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Council eyes emergency eviction protections

Original post made on Nov 14, 2016

In a special meeting Tuesday morning, the Mountain View City Council will consider immediately adopting just-cause eviction protections to prevent tenants from being ousted before Measure V takes effect. The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, November 14, 2016, 11:38 AM

Comments (20)

Posted by Gina
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 14, 2016 at 12:55 pm

6:1 with Inks opposed.

Posted by Only lazy landlords will be caught off guard
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 14, 2016 at 12:58 pm

The mayor and council are over reaching and misguided while leaving themselves and taxpayers vulnerable to a flurry of very expensive lawsuits should they approve yet another "emergency" ordinance against a particular class of landlord.

It's discriminatory to establish rent controls on a particular class of landlord and/or a specific age of a rental building. The Costa-Hawkins Act of 1995 was not meant to be used as a lever or a backstop to discriminate against a small subset of rental housing owners.

Denying a certain class of landlord their rights under current existing law could yield a significant cost to the taxpayers of Mountain View in the short term. City council would be wise to let Prop V play out on its own.

The attorney General of California has already reminded council it was discriminatory to reward a specific class of resident (single family homeowners) parking permits at the expense of other residents. The city was quick to respond by allowing each type of resident (apartment dwellers, condo dwellers and PUD dwellers) to participate. The city discriminating/passing an emergency ordinance now against a certain class of landlord is irresponsible.

Posted by GoldStein
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

In our complex alone, there have been five eviction notices given out last month, so that fourteen figure mentioned above is way too small

Posted by Unintended Consequences
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

The problem is that the way Measure V punishes all the landlords who have tried to be nice/accommodating in the past. I know several people with good relationships with their landlords, and who continued to see modest if any rent increases for the past several years. Measure V locks landlords into these discounts in perpetuity, and therefore very clearly incentivizes the landlords to get their apartments up to market rates BEFORE the rent controls kick in. Somebody didn't think things through when putting this proposal together.

Posted by Mt. View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 14, 2016 at 2:32 pm

I'm with "Only Lazy". It appears, we likely have passed an illegal ordinance, leaving the city with the cost of legal evaluation, and implementation. This leaves the city wide open for legal action either way. Lovely.

Oh, and now, the drunken neighbor who screams all night long, then plays music and TV at top volumes to hide the screaming, will be here forever, for all of us to hear. Seriously?

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm

We need a few good lawsuits to settle the legality of the Costa-Hawkins act anyway.

Let the lawsuits begin!

Posted by @GoldStein
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 14, 2016 at 2:44 pm

That's' terrible. Where do you live? I don't know why our well-intended policymakers couldn't see this coming.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2016 at 2:47 pm

At 1300 in the Starbucks Coffee Shop, I Eyewitnessed R. Michael
Kasperzak, Jr. Councilmember criticizing the Mountain View voters and seemingly trying to strategized plans with some other individual to implement plans to subvert the new Measure V Charter Amendment. I was out in the open so I could not record them without being easily seen.

I find it very ugly that a person who is swearing to uphold the Mountain View Charter is actively planning to take steps to subvert it. I think it should be brought up in the council meeting at 1000 tomorrow. I cannot be sure to get there because I have a medical appointment.

Also it is ironic that this council member advocated the "Project Sentinel" to act as a mediator in complaints. Given that he has active hostility to tenants in rental housing, how can the "Project Sentinal" be unbiased since he was a founding member who created it in the first place. "Project Sentinel" must be audited to determine how "fair" they have been regarding their actions as a result. It appears that "Project Sentinel" is a sham that is exploiting Mountain View funds because they are provided funding from the City of Mountain View.

It is also terrifying that those who are supposed to represent the citizens of Mountain View would speak in such a way in public without realizing that he could be observed by an astute observer. I guess we now know that this person has a clear bias and this should be a disqualifying act for him to assume office.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm

I understand your feelings Donald, but since the Charter Amendment is now in place, if any council member does not comply with it, they are subject to removal of the council.

The Measure V was designed to operate as an overriding authority over the city council. Unfortunately, the council has no choice but to act in accordance of the measure.

By the way with 81% reporting the measure still has a 6% advantage in the vote, and the numbers are simply not there for the measure to fail. I am keeping track with the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters. So far there is a 1400 vote majority and the last update where 2% more votes reported only 70 votes increased. That would mean that 75/2*19 would count at 713 votes remaining. Even if all the votes were no the measure will pass because subtracting 713 from 1400 still leaves 700.

By the way, I researched the legal issue regarding rent roll-back, and in the case of Dale V. City of Mountain View, where the California appellate court stated that the City of Mountain View (Web Link) cannot be held liable to reduction of property values based on city governmental action. It turns out that a property owner in the court's view have no vested interest nor cannot hold the City liable for market value "de-evaluation" based on impact of city government.

I was amazed that the California Apartment Association has bluffed the City into thinking it could hold legal action against it. If this case is true, and it cites many others, the City of Mountain View is free to take any measures regarding rent control without any legal liability to any apartment owner/investor.

