Regular Meeting

Monday, April 21, 2008
7 p.m.
Maudelle Shirek Building
2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
City Council Chambers, Second Floor
Berkeley, CA
Broadcast Live - KPFB - 89.3 (N. Berkeley)
BTV Cable Channel 33

Webcast Video Archive


1. Roll Call  - Closed session:  6:00 PM  Regular Meeting:  7:00 PM 

2. Closed Session pursuant to Government Code section 54957  - 6 PM

 Title:  Executive Director

  (Subdivision (c) of Section 54956.9 of the Government Code)

Threatened Litigation:  The Rent Board will discuss with its attorneys the threat of litigation by the Berkeley Property Owners Association, as set forth in the March 31, 2008 letter from its attorney Fred Feller, concerning a demand that the Rent Board take action to amend Regulation 704 to change the mandatory rate of interest paid on tenant security deposits. 

3.  Approval of Agenda

4. Special Order of Business 

a. Oath of office given by Acting City Clerk Dianna Despain to newly appointed Board Commissioner, Corie Calfee.

b. Introduction of Corie Calfee by Chair Arreguin.

c. Comments by newly appointed Commissioner Calfee and other Boardmembers.

5.  Public Forum

6.  Approval of March 17, 2008 regular meeting minutes.

7.  Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m. 

a. Appeal T-4865, T-4866, T-4868 – 1619 Walnut Street.  This is a tenant and landlord appeal of the hearing examiner’s decision, which authorized a 2% rent reduction of each of the three petitioners for the impairment to their use of exterior common areas caused by the tenants of another unit.  On appeal, the tenants assert that the hearing examiner erred by failing to disallow AGA’S for the period of impairment.  The landlord also appeals, contending the hearing examiner ignored his evidence that the tenants suffered no impairment.  Legal staff finds that the hearing examiner correctly applied the law and that the evidence supports her factual findings.  Accordingly, the hearing examiner’s decision should be affirmed.

8.    Action Items

a. From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Committee assignments for 2008.  (Chair Arreguin)

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

Ministerial Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address 
3559                 1620 Harmon Street               
3567                 1531 Fairview Street  
3568                 2311 Piedmont Avenue
3573                 199 Forest Lane

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.      Property Address
3541                 1529 Tyler Street
3556                 2206 10th Street
3562                 2215 Bonar Street  
3564                 836 Channing Way
3565                 1526 Arch Street
3566                 1320 66th Street/3205 Idaho Street
3571                 1235 Channing Way
3572                 2405 Byron Street

9.    Information and Announcements

Please Note:  The Board may move Information Items
to the Action Calendar.

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff.

(1) Bus ads for outreach. (Executive Director)

(2) Status of discussions regarding possible modification of the method for determining the rate of interest to be paid for tenant security deposits.  (Commissioner Chong)

(3) Condominium Ordinance update.  (Executive Director)

(4) Mid-year budget update.  (Executive Director) (To be distributed)

(5) Update on EDMUD Board efforts to end water turnoffs when foreclosed lenders fail to pay the water bill and Rent Board’s support. (Chair Arreguin)

(6) Median Report for the period January 1999 to March 2008. (Executive Director) [PDF file, requiresAdobe Acrobat Reader.] 

(7) Assembly Bill AB 2586 (click link to California Legislation and query for "ab2586"), how tenants are affected by foreclosures.  (Executive Director)

(8) Copy of April 13, 2008, New York Times article, "Even Renters Aren’t Safe".  [Links to the New York Times web site.] (Executive Director)

(9) Copy of letter to City Council from Berkeley resident, Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, regarding allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds.

b.     Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

(1) Budget and Personnel

(2) Outreach

(3) IRA/AGA and Habitability

a.  Unapproved minutes of April 7th meeting.

b.  Agenda of April 21st.

(4) Eviction/Section 8

(5) 4x4 City Council/RSB Housing Committee

(6) Ad Hoc Committee on Soft Story Ordinance

(7) Future Special Meetings

c.      Discussion of items for possible placement on future agenda.

10.   Adjournment