RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, April 25, 2011

7 PM

APPROVED

Video Archive
(3hrs, 31mins)


Many of the links below lead to PDF files that require Adobe Acrobat Reader to be installed on your PC.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your PC download Acrobat Reader for free.   GetAdobeLogo  

If you are unable to access this information online, please participate by contacting us via e-mail at rent@ci.berkeley.ca.us, telephone (510) 981-7368 (981-RENT), or TDD (510) 981-6903. 


1. Roll call - Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:11 p.m.  Aimee Mueller called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Tregub, Townley, Webster (arrived 8:12), Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Drake
Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Mueller

2. Approval of Agenda  M/S/C  (Tregub/Harr) APPROVE AGENDA.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-0-2. Absent:  Drake, Webster. 

3. Public Forum  There were two speakers:  David Keenan spoke about RTS (Rent Tracking System), and Eric Kawakami spoke about tenant screening fees.

4. Approval of March 21, 2011 Regular Meeting Minutes M/S/C  (Harr/Townley)  APPROVE MINUTES AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Passed:  7-0-0-2.  Absent:  Drake, Webster.   

 5.   Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m.

Appeal IRD-33  (2412 Atherton Street, Unit 4) 
Parties present:  John Hanley (Appellant) and Sonia McNally (Respondent)

M/S/C (Blake/Tregub) AFFIRM THE HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Stephens;  NO: Dodsworth;  ABSTAIN: Harr, Webster;  ABSENT: Drake.  Passed:  5-1-2-1. 


Chair Stephens then moved Information Item 7.c. up on the agenda with no objections.

7.c.   Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda  Commissioner Blake asked that the issue of the five-person limit for rooming houses, as currently specified in Rent Board Regulation 403(C)(3), be referred to the IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee for discussion, and that efforts be made to ensure that any resultant recommendation consider the Zoning Ordinance definition for this type of rental unit. 

6.   Action Items

a.   From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Discussion and possible action on proposed ordinance concerning tenant screening fees, which will be considered by the City Council on April 26, 2011  After a presentation by Councilmember Arreguin regarding the purpose of this proposed ordinance and the recently-amended language, the Board took the following action

M/S/C  (Townley/Dodsworth)  ENDORSE THE PROPOSED TENANT SCREENING FEES ORDINANCE AND AUTHORIZE STAFF TO CREATE A RENT BOARD WEB PAGE WHERE THE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE SCREENING FEE AND RELATED INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED AND UPDATED EACH YEAR.  Friendly Amendment by Blake:  AMEND THE PROPOSED ORDINANCE LANGUAGE TO STATE THAT THE LANDLORD MUST LIST THE WEB PAGE ADDRESS
(TO BE SPECIFIED IN THE FINAL VERSION OF THE ORDINANCE) ON ANY CORRESPONDENCE TO THE TENANT REGARDING SCREENING FEES.
Voice vote.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.  Absent:  Drake.

(2) Second reading of proposed amendments to Regulation 702 [Payment of Interest on Security Deposits]  M/S/C  (Shelton/Webster)  APPROVE ON SECOND READING THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO REGULATION 702.  Roll call vote. YES:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; NO: None;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Drake.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.

(3) Discussion and possible action regarding the Affordable Housing Fee and possible recommendations to the City Council  After Deputy Director Stephen Barton presented his report and answered questions from Commissioners about the proposed recommendations, the Board took the following action:

M/S/C (Tregub/Harr)  FORWARD LETTER AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR BARTON’S BACKGROUND REPORT TO THE HOUSING ADVISORY COMMISSION AND THE CITY COUNCIL WITH THE RENT BOARD’S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FEE, INCLUDING:
• ITEMS 10.A., 10.B., 10.C. AND ITEM 11.A. ON PAGE TEN OF THE BACKGROUND REPORT, WITH ITEM 10.B. AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:  “THE INITIAL FEE SHOULD BE SET AT AT LEAST $28,000 PER UNIT AND ADJUSTED ANNUALLY USING THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CONSTRUCTION COST INDEX.”
• AND THAT “COUNCIL SHOULD MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ENSURE THAT ANY PLAN STRONGLY FAVOR PROVIDING HOUSING FOR PEOPLE AT 30% OR BELOW OF AREA MEDIAN INCOME.” 

