Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, October 17, 2011

7 PM

UNAPPROVED

Video Archive
(3 hrs, 49 mins)


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1. Roll call – Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m.  Aimee Mueller called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake, Dodsworth, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens 
Commissioners absent:  None
Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Law, Mueller

2. Approval of Agenda   M/S/C  (Townley/Webster)  APPROVE AGENDA.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: None;   ABSTAIN/ABSENT: None.  Passed:  9-0-0-0.  

3. Public Forum  There were four speakers:  Paul Barker regarding his landlord; Eric Kawakami regarding Commissioner Drake; Reverend Bill Ng of Berkeley Presbyterian Mission Homes regarding the waiver for 2918 Regent Street (he spoke just prior to Item 6.a.(7)); and staff member Moni Law regarding introduction of U.C. Berkeley interns Harley Frank and Daniel Huang.

4. Approval of the September 19, 2011 Regular Meeting Minutes   M/S/C  (Townley/Tregub)   Approve minutes as written.  Roll call vote.   YES:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley,  Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: None;  ABSTAIN: Drake;  ABSENT: None.  Passed:  8-0-1-0. 
 
5. Special Presentation by East Bay Community Law Center Attorneys Marc Janowitz and Brendan Darrow:  The Problems of Foreclosures and Displacement of Tenants

Mr. Janowitz and Mr. Darrow distributed a report titled “Can Banks Make Cents by Making Sense?” and a handout titled “Tenants’ Rights after Foreclosure” and answered questions from the Board following their presentation on the multi-faceted issue of foreclosures and tenant displacement.

6. Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1)  Discussion and confirmation of the November 2011 Rent Stabilization Board meeting date  (Chair Stephens)

CHAIR STEPHENS CONFIRMED THAT THE NEXT MEETING OF THE RENT STABILIZATION BOARD WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2011.

(2)  Recommendation to adopt Regulation 1134 – the Annual General Adjustment (AGA) for 2012  (Executive Director and IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee)

a. Staff report and proposed regulation

b. Legal opinion on Board’s ability to deny the AGA for Soft Story Ordinance non-compliance 

After discussion, the Board took the following action pertaining to Item 6.a.(2)a. only:

M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  APPROVE RESOLUTION TO ADOPT REGULATION 1134 – THE ANNUAL GENERAL ADJUSTMENT (AGA) FOR 2012.  Roll call vote.
YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: None;  ABSTAIN/ABSENT: None.  Passed:  9-0-0-0.
 
The Board also agreed to forward the Legal opinion on the Board’s ability to deny the AGA for Soft Story Ordinance non-compliance (Item 6.a.(2)b.) to the 4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee for review.

(3)  First reading of proposed Regulation 403.5 [Rooming House definition]   (Executive Director and IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee)

M/S/C (Tregub/Townley)  APPROVE PROPOSED REGULATION 403.5 AS WRITTEN.  FRIENDLY AMENDMENT BY BLAKE TO AMEND THE PROPOSED LANGUAGE IN THE ROOMING HOUSE DEFINITION SECTION OF PROPOSED REGULATION 403.5 AS FOLLOWS:  REMOVE THE WORD “WITH” FROM THE FIRST SENTENCE AND ADD THE WORDS “WHICH PROPERTY CONTAINS” SO THAT THE FIRST SENTENCE OF SECTION (B) READS:  “For purposes of this subchapter, a rooming house shall consist of a rental unit on a property which property contains at least five rooms rented individually to at least five tenants under separate rental agreements.”  Roll call vote. 
YES:  Blake, Drake, Harr, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Dodsworth;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Shelton (stepped out).  Passed:  7-1-0-1. 

Chair Stephens then moved to hear Action Item 6.a.(7) – Waivers out of order and allowed a member of the public who had been waiting to speak about his waiver to address the Board.

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
4047                 1423 Walnut Street, Unit #5
4058                 1527 Lincoln Street  
4059                 2803 Hillegass Avenue
4074                 1900 Woolsey Street

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
4030                 2910 Regent Street
4032                 1325 Sacramento Street
4033                 2169 Acton Street
4036                 1912 Woolsey Street
4041                 2622 Regent Street
4050                 2933 Stanton Street

Commissioner Harr pulled Waiver No. 4050 for discussion.

