Rent Stabilization Board
Rent Stabilization Board

RENT STABILIZATION BOARD
Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, January 28, 2013

7:00 PM

APPROVED

 


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

Commissioners present:  Blake, Dodsworth, Harr, Hunt, Shelton, Soto-Vigil, Townley, Webster (left 9:36 due to illness), Stephens
Commissioners absent:  None
Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Law (in audience), Mueller

**The meeting start was delayed to allow time for Public Works’s staff to resolve an electrical issue in Chambers.

2. Approval of Agenda  M/S/C  (Townley/ Dodsworth)   APPROVE AGENDA WITH THE FOLLOWING CHANGES:  MOVE OUTREACH COMMITTEE UPDATE ITEM UP ON THE AGENDA SO THAT COMMITTEE CHAIR WEBSTER CAN GIVE HER REPORT SOONER IN THE EVENT THAT SHE NEEDS TO LEAVE THE MEETING EARLY (DUE TO ILLNESS); AND MOVE ITEM 7.a.(7) FROM INFORMATION ITEMS TO ACTION ITEMS.  Voice vote.  Carried:  9-0-0-0.  

3. Public Forum – this Item was heard after Item 5.a.(1).  See below.

4. Approval of December 17, 2012 Regular Meeting Minutes  M/S/C  (Townley/Soto-Vigil)  APPROVE MINUTES AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Carried:  9-0-0-0.

5. Action Items 

a.   From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Update, discussion and possible action regarding efforts to draft a proposed Smoke-Free Housing Ordinance in response to the January 31, 2012 City Council referral requesting the Community Health Commission and Rent Stabilization Board analyze a potential Smoke-Free Housing Ordinance in Berkeley. The Board will receive a report from City staff as well as an update from their Ad Hoc Committee on Smoke-Free Housing

The Board heard a presentation by Kate Clayton, Chief of the Health Promotion Section of the Public Health Division, City of Berkeley; Ms. Clayton gave an overview of the City staff’s recommendations for the proposed Smoke-Free Housing Ordinance and answered questions from Commissioners.  The Board also discussed the recommendation from the Ad Hoc Committee on Smoke-Free Housing and proposed friendly amendments offered by Commissioner Stephens.  After much discussion, the Board took the following action:

M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  APPROVE THE AD HOC COMMITTEE ON SMOKE-FREE HOUSING’S RECOMMENDATION, AS AMENDED BY CHAIR STEPHENS’ MEMO, WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTION:

EXCLUDE item 3.b. (on Page 4 of Chair Stephens’ memo) which reads: 
“Allow the new tenant to bring a private right of action against the landlord/property manager for violations of the smoking ordinance if they are affected by smoke from a unit that does not have a lease clause expressly prohibiting smoking.”

ADD the following clause to the proposed ordinance:  “Nothing in this Section may be used as grounds to terminate a tenancy.”  

Roll call vote.  YES:  Blake, Harr, Hunt, Shelton, Soto-Vigil, Townley, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Dodsworth;  ABSTAIN/ABSENT:  None.  Carried:  8-1-0-0.

At this point, Item 3. – Public Forum – was heard.

There were two speakers:  Roxanne Lamb and Glenn Fuller, both of whom expressed their concerns regarding the implications of the proposed Smoke-Free Housing Ordinance.

(2) Discussion and possible action regarding Proposed BMC Chapter 13.79 – Automatically Renewing Leases (Executive Director)

M/S/C  (Blake/Soto-Vigil)  CONVEY TO CITY COUNCIL THE RENT BOARD’S SUPPORT FOR PROPOSED BMC CHAPTER 13.79 AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  Carried:  9-0-0-0.  

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
4166                 1201 Masonic Avenue
4172                 2339 Ward Street
4177                 1613 – 6th Street
4181                 1400 – 67th Street
4183                 1244 Ashby Avenue 
4186                 1639 – 63rd Street 
4191                 3051 Dohr Street
4203                 3151 Eton Avenue
4205                 1820 Virginia Street
4210                 2433 Warring Street
4216                 1124 Dwight Way
4218                 2803 Parker Street
4224                 2409 Edwards Street
4226                1211/1213 Curtis Street

M/S/C  (Harr/Blake)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR ALL MINISTERIAL WAIVERS.  Voice vote.  Carried:  9-0-0-0. 

