San Anselmo


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San Anselmo Town Council Pushes to Become the Next Fairfax.

Really? Yes.
On Feb 13, the San Anselmo Town Council will discuss the ‘Just Cause’ 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?

We will find out on Feb 13 at 7pm.  

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 on Tuesday January 9, at towncouncil@townofsananselmo.org AND call in to or show up at the town council meeting at 7pm.    The Zoom link for calling in is here. Eileen Burke was once again a rational voice for good policy.

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

At the upcoming Dec 12 Town Council meeting, it is expected that a presentation for extra rent control in San Anselmo along with a council discussion will be on the agenda. As discussed previously at the Oct 24 meeting, Mayor Burdo encouraged the creation of a Fairfax-Style extra rent control ordinance completed with ‘Just Cause’ and ‘Rent Stabilization’n provisions similar to Fairfax.

For the State of California, rent control was enacted in 2019 which sets regulations for tenant-landlord interaction and an annual rent cap of 5%+CPI with a ceiling of 10%, which ever is lower.

In Fairfax, the Town Council (without a vote of the residents) implemented extra rent control with an annual rent cap of 75% of CPI (25% below annual inflation) and tenant biased rules limiting property owner’s rights when they rent out space.

Mayor Burdo was enthusiastically in favor of implementing (without a vote of San Anselmo residents) these same Fairfax-Style extra rent control regulations ASAP.

On Oct 24, the Town council met to review the staff report concerning the adoption of extra rent control in San Anselmo and direct staff to come up with potential ordinances to implement it. Why? Some were hard pressed to express a logical answer.

Whereas living in San Anselmo and Marin is expensive for both homeowners and renters, rent control and especially extra rent control, makes the situation more expensive by limiting rental options and creating new costs for the Town and for housing providers. Fairfax’s municipal costs are listed on fairfaxresidents.org. No doubt, since San Anselmo’s population is greater, the funds taken away from essential city services to pay for extra rent control will be even more.

The Town Council would love to hear your perspective before their meeting on Dec 12. Please write towncouncil@townofsananselmo.org and attend the Town Council Meeting live, or via Zoom.

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 MarinResidents.org and FairfaxResidents.org, 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

MarinResidents.org and FairfaxResidents.org

michael@marinresidents.org

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.

MarinResidents.org 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.