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Rent control boosters look to Richmond

 

To show how the legal skirmish over Measure V could have played out differently, Mountain View's rent control advocates are pointing across the Bay to the city of Richmond.

Much like Mountain View, the East Bay city passed its own rent control regulations in the November election, which also spurred a legal challenge from the California Apartment Association.

But unlike Mountain View, the Richmond City Council opted to mount an immediate defense of the measure. Richmond city attorneys formally opposed a request by the apartment association for a temporary restraining order to halt implementation of a sweeping rent rollback and other provisions. As a result, a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge last week refused to grant a restraining-order request.

The opposite occurred in Mountain View. A restraining order to halt Measure V was granted by a judge after city attorneys decided not to challenge it in court. As a result, it remains unclear when the city's rent-control package will be rolled out.

The city's response has clearly frustrated members of the Mountain View Tenants Coalition. On Tuesday, the group organized its second rally to protest the city's actions. Steven Goldstein, a local technology freelancer, said last week he was rescinding his application to be appointed to the rental-housing committee.

"What did the citizens of Mountain View do to deserve any different treatment under the law?" Goldstein said. "I want this measure to succeed, but given the fact that I'm being such a staunch critic, I think the City Council would have rejected my application anyway."

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described Goldstein as a volunteer with the Measure V campaign. He has not been involved with the effort.

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