RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, September 18, 2006

7 PM

Webcast Video Archive 

APPROVED

Item 1. Call to Order - Chair Chong called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. Pam Wyche called roll. Commissioners Present: Arreguin, Chong, Evans, Harrison, Kavanagh, Walden. (Overman, Payne, and Spector all arrived just after roll was called.)

Commissioners Absent: None 

Staff Present: Kelly, Kelekian, Wyche

Item 2. Approval of the Agenda. M/S/C (Kavanagh/Harrison) APPROVE AS WRITTEN. Friendly amendment made by Commissioner Arreguin and accepted, to move information item 7.a.(3) to an action item. Voice vote. Passed: 8-0-1-0. Abstain: Spector.

Item 3. Public Forum. There were two speakers: (1) Venkat Yaramala, representing Balaji Equity Management, discussing Waiver Number W-3373 and why payment was late; and (2) Marc Janowitz, representing East Bay Community Law Center, discussing the need for eviction defense services and remarks in opposition to Measure I.

Item 4. Approval of the July 17, 2006 regular meeting minutes. M/S/C (Harrison/Spector) APPROVED AS WRITTEN. Voice vote. Passed: 8-0-1-0. Abstain: Chong.

Chair Chong, with the Board's permission, moved to Item 6.a.(1) Waivers, to specifically look at Waiver No. 3373 in light of the requester of the waiver speaking at public forum.

M/S/C (Chong/Kavanagh) TO TABLE WAIVER NO. 3373 UNTIL THE OCTOBER MEETING AND REQUEST THAT THE REQUESTER OF THE WAIVER SUBMIT A MORE COMPLETE EXPLANATION OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE LATE PAYMENT, SPECIFICALLY, RECEIVING AND BEING NOTIFIED OF THE BILL. Voice vote. Passed 9-0-0-0.

Item 5.a. Appeal D-19 - 1810 Euclid Avenue, #19. M/S/C (Arreguin/Overman) TO AFFIRM HEARING EXAMINER'S DECISION. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 5.b. Appeal T-4731 - 1816 Parker Street. M/S/C (Harrison/Payne) TO AFFIRM HEARING EXAMINER'S DECISION. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item No. 6.a.(1) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties.

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address 
3365                 2206 MLK Jr. Way 
3372                 3217 Adeline Street 
3375                 1814 Sacramento Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3368                 2220 Haste Street 
3370                 1640 Julia Street 
3373                 2740 College Avenue 
3374                 1520 Woolsey Street 
3376                 2009-2013 Vine Street 
3377                 2123 - 9th Street 
3378                 1940/1942 Francisco Street 
3379                 1901/1905 Parker St./2543 MLK Jr. Way 
3380                 2455 Prospect Street 
3381                 2412 Piedmont Avenue

M/S/C (Payne/Harrison) TO ACCEPT STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS ON ALL WAIVERS LISTED EXCLUDING NUMBER 3373. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

Item 7.a.(3) Report and possible action on resolution endorsing California Proposition 1C, the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006. (Moved from the Information Calendar to Action Calendar so the Board may consider a similar resolution endorsing Proposition 1C.) M/S/C (Arreguin/Walden) MOVE TO THE OCTOBER MEETING SO THE BOARD CAN RECEIVE A FULL COPY OF THE RESOLUTION. Voice vote. Passed: 9-0-0-0.

7.a. Information and Announcements

Item 7.a.(1) Council item on establishing a policy governing reimbursement of expenses by City boards and commissions as required under AB1234. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] Executive Director explained that Resolution 63413 was formally adopted at the last Council meeting before Council recessed.

Item 7.a. (2) Council item from Councilmembers Anderson and Worthington prohibiting the conversion of rental units to condominiums for five years for specific terminations of tenancy and requiring notice to tenants regarding their rights before a request for allocation is filed with the City. [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] Executive Director explained that this was adopted by Council prior to recessing and became effective August 24.

Item 7.a. (4) Market Median Report from January 1999 through 2006. Report included in agenda packet and self-explanatory.

Item 7.a.(5) Tenants Rights Week. Executive Director announced it would take place either the week of October 16 or October 23.

Item 7.a.(6) Update on statewide legislation. Executive Director gave a brief update and noted that AB1169, the 60-day notice bill, and SB 540, which prohibits tenants from posting campaign signs, have passed the Legislature and are sitting on the Governor's desk for signature.

Item 7.a.(7) Recommendation to the Housing Advisory Commission to modify the Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee of the Condominium Conversion Ordinance. Commissioner Arreguin said that the Housing Advisory Commission (HAC) voted to recommend that Council support the staff proposal, which was supported by the Rent Board, to establish the sliding scale.

Item 7.a.(8) Analysis and ballot arguments for Measure E, Rent Stabilization Board Vacancy and Measure I, Condominium Conversion Ordinance Amendment. Documents included in agenda packet and self-explanatory.

Item 7.a.(9) Solano Stroll participation on September 10, and How Berkeley Can You Be this weekend. Executive Director gave a brief summary on staff's participation.

Item 7.a.(10) Changes to PIU lobby counter. Executive Director explained there could be some interruption in service in the Public Information Unit this Wednesday afternoon, when the front counter will be upgraded to make it more accessible for disabled clients and more counselor friendly. The new counter will include a lower counter and a private area to sit when speaking with a counselor.

Item 7.b. Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings. 

(1) Budget and Personnel - Next meeting: Monday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 2134 MLK prior to the October regular Board meeting. 

(2) Outreach - TBA (To be announced.) 

(3) IRA/AGA - No meeting scheduled. 

(4) Eviction - No meeting scheduled. 

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

(6) Ad Hoc Committee on Condominium Conversion Ordinance - No meeting scheduled. 

(7) Future Special Meeting - No meeting scheduled.

Item 7.c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda. Chair Chong suggested a presentation by staff regarding the issue of mold. Commissioner Walden would like to hear from Berkeley artists being forced out of their rentals.

Item 8. Adjournment M/S/C (Payne/Harrison) Chair Chong adjourned at 8:31 p.m.