(4) Discussion and possible action regarding conveying to City Council the Rent Board’s concerns about proposed changes in the structure of Berkeley’s recycling and composting programs  Commissioner Townley gave an overview of the Safe and Sustainable Housing Committee’s work on this issue, and distributed a draft letter for Council that he and Commissioner Blake composed.  After discussion, the Board took the following action:

M/S/C  (Townley/Shelton) SEND THE PROPOSED  LETTER TO COUNCIL CONVEYING THE RENT BOARD’S  CONCERNS ABOUT PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE CITY’S RECYCLING AND COMPOSTING PROGRAMS, WITH THE ADDITION OF THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES:  “FINALLY, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WASTE COLLECTION IN MULTI-UNIT RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS WHICH ARE CURRENTLY CLASSIFIED AS COMMERCIAL.  THEREFORE, WE WOULD URGE COUNCIL TO DESIGNATE THE CITY OF BERKELEY AS THE SOLE PROVIDER OF WASTE COLLECTION FOR COMMERCIAL/LARGE APARTMENT BUILDINGS.”  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Webster, Stephens;  NO: None;  ABSTAIN: Tregub;  ABSENT: Drake.  Passed:  7-0-1-1.

(5) Update on pending legislation and recommendation to endorse SB 426 declaring dog-fighting and cockfighting as a nuisance subjecting the tenant to eviction, and AB 818 requiring availability of recycling in multi-family dwellings of five or more units, and instruct our Legislative Advocate to assist in the passage of these bills 

M/S/C  (Stephens/Townley)  ENDORSE SB 426 AND AB 818 AND INSTRUCT OUR LEGISLATIVE ADVOCATE TO ASSIST IN THE PASSAGE OF THESE BILLS.
Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;
NO: None;  ABSTAIN: Dodsworth;  ABSENT: Drake.  Passed: 7-0-1-1.

At this point, the Board moved to adjourn the meeting and postpone the discussion of Item 6.a.(6)
to the May 16th meeting.  None of the following items were discussed.

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

Ministerial Waivers
Waiver No.   Property Address
3938              3114 Ellis Street
3946              3135/3137 Mabel Street
3950              1744 Addison Street 
3952              2838 McGee Street
3961              2326—10th Street
3964              1252 Spruce Street
3972              1316 Cedar Street
3973              2150/2152 North Valley Street
3974              1106 Oxford Street
3976              1601/1603 Alcatraz Avenue / 3241 California Street
3979              1706 Fairview Street
3983              2047 Ashby Avenue / 2990-2992 Newbury Street

Discretionary Waivers
Waiver No.   Property Address
3879              1939 Francisco Street
3886              1337 Henry Street
3939              1500 Josephine Street
3943              2634-2636 Benvenue Avenue
3944              2632 Benvenue Avenue
3948              2976 Otis Street
3966              2334 Bonar Street
3968              1639—63rd Street
3971              1301 Poe Street
3978              1810 Berryman Street 
3980              2226 Channing Way
3985              1625—8th Street

7.   Information and Announcements

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff
            
(1) Update on completing the RTS upgrade project (Executive Director)

(2) Update on recent staffing changes and pending recruitments  (Executive Director) 

(3) Update on the status of proposed changes to the Relocation Ordinance  (Executive Director and Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure Committee members)

(4) Recent presentations/trainings before Berkeley Association of Realtors and Fannie Mae on Foreclosures and Berkeley’s Rent Ordinance  (Executive Director)

(5) Rent Board Tenants’ Week Outreach folder (Executive Director)

(6) March 25, 2011 e-mail from Dorian Taylor expressing his appreciation for the Rent Board’s research on condominium conversion limits  (Commissioner Tregub)

(7) March 29, 2011 article from The Daily Californian Online titled, “City Deliberates Its Options for New Affordable Housing Units”  (Deputy Director)

(8) March 2011 article from The San Francisco Examiner titled, “CitiApartments Owner Must Pay Big or Leave San Francisco Business”  (Commissioner Harr)

b.   Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1) Budget and Personnel

a.  February 23, 2011 minutes 

b.  March 28, 2011 agenda

(2) Outreach 

a.  January 28, 2011 minutes 

b.  April 1, 2011 agenda 

(3)   IRA/AGA and Habitability

a.  March 3, 2011 minutes

b.  March 23, 2011 agenda  

(4)  Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure

a.  March 18, 2011 minutes

b.  April 15, 2011 agenda

(5)  Safe & Sustainable Housing

a.  April 13, 2011 agenda

(6)  4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

(7)  Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process

(8)  Future Special Meetings

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda  This item was moved up on the agenda and heard prior to Action Items.

8.   Adjournment  M/S (Townley/Tregub) Meeting was adjourned at 10:42 p.m.