Just FYI

Posted by Dmitry
a resident of Rex Manor
on Nov 14, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Well, I can tell you that anyone who's ever studied economics saw this coming with V's passage. In fact we all did try to warn you, even on this message board. But hey, you wanted it. Despite warnings you marched straight into this mess. Enjoy! :)

disclaimer: i am not a landlord in MTV so i have no personal beef with V other than my usual beef with shortsighted laws.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2016 at 5:40 pm

Donald, you did not read the entire Dale case, it states that:

“They contend that the city's adoption of an amendment to its general plan that restricted the use of their property to "open space" constituted an [55 Cal. App. 3d 105] arbitrary and unconstitutional exercise of the police power, as well as improper "spot zoning," and that without compensation the city has taken and damaged their right to the use and enjoyment of their property in the sum of $1,500,000. We have concluded that there is no merit to any of these contentions, and that the judgment of dismissal must be affirmed.

For their second cause of action for inverse condemnation the Dales realleged the facts as set forth above and further alleged that prior to the amendment to the general plan, the fair market value of the property was $2 million; after the amendment, it was not worth more than $500,000. The Dales have not been paid any compensation and on September 24, 1973, the city rejected their claim for $1.5 million.”

However under California law, there is no actual market value under GRAHAM v. BANK OF AMERICA (Web Link), the case stated:

“Statements regarding the appraised value of the property are not actionable fraudulent misrepresentations.   Representations of opinion, particularly involving matters of value, are ordinarily not actionable representations of fact.  (Neu–Visions Sports Inc. v. Soren/McAdam/Bartells (2000) 86 Cal.App.4th 303, 308 (Neu–Visions ) [accountant's opinion of the value of a building not actionable misrepresentation of fact];  Padgett v. Phariss (1997) 54 Cal.App.4th 1270, 1284 [opinion of fair market value of property not actionable misrepresentation].)   A representation is an opinion “ ‘if it expresses only (a) the belief of the maker, without certainty, as to the existence of a fact;  or (b) his judgment as to quality, value ․ or other matters of judgment.’  “ (5 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed.   2005) Torts, § 774, p. 1123.)

Appraisals are “an opinion as to the market value” of a property prepared by a qualified independent appraiser.  (12 C.F.R. §§ 34.42(a), 34.45 (2014);  12 Witkin, Summary of Cal. Law (10th ed.   2005) Real Property, § 498, p. 576.)   It is an estimate of the price a buyer would be willing to pay and a seller would be willing to accept at a given time based upon market conditions.”

Thus there is no such thing as an actual market value, only what values of opinion that are made by a real estate agent.
The Dale case goes on to say:

“As to the first cause of action for declaratory relief, our Supreme Court in Selby Realty Co. v. City of San Buenaventura, 10 Cal. 3d 110, said at pages 117-118 [109 Cal. Rptr. 799, 514 P.2d 111]: "We cannot discern in the foregoing allegations any concrete dispute between plaintiff and the county which admits of definitive and conclusive judicial relief. The county has taken no action with respect to plaintiff's land except to enact a general plan describing proposed streets, as required by state law. The fact that some of the proposed streets, if ultimately constructed, will cross plaintiff's property gives this plaintiff no greater right to secure a declaration as to the validity of the plan or its effect upon his land than that available to any other citizen whose property is included within the plan. The plan is by its very nature merely tentative and subject to change. Whether eventually any part of plaintiff's land will be taken for a street depends upon unpredictable future events. If the plan is implemented by the county in the future in such manner as actually to affect plaintiff's free use of his property, the validity of the county's action may be challenged at that time. [55 Cal. App. 3d 108]

As to the second cause of action for inverse condemnation, Selby is also dispositive. The court said at pages 120 and 121: "The deleterious consequences of haphazard community growth in this state and the need to prevent further random development are evident to even the most casual observer. The Legislature has attempted to alleviate the problem [55 Cal. App. 3d 109] by authorizing the adoption of long-range plans for orderly progress. Thus, it has provided not only for the adoption of general plans but also regional plans (§ 65060 et seq.), specific plans (§ 65450 et seq.), district plans (§ 66105 et seq.), and a comprehensive plan for the conservation of San Francisco Bay (§ 66650 et seq.). In addition, the voters recently passed an initiative measure providing the mechanism for adoption of plans to preserve and protect the state's coastline. (Pub. Resources Code, § 27000 et seq.)

"If a governmental entity and its responsible officials were held subject to a claim for inverse condemnation merely because a parcel of land was designated for potential public use on one of these several authorized plans, the process of community planning would either grind to a halt, or deteriorate to publication of vacuous generalizations regarding the future use of land. We indulge in no hyperbole to suggest that if every landowner whose property might be affected at some vague and distant future time by any of these legislatively permissible plans was entitled to bring an action in declaratory relief to obtain a judicial declaration as to the validity and potential effect of the plan upon his land, the courts of this state would be inundated with futile litigation. It is clear, under all the circumstances, that plaintiff has not stated a cause of action against the county defendants for either declaratory relief or inverse condemnation."