M/S/C  (Drake/Townley)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ALL MINISTERIAL WAIVERS AND FOR DISCRETIONARY WAIVER NOS. 4030, 4032, 4033, 4036 AND 4041; and to hold over Waiver No. 4050 to refer to staff for additional information. Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Dodsworth, Drake, Harr, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens; NO: None;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Shelton (stepped out).  Passed:  8-0-0-1. 

(4) First reading of proposed revisions to Regulation 883(H) [Waiver of Penalties and Interest on Delinquent Registration Fees]  (Executive Director and Ad Hoc Committee on Waivers)

M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  APPROVE THE PROPOSED REVISIONS TO REGULATION 883(H) USING THE LANGUAGE PROPOSED BY COMMISSIONER DODSWORTH THAT WOULD AMEND THE FIRST SENTENCE OF SECTION (H) OF THE REGULATION TO READ AS FOLLOWS:  “The late payment of a fee due on July 1st is made, without deliberate delay, by August 30th of the same year (within 60 days of the July 1st due date), and all other balances due are paid within that time.”  Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Drake;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Shelton (stepped out).  Passed:  7-1-0-1. 

(5)  Recommendation to adopt a resolution confirming the Board’s policy to sue prior property owners for fees and penalties if the fees and penalties were accrued while the prior property owner was responsible for paying them  (Executive Director)

M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  ADOPT RESOLUTION AS WRITTEN.  Roll call vote. 
YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Drake, Townley;   ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: None.  Passed:  7-2-0-0.

(6)  Discussion and possible action regarding revisions to Rent Stabilization Board member compensation, publication of Board member attendance records, and staff report regarding Abandonment of Office  (Chair Stephens and Commissioners Harr and Townley)
  
 M/S/C  (Tregub/Shelton)  THAT THE PROPOSED RESOLUTION PERTAINING TO     COMMISSIONERS’ STIPEND AND ATTENDANCE RECORDS BE DISCUSSED FIRST.   Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster; 
 NO: Drake;  ABSTAIN: Stephens;  ABSENT: None.  Passed:  7-1-1-0.


M/S/C  (Blake/Harr)  DIRECT STAFF TO PUBLISH COMMISSIONERS’ ATTENDANCE   RECORDS FOR ALL BOARD MEETINGS (REGULAR, SPECIAL AND COMMITTEE)   FROM DECEMBER 2010 TO THE PRESENT AS SOON AS IS REASONABLY    POSSIBLE AND POST THEM TO THE RENT BOARD WEB SITE AND INCLUDE    THEM IN THE AGENDA PACKAGE FOR THE NOVEMBER 2011 MONTHLY    MEETING; AND DIRECT STAFF TO PUBLISH QUARTERLY EACH COMMISSIONER’S ATTENDANCE RECORDS FOR ALL BOARD MEETINGS    (REGULAR, SPECIAL, AND COMMITTEE) AND POST THEM TO THE RENT BOARD   WEB SITE ON THE FOLLOWING  SCHEDULE:
• December, January, and February attendance records to be published in March,
• March, April, and May attendance records to be published in June,
• June, July, and August attendance records to be published in September,
• September, October, and November attendance records to be published in December
 
Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster,  Stephens;  NO: Drake;  ABSTAIN/ABSENT: None.  Passed:  8-1-0-0. 

M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  CREATE AN AD HOC COMMITTEE ON BOARD  COMPENSATION TO BE COMPRISED OF COMMISSIONERS DRAKE, HARR,  TOWNLEY AND STEPHENS TO DISCUSS THE ISSUES OF COMMISSIONERS’ STIPENDS AND RULES REGARDING COMMISSIONER ATTENDANCE AND MAKE  A RECOMMENDATION TO THE FULL BOARD.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth,  Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: None;  ABSTAIN: None;   ABSENT: None.  Passed:  9-0-0-0.  

M/S/C  (Stephens/Shelton)  MOVE INFORMATION ITEMS 7.a.(8) AND 7.a.(10) AND  MAKE THEM PART OF ACTION ITEM 6.a.(6).  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth,  Harr, Shelton,  Tregub, Webster, Stephens; NO: Drake;  ABSTAIN: Townley;
ABSENT: None.  Passed:  7-1-1-0.

NOTE:  There were several motions and substitute motions made, which were later withdrawn or not discussed because the motion was not “seconded”.   These motions were overlapping and difficult to follow and are not reflected in these minutes.  The entire discussion is available in both video of the meeting (available online) as well as the transcription of that meeting (available from the Board’s Secretary).  The motion adopted by the Board is reflected below.

