Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, September 20, 2010

7 PM


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1. Roll Call – Chair Stephens called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m. Pam Wyche called roll.

Commissioners present:  Blake (7:11), Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster (7:21), Stephens
Commissioners absent:  Chong
Staff present:  Barton, Brown, Kelekian, Mueller, Wyche 

2. Approval of Agenda  M/S/C  (Tregub/Townley)  APPROVE THE AGENDA. 
Voice vote. ABSENT:  Blake, Chong, Webster.  Passed:  6-0-0-3.

3. Public Forum -   There was one speaker:  Paul Barker talked about his home.

4. Approval of  August 16, 2010 Regular Board Meeting minutes  M/S/C  (Townley/Shelton)  APPROVE AS WRITTEN.  Voice vote.  ABSENT:  Blake, Chong, Webster.  Passed:  6-0-0-3.       

Item 6.a.(1) was taken out of order in an effort to accommodate the Appeal Time Certain of 7:15 p.m.

6.  Action Items

a.  From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(1) Second Reading of proposed amendments to Regulation 1234 [Rights of Parties] to include a requirement that a party specifically designate a representative before the representative is able to represent the party M/S/C (Tregub/Drake) ADOPT ON SECOND READING THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO REGULATION 1234. Roll call vote. YES: Blake, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Stephens; NO: None; ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT: Chong, Webster. Passed: 7-0-0-2.

(3) Recommendation that the Board endorse two measures placed on the November ballot by the Berkeley School Board continuing the existing tax and authorizing issuance of new bonds to improve school safety and facilities for learning and teaching M/S/C (Tregub/Drake) MOVE TO ENDORSE BOTH MEASURES. Voice vote. ABSTAIN: Shelton; ABSENT: Chong, Webster. Passed: 6-0-1-2.Chair Stephens reversed the order of the appeals since both parties to the second appeal were present.

5. Appeal Time Certain – 7:15 p.m.
b. Appeal IRD-26 (2618 Hillegass Avenue)  Parties present:  Michael Mills (Appellant) and Craig Beckerman of Premium Properties (on behalf of Respondent).  M/S/C  (Blake/Drake) APPROVE LEGAL STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO DISMISS APPEAL.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Townley, Tregub, Webster;  NO: Stephens;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Chong.  Passed:  7-1-0-1.

a. Appeal T-5105 (2731 Haste Street, Unit #5)  Parties present:  Susan Cayanne (Respondent). 
M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  UPHOLD HEARING EXAMINER’S DECISION.  Voice vote.    ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.

NOTE:  The subject property originally referenced in this appeal was incorrectly noted as 2253 Ward Street.  The record above reflects the correct address.   

6.  Action Items

a.  From Board Members, Executive Director and Committees

(2) Discussion and possible action on proposal by Councilmember Arreguin on legislation concerning tenant application screening fees After Councilmember Arreguin’s presentation on his proposal, and discussion and questions from Commissioners, the Board took the following action:  M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  MOVE TO SUPPORT THIS RECOMMENDATION AND COMMUNICATE SUPPORT TO COUNCIL.  Voice vote.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.

(4) Proposal that the Board endorse the recommendations of Councilmembers Capitelli and Arreguin regarding Phase Two of the Soft Story retrofit program and enforcement of Phase One, to be presented at the City Council meeting of September 21, 2010 (Safe and Sustainable Housing Committee) Following Committee Chair Townley’s brief presentation on this proposal, the Board took the following action:M/S/C  (Townley/Blake)  UPHOLD THE SAFE AND SUSTAINABLE HOUSING COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION TO ENDORSE THIS PROPOSAL.  Voice vote.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.

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

Waiver No.        Property Address
3863                   3301 Idaho Street
3870                  1339 Rose Street
3872                  2320 Bonar Street
3875                  2823-2825 Hillegass Avenue

Discretionary Waivers

Waiver No.        Property Address
3865                   947 Channing Way
3866                   2411-8th Street
3868                   2915 Stanton Street
3873                   1504 Bonita Avenue
3881                   1813 Stuart Street
3900                   1762 Franklin Street
3901                   2903 Dwight Way
3902                   2401 Warring Street
3908                   2813 Channing Way

Commissioner Shelton pulled Waiver No. 3865, 3866 and 3873 for discussion; Commissioner Townley also pulled Waiver No. 3865, 3866 and 3873, as well as Waiver No. 3881 and 3908.  