Also in accord is Navajo Terminals, Inc. v. San Francisco Bay Conservation etc. Com., 46 Cal. App. 3d 1 [120 Cal. Rptr. 108], wherein this court (Division Three) recently held that the adoption of a resolution "fixing and establishing within the shoreline land the boundaries of the water-oriented priority land uses" did not constitute a taking. [10] We are, of course, aware of the modern rule that a taking does not require a physical invasion or direct legal restraint, as an undue restriction may suffice (Candlestick Properties v. San Francisco Bay Conservation, etc. Com., 11 Cal. App. 3d 557, 572 [89 Cal.Rptr. 897]). In Candlestick, supra, this court (Division Three) denied inverse condemnation relief, and at page 572, distinguished two of the foreign cases cited by the Dales, Dooley v. Town Plan and Zoning Com., 151 Conn. 304 [197 A.2d 770] and Morris County Land Improv. Co. v. Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills, 40 N.J. 539 [193 A.2d 232]. Candlestick was cited with approval and followed by our Supreme Court in the "strikingly similar" case of State of California v. Superior Court (Veta) 12 Cal. 3d 237, 252 [115 Cal. Rptr. 497, 524 P.2d 1281]. [55 Cal. App. 3d 110]

Thus the City of Mountain View is immune to Inverse Condemnation under the law. The CAA surely should be aware of it.

Posted by Bored M
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Nov 14, 2016 at 9:01 pm

I think Measure V will eventually accelerate the demise of cheaper units in Mountain View, but I can't help to laugh at the irony of evictions right now. Yes evictions are the right thing to do for landlords at this time, but if everyone does them simultaneously then the rush of available units should briefly cause market prices to decline. You win Tenants Coalition!

Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 11:49 am

Touche' Bored M! Taking that to its logical conclusion, the evicted tenants might be able to move back in with _lower_ rent. Unless, of course, the landlords convert to condos or demolish and rebuild...

Posted by Reluctant Acceptance
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 12:59 pm

I am a landlord and attended this meeting in order to take the temperature of what will likely happen in the immediate term and next two years.

The council vote went down exactly as predicted by Gina, I have no problem with it, as that is pragmatic, no need to go against the spirit of what was voted for at this point, it is a marathon not a sprint to get this well intentioned but poorly written and to be poorly executed measure repealed in two years. It was apparent that was the approach of the council, to take the high road as they know they will need goodwill to implement this in a way that puts the city and its taxpayers in the best position in a bad situation.

What was striking was the unprofessional out of turn outburst and use of offensive and profane language by the Tenant Coalition's official mouthpiece Mr. Debolt. For those not present, Counculman Kasperzak (who actually voted for the ordinance) was giving his rationale for not voting for it, out of turn and disrespectfully from the back row, Mr. Debolt shouted "that's bull Spit" (edited for language) then followed up with "that's f'n bullspit" (again edited for language).

In a supposed civilized society where we should hear each other out and respect each other's positions, there is no place for this. Other leaders of the coalition approved and high fived him.

I was pleased by the contrasting professionalism of Joshua Howard who spoke with brevity, precision and respect. Interestingly, Mr. Howard tried to speak at the end to get the last word by queueing up late behind Mr. Debolt, a legitimate strategy, seeing this, Mr. Debolt left the queue to get behind Mr. Howard, it appeared childish but not surprising given the later offensive outburst.

In short, I feel good that the landlord's professional approach will win out eventually, I for one will stick this out rather than selling and continue to operate my rentals in an ethical manner, as most landlords in Mountain View have done and will continue to do.

Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2016 at 1:21 pm

Well, the emergency ordinance passed. Thank you City Council of Mountain View.

In particular, I am obligated to indicate that one member who was initially opposed to it in the hearing changed his mind. I truly believe that Mike Kasperzak did exercise an independent thinking cap and understood what needed to be done given this situation.

I may not see eye to eye with him. But I respect the man and appreciate when he takes actions that he would normally not do.

Again thanks Mountain View City Council

Posted by I was evicted
a resident of Castro City
on Nov 15, 2016 at 1:28 pm

So what happens to people that have already received and eviction notice?

Posted by Re: I was evicted
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

You will need to lawyer up, contact project sentinel.

The city attorney noted, however, that if a notice was served properly prior to the passage of this emergency ordinance, the courts could rule that the notice remains in effect. If upheld you would be evicted under unlawful detainer if you do not vacate per the notice which always favors landlord.

Posted by Gina
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Called it.

Posted by Anke
a resident of North Whisman
on Nov 15, 2016 at 5:34 pm

@I was evicted, can you talk to your landlord? Maybe you could work something out e.g. they might rescind the eviction if you agree to a rent increase that they had in the pipeline. Of course, only you can know which is worse.

Posted by george drysdale
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2016 at 10:16 am

This is all shaping up to be the number one lesson plan in economics. It is also going to be a great lesson plan in political science. This sort of thing has happened thousands of times in history. Will the city council enact just cause evictions? Will it flunk out of high school economics? It is not the evil landlords who are causing this disruption but people moving in who have better education and job skills who are bidding up the rents. Businessman: take a class in Economics 101 so you can argue like a business major. George Drysdale, social studies (history is emphasized) teacher

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