M/S/C  (Harr/Blake)  DIRECT STAFF TO DETERMINE WHAT THE BOARD’S  RESPONSIBILITIES AND OBLIGATIONS ARE UNDER THE LAW IN REFERENCE  TO THE PUBLIC COMPLAINTS REFERENCED IN THE SECOND PROPOSED RESOLUTION; AND AMEND THE LANGUAGE OF THAT PROPOSED RESOLUTION  TO READ AS FOLLOWS: 

”BE IT RESOLVED by the Rent Stabilization Board of the City of Berkeley as follows: 

WHEREAS, Executive Director Jay Kelekian received a complaint on October 12, 2011 via e-mail from Anna de Leon and Patti Dacey regarding Commissioner Nicole Drake in which Ms. Dacey and Ms. De Leon allege that Commissioner Drake's seat had become vacant pursuant to the law as outlined in California Government Code Section 1770(g);

AND WHEREAS, the Rent Board does not have in place specific rules for determining whether a Commissioner has abandoned his or her office;

AND WHEREAS, the Board wishes to make an informed decision in regard to this issue;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board instructs staff to prepare a report regarding the facts of Commissioner Drake's absence and research all relevant statutory and case law and report back to the Board at the regularly-scheduled full Board meeting in November 2011 regarding the Board's responsibilities and powers in this matter;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that if necessary, the Board authorizes the Executive Director to enter into contract with an outside firm or individual to assist in the preparation of this investigation.”

Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Drake;  ABSTAIN: Shelton;  ABSENT: None.  Passed:  7-1-1-0.

The Board then took the following action pertaining to the remainder of the agenda items not  yet heard:

M/S/C  (Stephens/Shelton)  CARRY OVER ALL REMAINING INFORMATION ITEMS TO THE NOVEMBER 2011 BOARD MEETING.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Drake;  ABSTAIN: Townley;  ABSENT: None.  Passed:  7-1-1-0.

8.   Adjournment  M/S/C  (Tregub/Shelton)  MOTION TO ADJOURN IN HONOR OF  BRADLEY MANNING.  Roll call vote. YES: Dodsworth, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub,  Webster, Stephens;  NO: None; ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Blake, Drake. 
Passed:  7-0-0- 2.  
 
Chair Stephens adjourned the meeting at 11:20 p.m. so the following Information Items were not heard.

7.   Information and Announcements
   
a. Reports from Board Members/Staff
            
(1) Sample Notice of Decision clarifying Appeal deadline  (Executive Director and IRA/AGA/Habitability Committee)

(2) Update on the Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee Ordinance  (Executive Director)

(3) Update on the Relocation Ordinance  (Executive Director)  **To Be Delivered**

(4) Report on 60-Day Waivers  (Executive Director) 

(5) Update on the Small Property Owners’ Workshop on October 4, 2011  (Executive Director) 

(6) Update on the October 7, 2011 meeting with the Berkeley Association of Realtors  (Executive Director)   

(7) Update on registration of fraternities (Executive Director) 

(8) October 12, 2011 communication from Attorney Anna de Léon titled, “Vacated Seat of Nicole Drake on the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board”  (Executive Director)     

(9) October 12, 2011 communication from Commissioner Drake titled, “Information Item, RSB Meeting, October 17, 2011”  (Commissioner Drake)

(10) October 12, 2011 communication from Attorney Anna de Léon titled, “Response to Zac (sic) Cowan Letter re Nicole Drake” (Executive Director)

(11) Article by Deputy Director Stephen Barton, Ph.D., published in the October 2011 issue of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology titled  “Land Rent and Housing Policy: A Case Study of the San Francisco Bay Area Rental Housing Market”  (Executive Director)  

(12) Report and update on the Cal Corps Student Intern program  (Executive Director)

(13)  October 4, 2011 United Way of the Bay Area press release titled, “Bay Area Cost of Living has Soared 18% Since Recession Onset”  (Executive Director)

b.   Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1) 4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

a.  September 29th agenda packet 

(2) Budget and Personnel

a.  September 27th agenda 

(3) Outreach 

a.  September 23rd agenda 

(4) IRA/AGA and Habitability

a.  August 30th minutes 

b. September 27th agenda 

(5) Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure

a.  August 24th minutes  

b.  October 14th agenda 

(6) Safe & Sustainable Housing

a.  August 23rd minutes 

b.  October 13th agenda 

(7) Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process

a.  September 15th minutes 

b.  October 12th agenda 

(8) Future Special Meetings

c.      Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda

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