Regular Meeting

Maudelle Shirek Building     Monday, October 19, 2009
2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way    7:00 PM   
Council Chambers, Second Floor          
Broadcast Live – KPFB – 89.3
(N. Berkeley) and BTV Cable Channel 33

Video Archive (3 hrs, 20 mins)


1. Roll Call  - 7 PM

2.   Approval of Agenda

3.   Public Forum

4.   Approval of September 21, 2009 regular meeting minutes. 

5. Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m.

a. Appeal E-60/T-4974 - 154 Avenida Drive.  (Continued from September regular Board meeting).  This is a landlord appeal of a hearing examiner decision that the two-unit property lost its exemption from the Rent Ordinance when the landlord offered to rent the unit she claimed was her principal residence.  The hearing examiner also found that the landlord was required to refund the tenants’ entire security deposit.  The Legal Department recommendation indicates that the landlord cited no evidence or presented a legal argument that compelled modification of the hearing examiner’s decision.  For this reason, it is recommended that the decision of the hearing examiner be affirmed.

b. Appeal T-5013 – 2338 Telegraph Ave., #232.  This is a tenant appeal of a hearing examiner decision that found that the tenant failed to prove that her use of the subject unit was impaired by excessive heat radiating from the building’s central steam heating system.  The appeal was filed more than 30 days after the tenant is presumed to have received the hearing examiner decision.  Therefore, the Board must determine whether the appeal was timely.  If the Board accepts the appeal as timely, legal staff recommends that the hearing examiner decision should be set aside and the tenant awarded $262.84 in rent overcharges.

6.               Action Items

  a.       From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees
(1) Adoption of the 2010 Annual General Adjustment (AGA) Order Regulation 1132 (Executive Director and IRA/AGA Committee) 

(2)  Discussion of Brown Act Requirements Regarding Committee Meetings and possible action to discuss Board rules, procedures and committee structure (Executive Director and Chair) 

(3) Recommendation concerning proposal to conduct a survey of people in soft story buildings, to see if they have been properly notified of their building’s status (Outreach Committee) 

(4) Recommendation that the Board adopt a policy that survey requests be reviewed by the Outreach Committee and that proposals follow certain guidelines for consideration  (Outreach Committee)

(5) Soft Story Ordinance update, discussion and possible action (Townley) 

(6) Recommendations concerning enforcing the Soft Story Ordinance seismic notice requirements (Townley)

(7) Proposal to schedule a special meeting of the Board to review soft story and other seismic issues in Berkeley rental properties  (Townley)

(8) Discussion and possible action of guidelines for use of mail by Rent Board Commissioners  (Chong)

(9) Discussion and possible action on Profitability Study  (Chong)

(10) Discussion of and possible action on Compliance with the Rental Housing Safety Program as a condition for the Annual General Adjustment  (Chong)

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

 a. Reports from Board Members/Staff.
(1)  Apparent Lawful Rent Ceiling letter to landlord (Executive Director) 

(2)  Adoption and signature of SB 290 (Leno) concerning 60-day notice for most evictions without good-cause (Executive Director) 

(3) Adoption and signature of AB 120 (Lowenthal) requiring utilities to provide written notice to tenants in single family homes that their service will be disconnected because of arrearages on the utility bill. Utilities must notify tenants that they can establish their own account without paying the landlord's arrearages.  (Executive Director)

(4) Discussion of Brown Act, serial meetings, and constraints on any two commissioners discussing topics (Chong)

(5) Discussion of Soft Story Ordinance and enforcement of notice requirements (Chong)

(6) Discussion of tenant survey and other surveys (Chong)

 b.   Announcements of upcoming Committee/Board Meetings.

       (1) Budget and Personnel

       (2) Outreach 
              a. Agenda of October 2nd meeting

       (3)  IRA/AGA and Habitability
               a.  Approved minutes of June 1st meeting  
               b. Agenda of October 13th meeting            
               c.  Unapproved minutes of the October 13th meeting

        (4)  Eviction/Section 8

        (5)  Safe & Sustainable    
                a. Agenda of October 19th meeting      

        (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.

     8.    Adjournment