RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Thursday, February 21, 2008
7 PM

APPROVED

Webcast Video Archive 

1. Roll Call  - Chair Arreguin called the Closed Session to order at 6:40 PM. Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Chong, Harrison, Overman, Stephens, Webster, Arreguin.

Commissioners absent:  Walden

Chair Arreguin called the regular meeting to order at 7:05 PM.

Commissioners present: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Overman, Stephens, Walden (arrived 7:10), Webster, Arreguin.

Commissioners absent:  None

2.   Closed Session - 6:30 p.m.

The Rent Board met in closed session pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(a) to confer with legal counsel regarding the following pending cases:

Fuery v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (Wang, Stevens)
 Superior Court No. RG05199714

Fuery v. City of Berkeley, City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
 Superior Court No. RG05243600

Wahl v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (Smoker)
 Superior Court No. RG 06279232

Patricelli v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (Elkhoraibi)
 Superior Court No. RG 06294109

Moodian v. City of Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board (Singh, Dhillon)
 Superior Court No. RG 07341613

      No action taken.

3.  Approval of Agenda M/S/C (Chong/Webster) APPROVE WITH ONE CHANGE, MOVE  ITEM 4., COMMENTS FROM THE CHAIR AND BOARD MEMBERS, TO THE END.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-0-1 Absent: Walden.

4.  Comments from the Chair and Board members. Moved to the end.

5.  Public Forum - There was one speaker, Charles Bond, representing Panoramic Hill Associates and himself, regarding Waiver No. 3505, address 365/367 Panoramic Way.

6.  Approval of the January 22, 2008 Board Meeting minutes . M/S/C (Stephens/Webster) TO  APPROVE WITH THE FOLLOWING CORRECTIONS: ITEM 7.a. (2) MAY MEETING DATE READS “MONDAY,” MAY 22, CORRECT TO THURSDAY, MAY 22; ITEM 8.a.(1) CHANGES TO ELLIS READS “$4,5000” CORRECT TO $4,500.00.  Voice vote. Passed: 7-0-0-1 Absent: Walden. 

7.  Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m. 

Appeal T-4734 - 2990-A Adeline Street.  M/S/C (Chong/Stephens) TO AFFIRM HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:  (1) REDUCTION FOR LACK OF HEAT SHALL INCREASE FROM 10% TO 20% FOR ALL PERIODS, WITH THE APPROPRIATE CALCULATION AND (2) REMAND TO HEARING EXAMINER, WITHOUT SOLICITING NEW EVIDENCE, TO BASE THE IMPAIRMENT OF USE CAUSED BY THE ROOF DAMAGE WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE CLUTTER AND SPACE ISSUE.  THE REDUCTION SHALL BE BETWEEN 10% AND 20%, INCLUSIVE, AND FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 2004 TO FEBRUARY 2006.  Roll call.  Yes: Blake, Chong, Harrison, Overman, Stephens, Walden, Webster, Arreguin.  Passed: 8-0-0-0.

8.  Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Proposal to authorize the IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee to draft formal comments on the City of Berkeley's draft Climate Action Plan and to communicate the comments to the Climate Action Team prior to the March 7, 2008 closure of the public comment period[PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.]   M/S/C (Blake/Chong) TO DELEGATE THE AUTHORITY TO THE IRA/AGA/HABITABILITY COMMITTEE TO DRAFT THE FINAL LETTER OF THE RENT BOARD’S COMMENTS ON THE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN IN TIME TO SUBMIT IT TO COUNCIL BY THE 7TH OF MARCH.  Voice vote.  Passed: 7-0-1-0 Abstain: Walden.

(2) Discussion and possible action on the selection and appointment of an individual to fill the vacant spot on the Rent Stabilization Board through November 2008.  [PDF file, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.] M/S/C (Blake/Overman) TO ESTABLISH AN AD HOC SEARCH COMMITTEE CONSISTING OF 3 TO 4 COMMISSIONERS TO MEET BEFORE A TWO WEEK DEADLINE DATE OF MARCH 10TH.  THE COMMITTEE SHOULD MEET AT THEIR CHOOSING, SOMETIME ON OR BEFORE MARCH 10TH TO DISCUSS A SEARCH PROCESS.  THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR IS FREE TO SEND OUT A PRESS RELEASE AND BOARDMEMBERS SHOULD ALSO SPREAD THE WORD WITH NO CONSTRAINTS ON THE COMMITTEE.  THE COMMITTEE WILL SORT THROUGH THE APPLICANTS INFORMATION TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY AND PRESENT IT TO THE BOARD IN A FASHION THEY FEEL IS MOST APPROPRIATE BY THE MARCH 17TH REGULAR BOARD MEETING.  Voice vote.  Passed: 8-0-0-0.

