San Anselmo

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May 14, 2024:

Even MORE Rent Control Coming for San Anselmo Residents from the DSA.

The May 14th Town Council Meeting will have these discussions. We suggest you email the SA Town council at before then, and let them know how you feel. Or better yet, Zoom into or show up at the meeting. The council wants to know what you think!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more restrictive for housing providers, lead by the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America), a cohort of advocacy groups is requesting that the San Anselmo Town Council once again follow their lead and impose the second, more onerous part of extra rent control – ‘just cause.’ This is in addition to the ‘rent stabilization’ that just passed.

This is crazy x2!

First, California (and San Anselmo) are already covered by comprehensive rent control (AB 1482) which includes the ‘just cause’ part. It regulates housing provider-tenant interactions and under what rules a tenant can be evicted etc. Second, these ‘just cause’ regulations will apply to ALL spaces – that means your’s, single family homes, ADUs, rooms etc, almost everything, not just large complexes.

This ‘just cause’, similar to Fairfax’s which was written by the head of the Berkeley Rent Board, and for example, lays out in fine detail, specific payments to tenants – including the payment to the tenant of 4 months of rent if the owner has to bring in a family member (think aging parent) and switch out the tenant. They also require a one year notification (and the 4 months of rent payment) if the tenant is over 62, and you have to sell your property.

These are only the beginning! The list of additional regulations is long, and the list of ‘housing advocacy’ organizations who want to regulate your property, is even longer.

Check out their letter to the Council at:

and the proposed 46 pages of regulations at:

Understand that as potential housing providers consider renting out their home or extra space, they will see the increased liability (3x damages in some instances) and decide it just isn’t worth renting out space.

The ‘just cause’ part of extra rent control is even worse than the ‘rent stabilization’ part and will lead to units being taken off the market creating terrible housing affordability. Hopefully, the strong leadership of Mayor Burke and CM Colbert will once again be the voices of reason and oppose this. We’ll see at the Town Council Meeting May 14.

As the San Anselmo residents are currently fighting for their right to vote on the last rent control ordinance, let’s not have San Anselmo become another Fairfax, or worse, another Berkeley. So along with signing the current referendum petition going around town, if the 3 members of the Town Council that didn’t allow the residents to vote on the current ordinance, don’t allow you to vote on this new ordinance, the residents will have to create and sign a new referendum.

When is enough, enough? Just tell the DSA to stop!

Below is the DSA’s/Berkeley Rent Board proposed extra rent control ordinances.

Thank you for helping citizen democracy at its finest!

San Anselmo Town Council Pushes to Become the Next Fairfax.

Really? Yes.

On March 26, the San Anselmo Town Council will take up the initial votes on the ‘Rent Stabilization’ part of extra rent control. It’s extra rent control because CA and San Anselmo already have rent comprehensive rent control via AB 1482. This regulation governs CA’s rent cap (5% + CPI) and tenant – housing provider interactions (including the cause for evictions.)

The council has already discussed initially applying just CA’s rent stabilization rent cap to complexes with two or fewer units (Duplexes, Single Family and ADU units). Some of these types of units are already exempt from CA rent control. However, the vote on March 26 will codify the language for the ordinance. Residential real estate is considered 4 units and below, so this could have serious implications to mom & pop’s who own these businesses.

What 3 members of the Town Council have expressed agreement with, is the DSA’s (Democratic Socialists of America) view that the rent cap on these units be 60% of inflation (ie, 40% below inflation) as a max yearly rent cap. Whereas this is initially a bonus for long term tenants, it harms homeowners, housing providers and tenants in the long run by making new apartments more expensive and discouraging any new rental housing construction. This limits the supply of rental housing thus increasing rents for new tenants and tenants wanting to move.

This type of rent control is just like Fairfax.

The big issue with any extra rent control, is who gets to vote on these regulations and how much does it cost the Town to implement the regulations. Like in Fairfax, the 3 Council members do not want to let the San Anselmo residents vote on the proposal. Mayor Burke and council member Colbert desire to exercise common sense and let the people decide on the Nov election.

We believe that any regulation that negatively affects so many residents, should be voted on by those residents. We argue that if the Council members believe that extra rent control is such a great idea for San Anselmo, the residents should be the ones to vote it in. That is democracy at the most basic level.

In the future, ‘just cause’ regulations (just like Fairfax) will be discussed. These regulations create extra liability for housing providers and have proved to scare providers enough for them to take units off of the market – just like what has happened in Fairfax. Of course this lessens the rental options and increases new rents.

So if CA already has comprehensive rent control, what problems does extra rent control solve? Not many. It is great however if a tenant wants to stay in the same apt for 20 years. They will end up living for $100s of dollars per month below market rent. And who wouldn’t want that for themselves? The problem is, young people won’t have access to that housing and the owners will have less and less money to invest into their retirement, savings or the property itself.

We can only keep working on housing affordability with your help. Please help us with a donation. Thank you.

In Jan of 2023, the San Anselmo Town Council discussed the ‘Rent Stabilization’ part of the plan mirroring Fairfax’s extra rent control in order to….?  Fix what problem, we don’t know.  