M/S/C  (Drake/Townley)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR WAIVER NUMBER 3868.  Voice vote.  ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  8-0-0-1.

M/S/C  (Townley/Drake)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR WAIVER NUMBER 3865 AND WAIVER NUMBER 3866.  Roll call vote.  YES:  Drake, Harr, Townley, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Shelton;  ABSTAIN: None;  ABSENT: Blake (stepped out), Chong.  Passed:  6-1-0-2.

M/S/C  (Drake/Tregub)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR WAIVER NUMBER 3873.  Voice vote.  ABSENT: Blake (stepped out), Chong.  Passed:  7-0-0-2.

M/S/C  (Drake/Tregub)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR WAIVER NUMBER 3881.  Voice vote.  ABSENT: Blake (stepped out), Chong.  Passed:  7-0-0-2.

M/S/C  (Tregub/Blake)  APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION ON WAIVER NUMBERS 3900, 3901, 3902 AND 3908.  Roll call vote.  YES: Blake, Drake, Harr, Shelton, Tregub, Webster, Stephens;  NO: Townley;  ABSTAIN: None; ABSENT:  Chong.  Passed:  7-1-0-1.

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

a. Reports from Board Members/Staff

 (1)  Rent Board flier titled Apply to be a City of Berkeley Rent Board Fellow The Executive Director and Outreach Committee Chair Webster updated the Board on this program, and Commissioner Tregub expressed his appreciation for Ipsheeta Furtado’s work on designing the flier. 

(2)  Staff attendance at Solano Stroll and Calapalooza events and Berkeley Property Owners Association Meeting  The Executive Director mentioned staff’s participation in these three outreach efforts.

(3) Copy of September 14, 2010 Article in the Daily Californian titled “State Control Shifted Balance of Rent Board” Included in agenda packed and self-explanatory. 

(4) Updated Berkeley Housing Element Available for Review The Executive Director mentioned that document is available online and there is a copy (without attachments) available for viewing at the Rent Board offices. 

(5) Pilot program for recycling in apartments with ten or more units  Commissioner Tregub distributed a memo summarizing his meeting with Councilmember Wozniak and Zero Waste Commissioner Kirkpatrick regarding recycling in multi-unit apartment buildings.  Chair Stephens and Outreach Committee Chair Webster clarified some of the current issues and processes related to recycling in buildings with fewer units vs. larger multi-unit properties. 

(6) Update on Student Outreach Initiative including the Rent Board fellowship. Commissioner Tregub reviewed the memo he distributed to the Board regarding the progress of several outreach proposals, including coordination with U.C. Berkeley student organizations, the Rent Board’s Fellows Program, a possible column in the Daily Californian, and staff’s recent participation in Calapalooza.

 b.    Updates and Announcements regarding Committee/Board Meetings

(1)  Budget and Personnel

(2)  Outreach  – Committee Chair Webster said the Committee plans to meet in October.

(3)  IRA/AGA and Habitability  –  Chair Stephens said the Committee did not meet this month but will schedule a meeting in October.

(4)  Eviction/Section 8/Foreclosure

(5)  Safe and Sustainable Housing – Committee Chair Townley updated the Board on the Committee’s Sept. 13th meeting. 

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

(7)  Ad Hoc Committee on Waiver Process – Committee Chair Harr said the Committee has been meeting regularly and making great progress; she hopes to present the Committee’s proposals to the full Board next month.  Commissioner Townley offered his suggestions regarding possible payment plans for property owners in financial distress. 

(8)  Future Special Meetings                         

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

(1)  Commissioner Drake would like an update on the Anti-Retaliation Ordinance; the Executive Director said that this issue had been referred to the Eviction/Section 8 Committee.

(2)  Commissioner Drake also requested a discussion of the regulation pertaining to electric cars; the Executive Director said this item will discussed at the Board’s October meeting.

(3)  Commissioner Blake suggested, and Commissioner Townley agreed, that the issue of reinstating the Ad Hoc Committee on Waivers should be discussed at the next Board meeting.

8.    Adjournment  (Townley/Harr)  Chair Stephens adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m.