(3) Proposal to approve staff recommendation on the following requests for waiver of late registration penalties. (Executive Director)

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.     Property Address
3540                1836 Francisco Street
3543                1103 Hopkins Street  
3544                2514 Dana Street
3547                1535 Julia Street
3552                1552 Alcatraz Avenue

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.     Property Address  
3505                365/367 Panoramic Way
3507                1337 Ashby Avenue
3527                2902 Ellsworth Street
3539                2932 Adeline Street
3542               1739 Addison Street
3549               1600 Tyler Street
3551               3380 Adeline Street
3555               1604-B Derby Street

Waiver number 3555 pulled by Commissioner Chong and number 3505 was pulled by Commissioner Stephens.

M/S/C (Stephens/Overman) STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS APPROVED ON ALL WAIVERS LISTED EXCEPT NUMBERS 3555 AND 3505. Voice vote. Passed: 8-0-0-0.

M/S (Chong/Stephens) TO WAIVE ALL BUT $600 ON WAIVER NUMBER 3555. 

Substitute Motion (Blake/Harrison) TO APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3555 TO WAIVE 55%.  Roll call vote.  Yes: Blake, Harrison, Overman, Webster, Arreguin; No: Chong, Stephens, Walden; Abstain: None; Absent: None.  Passed: 5-3-0-0.

M/S/C (Chong/Harrison) TO MOVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBER 3505.  Voice vote.  Passed: 6-2-0-0.

9.  Information and Announcements

a. Reports and announcements from Board Members/Staff.
  
(1) February 11, 2008 communication from Commissioner Chris Kavanagh concerning his resignation from the Rent Stabilization Board.  Self-explanatory item.

(2) Committee appointments for 2008.  Chair Arreguin said that he wants to wait to make the final committee appointments until after the new board member is appointed to allow that person time to express his or her interest.  He said that he had developed a preliminary list based on the board members preferences and will ask the Executive Director to send it to the commissioners and if they have any concerns or comments, that they are to contact the Chair.    

(3) Update on proposed change to Condominium Ordinance.  Chair Arreguin said that when the council held its workshop in December, he presented the Board’s recommendations regarding the proposed staff changes to the ordinance.  Since the council will be discussing this and taking public testimony regarding this issue, he asked that the Board authorize him to represent the Board and, if necessary, speak on behalf of the board reaffirming the Board’s previous recommendations. 

M/S/C (Webster/Harrison) TO AUTHORIZE CHAIR ARREGUIN TO SPEAK ON THE BOARD’S BEHALF REGARDING CHANGES TO THE CONDOMINIUM ORDINANCE AND TO SUBMIT THE BOARD’S PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL.  Voice vote. 8-0-0-0.

(4) Update on resolving possible conflict in the interpretation of the Rent Control Ordinance by the Zoning Adjustment Board vs. the Rent Stabilization Board and staff.  The Executive Director informed the Board that he has been in communication with Zoning staff and the City Attorney regarding issues raised at the last Board meeting, concerning possible conflicts in how the Rent Ordinance is being interpreted and applied by Zoning.  He said that some issues have been resolved while others still need further discussion.  He will continue communication with both departments and report back to the Board with the results.  Chair Arreguin said that the Board should consider additional ways to address these issues and that the Executive Director’s previous recommendation of a joint committee of the Zoning Board and the Rent Board is an interesting possibility.

4. Comments from the Chair and Board members.     None.

b.   Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings .

(1) Budget and Personnel  - Committee Chair Overman said the committee has moved forward on the Executive Director’s evaluation and will be bringing to the full board at the next regular meeting a process for the Board’s approval.  Generally, he said, each board member will complete a questionnaire of about 29 questions, evaluating different aspects of the director’s performance.  Each board member will answer this questionnaire based upon personal feelings, personal observations and will have available for review the “360” evaluations completed within the last year by several Rent Board employees as well as feedback expected from employees who are represented by SEIU Local 1021.

(2)  Outreach – Will be scheduled off line.

(3) IRA/AGA/Habitability – Next meeting Monday, February 25th at 4 PM. 

(4) Eviction/Section 8 – No meeting scheduled.

(5) Ad Hoc Committee on Condominium Conversion Ordinance – No meeting scheduled.

(6) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee – No meeting scheduled.

(7) Ad Hoc Committee of Soft Story – No meeting scheduled.

(8) Future Special Meetings – None at this time.

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.
          
10. Adjournment M/S/C (Stephens/Harrison) Chair Arreguin adjourned at 9:16 p.m.