Will it create more housing affordability? – No, it works against this. 
Will it help housing providers? – No, it will hurt their income and retirement savings.
Will it help renters wanting to move into the area? No, it results in higher initial rents.
Will it cost the residents of San Anselmo? Yes, like Fairfax, $100,000s a year.
Will hurt property values? Yes, it affects desirability of all property in resale.
Will it help long term tenants?  Yes, it cheapens the rent, and No, it lessens the ability of the provider to care for the property. 
Will it result in protests and lawsuits like in Fairfax? Yes absolutely, count on it.

We are still not sure why Steve BurdoAlexis Fineman, and Tarrell Kullaway, Vice Mayor want to burden the residents of San Anselmo with Fairfax-Style/DSA extra rent control. 

Will the Town Council of San Anselmo be pressured by the Marin DSA Chair (San Anselmo resident) and the Berkeley Rent Board and their Exec/Lawyer and will the Town just vote in Fairfax-Style extra rent control, or put it on the ballot for the residents to decide for themselves?

The video of the Jan 7 meeting on ‘Rent Stabilization’ is here. This was the first of the meetings to write the actual ordinances. The regulations have yet to be finalized, so your input is critical! Because of pushback from the community, what was decided was that no extra rent control is to be applied to 2 units or under. For 3 Units and above, the rent cap has not been determined yet. The San Anselmo 3 and the DSA want a cap of 60% of CPI.

Please email your concerns to the San Anselmo Town Council before 12 noon the day of the meeting, at AND call in to or show up at the town council meeting at 7pm.    The Zoom link for calling in is here.

It is important for you to express your concerns about San Anselmo going down the same path as Fairfax.

Because we are a group of Marin residents fighting to help make Marin more affordable for everyone, we rely on your support to keep you informed about housing and rent control issues. Please contribute to our efforts.

Check out the video of the Oct 24 meeting.

Click to see the video

The comprehensive presentation starts at time 35 mins. The public comment starts around time 1:25 hours The Council deliberations start at time 3:04 hours

Below is an open letter submitted to the Council 8/2023.

Dear Town Council, 

As the Director of and, I urge you to approach the issue of extra rent control, beyond Cal AB 1482, with great hesitancy. 

Every community has the responsibility to address the issue of extra rent control as they see fit, without the unwelcome pressure of national political organizations.  As an organization comprised of residents of Marin and Fairfax, I urge you not to go down the path of Fairfax and impose extra rent control without the direct consent of your residents.

As you can see from the actions of the Fairfax Town Council, extra rent control has caused great disruption and division in that town.  The unnecessary action of a few members of the Town Council has caused financial harm to homeowners, housing providers (small mom & pop landlords) and renters alike.

In response, along with the growing sentiment for recall for some council members, last week our organization help turn in over 1000 signatures to put a measure on the 2024 ballot to repeal these extra rent control ordinances.

I urge you to really consider what your residents want and need.  We have found that extra rent control was neither wanted by the residents or needed to help with affordable housing.  In fact, because of these ordinances, housing providers have taken some units off of the market.  This reduction in supply of housing along with constant demand, causes rents to rise for new and transitioning renters.  It also dings the prices for duplexes and houses with ADUs, and this affects the value of non-rental single family houses as well. 

In summary, extra rent control may be a sweet deal for long term tenants, for others, young families paying a first mortgage, elderly residents of San Anselmo relying on rental income to stay in their homes, new renters, and almost every other constituent, extra rent control is a bad deal.

Please consider whether the influence of some national political organizations mesh with the needs and desires of your residents and the disruptions that extra rent control ordinances cause.

Thank you.

Michael Sexton

Director – Marin Residents and

Why is this bad? Extra rent control is local rent control that goes beyond California statewide rent control – Cal AB 1482. Cal AB 1482 was passed by Gov. Newsom in 2019 as a ‘tenant protection’ measure. What some political organizations want, it to impose extra rent control – going way beyond AB 1482, onto every rental space available – single family homes, ADUs, duplexes and multi family units in complexes. These state and local ordinances control every aspect of how a housing provider deals with a tenant, from how much the rent increases each year, to when a housing provider can ask the tenant to leave, and how much the tenant can demand from the housing provider, to leave. (hint: as much as they want.)

Most Marin residents do not know that we already have statewide rent control. When they do, and come to understand existing law, they see Cal state law as ‘adequate’. We feel that whereas AB 1482 has very limited protections for housing providers and can be the root of many tenant-landlord disputes, as a whole it is adequate enough to be the standard basis for interactions.

However, extra, local regulations that go beyond AB 1482, have negative financial consequences for homeowners, housing providers and renters. These include making initial rents more expensive for renters, limiting the income potential and retirement savings for ‘mom & pop’ landlords, and negatively affecting the value of all houses in a rent controlled area. is a small group of your neighbors trying to support reasonable protections for homeowners, housing providers and renters. We work to inform all of Marin’s communities regarding actions around extra rent control.