH …the Rent Stabilization Board finds that it would be fair…TO READ AS FOLLOWS: WHEREAS, the Rent Stabilization Board finds that it would be fair and equitable in view of the purposes of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance to pass along to certain tenants a portion of the fiscal year 2007 part of the increase above Fiscal Year 2008's registration fee and part of the increase above Fiscal Year 2007's registration fee as a temporary general adjustment of rent ceilings. THIRD AMENDMENT: TO ADD A SECOND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED CLAUSE TO READ AS FOLLOWS: BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the authorization granted to landlords by Resolution 06-04 to impose a $1.00 per month rent increase to pass-through the Fiscal Year 2007 registration fee increase is hereby extended for an additional 12 months. This increase is limited to units whose tenancy commenced on or before January 1, 1999 and shall end no later than December 31, 2008, unless extended by further Board action. The maximum increase shall not result in anything greater than a $2.00 per month pass through. Notice to tenants of any increase shall be on a form provided by the Board or use language approved by the Executive Director. Roll call vote. Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Kavanagh, Stephens, Webster, Arreguin; No: None; Abstain: Overman; Absent: Walden. Passed: 7-0-1-1.

M/S/C (Blake/Overman) BOARD REQUESTS THAT STAFF KEEP A RECORD OF THE UNITS THAT ASSESS THE PASS THROUGH. Roll call vote. Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Kavanagh, Overman, Stephens, Webster, Arreguin, No: None; Abstain: None; Absent: Walden. Passed: 8-0-0-1.

Item 5.a.(1) Proposed draft letter to the Mayor and City Council from the nine Board Commissioners, concerning Fantasy Building and the continued loss of tenant artists.  [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] M/S/C (Overman/Blake) TO TABLE ITEM UNTIL NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF MAY 21, 2007. Voice vote. Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Walden.

Item 5.a.(2) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties.

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3460                 1311 Addison Street 
3470                 2912 Benvenue Avenue 
3472                 2443 10th Street 
3474                 1920 10th Street 
3476                 1510 Bonita Avenue

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address 
3467                 2724 College Avenue 
3471                 1400 Euclid Avenue

M/S/C (Chong/Overman) TO ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON ALL WAIVERS LISTED EXCLUDING NUMBER 3467, WHICH HAS BEEN TABLED UNTIL THE MAY 21ST MEETING. Voice vote. Passed: 8-0-0-1 Absent: Walden.

Item 6. Information and Announcements.

Item 6.a.(1) Spring Newsletter. Attached and self-explanatory. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] 

Item 6.b.(1) Announcements of upcoming Committee Meetings:

(1) Budget and Personnel - TBA 

(2) Outreach - TBA 

(3) Eviction/Section 8 - Monday, May 14 at 6 p.m. 

(4) IRA/AGA and Habitability - No meeting scheduled. 

(5) 4 x 4 Joint Committee on Housing - No meeting scheduled. 

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

(7) Future Special Meetings - No meeting scheduled.

Item 6.c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.

  • Report on rent increases in the Bay Area 
  • Mold and habitability issues 
  • Supplemental information to Measure Y tracking report 
  • Discussion on introduction of new evidence on appeal. 
  • Fantasy Records Building

Item 7. Adjournment M/S/C (Blake/Harrison) Chair Arreguin adjourned at 8:56 p.m.