Item 7.a.(7) – moved from Information Items to Action Items by a prior vote, was heard next:

Copy of January 22, 2013 Appeal of Zoning Adjustment Boards’s Approval of Acheson Commons Project (Use Permit No. 10-10000078)

M/S/C  (Harr/Stephens)  DIRECT STAFF TO CONVEY TO THE CITY COUNCIL THE RENT BOARD’S SUPPORT FOR THIS APPEAL AND TO EXAMINE WHETHER THE ZONING ADJUSTMENT BOARD COMPLIED WITH § 23C.08 OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE AS IT RELATES TO THE EIGHT RENT-CONTROLLED UNITS AT 1922 AND 1930 WALNUT STREET.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Dodsworth, Harr, Hunt, Soto-Vigil, Townley, Stephens;  NO: None;  ABSTAIN:  Blake, Shelton;  ABSENT:  Webster.  Carried:
6-0-2-1.   

6. Special Presentation by Rent Board Deputy Director Stephen Barton: Rent Stabilization and the Berkeley Rental Housing Market 15 Years After Vacancy Decontrol

a. Update, discussion and possible action on report titled, “Rent Stabilization and the Berkeley Rental Housing Market 15 Years After Vacancy Decontrol”  (Executive Director)

The Board heard this presentation by Deputy Director Barton who answered questions from Commissioners and noted their requests for further information desired in a subsequent report.  (No action was taken.)

7.   Information and Announcements

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff

(1) Committee Assignments (Chair Stephens)  Chair Stephens said that she has attempted to grant all Commissioners their desired Committee assignments but this is not always possible given all the factors she must take into consideration.  She is still working on several requests and hopes to have this list finalized soon.

(2) Updated report titled, “Vacancy Decontrol and Reinvestment in Berkeley Rental Housing” (Executive Director) – Discussed earlier in Item 6.a.

(3) Summary of 2012 State Laws for Tenants in Foreclosures by Tenants Together (Commissioner Harr) – In packet and self-explanatory.

(4) January 22, 2013 The Registry article by Jon Peterson titled, “Equity Residential Plans Historic Rehab in Downtown Berkeley Community”  (Executive Director) – In packet and self-explanatory.

(5) January 20, 2013 The Registry article by Sharon Simonson titled, “Brokerage:  2013 Pivotal Year for Bay Area Apartments”  (Executive Director)  – In packet and self-explanatory.

(6) Flyer for the January 10, 2013 presentation by the Berkeley Community Health Commission on “Bugs, Rats, Mold & Abandoned Vehicles – How to Get Help from the City of Berkeley”  (Executive Director) – In packet and self-explanatory.

(7) Copy of January 22, 2013 Appeal of Zoning Adjustment Boards’s Approval of Acheson Commons Project (Use Permit No. 10-10000078)  (Executive Director) – THIS ITEM WAS MOVED TO ACTION BY A PRIOR VOTE ON APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA.  (See above).

(8) Flyer for the February 12, 2013 Summit Meeting on the Future of Housing in California (Executive Director)  – In packet and self-explanatory.

b.   Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1) Budget and Personnel 

(2) Outreach – Commissioner Dodsworth gave a brief update in Committee Chair Webster’s absence, and noted the dates of upcoming Rent Board workshops (listed on the Rent Board’s website).

a.  December 21, 2012 agenda

b.  January 18th agenda

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability – Committee Chair Stephens gave a brief update on the Committee’s recent work.

a.  November 19, 2012 minutes

(4) Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure – Committee Chair Harr said that, due to only having two members currently, this Committee did not meet in December or January.  She said they plan to set a regular meeting time at their next meeting.

(5) Safe & Sustainable Housing – Committee Chair Townley said this Committee has not met recently but updated the Board on prior and pending items.

(6) Waivers Committee – Committee Chair Dodsworth and Commissioner Harr gave a joint update on the Committee’s last meeting.

(7) Ad Hoc Committee on Smoke-Free Housing – Covered in the earlier discussion of Item 5.a.(1).

a.  January 18th agenda

(8) 4 x 4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee – Chair Stephens said that this Committee has not met but that she plans to talk to the Mayor’s office soon regarding scheduling their next meeting.

(9) Future Special Meetings

c. Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda

8. Adjournment  M/S/C  (Dodsworth/Townley)  ADJOURN MEETING AT 10:56 P.M.  Voice vote.  Carried:  7-0-0-2.  ABSENT:  Blake, Webster.

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