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SB 330 has direct impact on tenant displacement in Mountain View, city data shows

Original post made on Oct 19, 2022

Since SB 330 came into effect in January 2020, the number of projects that displace tenants living in rent control-covered units has significantly declined.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 1:16 PM

Comments (14)

Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 19, 2022 at 2:34 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

These words jumped out at me:

"“SB 330 makes a lot of those demolition projects not viable, not financially feasible (for developers),” Rental Housing Committee member Emily Ann Ramos told the Voice after the meeting. “... SB 330 was a godsend because the city was not able to implement their local provisions in time to stop the number of displacement projects we were looking at.”

Some folks in this city are in love with developers, and think they can do no wrong. We need more legislation like SB330, to protect residents from projects that actually HARM the community (especially the residents who earn <$188K).

"That said, Ramos added, SB 330 is slated to expire in 2030, so “it really does help to have a localized ordinance so we can be more specific to the needs of residents,” she said."

Agreed. We need to have local laws to protect residents from developers. Many seem to have a mindset that we can bring the cost of housing down if we just get out of the way of developers and let them "do their thing". This mindset is flawed, wishful thinking.

Sadly, the CA YIMBY movement is working to strip "local control" from individual communities and hand it over to state politicians instead.


Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 19, 2022 at 3:04 pm

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an observation,

This was the state law that made it illegal for those trying to penalize the City for passing the CSFRA.

The CAA proclaimed that the CSFRA would in effect evict EVERYONE under the jurisdiction of the CSFRA. And in fact the City Council did everything they could to get it donein the first term of those elected when it passed. Along with putting Vanessa Honey and Tom Means on the first board of the RHC.

Then the state closed that off. The City Council would have punished the city residents over and over again for passing the CSFRA against the interests of the City Council.

Too bad it demonstrated how corrupt that system was. And still is with Koga and Matichek


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 20, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

JAFO, thank you so much for your comments. In 2016, when the voter initiative CSFRA was approved by voters, I was more focused on federal politics, rather than local. I was fighting for Bernie, and Medicare For All. So it is interesting to me to learn NOW what was happening back then.

For those like me, I searched on "mountain view community stabilization and fair rent act", which found Web Link , it provides some basic info about CSFRA. More info here: Web Link

"The Mountain View City Council grappled with the heated topic of rent and eviction controls, putting the Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act (Measure V) on the ballot in November 2016. Voters passed the measure, which states a landlord could not raise the rent in any year more than the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) with a big caveat: the annual increase can never be less than 2% or more than 5%."

It looks to me like CSFRA is similar to the RV ban situation, in that voters in the COMMUNITY disagreed with those we elected to City Council to represent us. Emily Ann Ramos calls SB330 a "godsend" because "the city was not able to implement their local provisions in time to stop the number of displacement projects we were looking at.” Note that her phrasing seems to give credit to the City Council for the local provisions that were needed. I think she is being diplomatic, but your words imply that the City Council was AGAINST CSFRA. Is that true? Can you elaborate a bit more for those of us who were not here, or were not paying close attention in 2016?

In particular, I don't quite understand the following:

"And in fact the City Council did everything they could to get it donein the first term of those elected when it passed." ???

"The City Council would have punished the city residents over and over again for passing the CSFRA against the interests of the City Council."

It shocks me when elected officials do what is best for powerful interests, instead of the COMMUNITY who put them into power. I am voting for Li Zhang because I want at least ONE person on the Council who is willing to speak truth to power, and fight on behalf of the people in the COMMUNITY.


Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an observation,

During the Measure V campaign the City Council fought against it. They even tried to prevent it from being enforced by agreeing to a Temporary restraining Order instead of defending it regarding the CAA court attack. The fact that the court outright declared the CAA challenge had no merit and the CAA withdrew the court case.

Tome Means was assigned the membership of the RHC despite being paid by the opposition of rent control in other cities, the MVVoice reported on it, eventually he had to resign. The same thing happened to Vanessa Honey.

On top of that Koga and Matichek tried to get the voters to give up their legal rights in the Measure D campaign which lost by a 2 to 1 vote margin.

There is plenty of articles describing that Mike Kasperzak, John Inks, Lisa Matechak and others were City Council member during the campaign and were VOCAL opposition to the measure, I believe you can see them on youtube, You can search Measure V Too Costly as well here Web Link

The facts are that after it passed the City did everything to NOT enforce the CSFRA especially the Rent Rollback provision. My landlord didn’t comply and months later had to pay me $3,600 in overpaid rent refund.

The fact was the City Council was TRYING to eliminate all rentals from the City.


Posted by ivg
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2022 at 9:47 pm

ivg is a registered user.

Your "fact" doesn't follow at all from the actual facts you presented.


Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 20, 2022 at 10:57 pm

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an observation.

Remember EVERY project before SB330 was signed was designed to remove the RENTAL units for CONDOS, and ROWHOUSES. Only after SB330 passed did any affordable housing units were part of a project.

Now that unemployment is still very low the Fed is going to likely raise interest rates by about 1.5% by the end of the year.

What is also very true was that practically ALL landlords of Mountain View don't even live here, and they have gotten preferential treatment from the City Council for decades.

I hope more unfunded "mandates" regarding housing are passed by the state, so it will continue to engage more affordable housing.

Remember AB1482 also is in play, which means with the recession and the continued population reductions, the rents will not ever return to the level they were in 2019. Because the demand is dropping off.


Posted by ivg
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2022 at 9:03 am

ivg is a registered user.

Every project? Really? What about 777 W Middlefield?


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 21, 2022 at 10:34 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

From Dec 2016, one month after CSFRA was passed by MV voters:

Update: Landlords sue over Measure V; judge temporarily halts law - Web Link

"On Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 21, city officials say they learned the California Apartment Association had filed a civil complaint in Santa Clara County Superior Court seeking to overturn the rent control charter amendment as well as a set of emergency eviction protections approved by the City Council following the election."

"In an email to the Voice, City Attorney Jannie Quinn said her team intends to defend the council's just-cause eviction ordinance from a restraining order. However, they do not plan to fight the landlord group's request to delay the rollout of Measure V. The decision to not defend Measure V at this juncture, Quinn wrote, was made in order to "provide time for the city to fully analyze the complaint and prepare for further hearings, and insure the immediate preservation of the just-cause ordinance."

Quinn did not say who made that decision."

"Measure V scored a victory on election night with more than 53.4 percent of the vote, but the initiative had far less support among elected leaders. Six out of the seven Mountain View council members opposed the measure, most of them backing a milder alternative they added to the November ballot."

FYI, Lenny Siegel was the lone supporter on the City Council.

JAFO's recollection pretty factual to me. Six out of the seven Mountain View council members opposed the measure, they were that "in touch" with the COMMUNITY. If they had prevailed in 2016, just think about how many MORE tenants would have been displaced by developers.

I don't trust that today's City Council is any more "in touch" with the COMMUNITY than the one in 2016. I'm voting for Li Zhang - Web Link


Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 21, 2022 at 11:11 am

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an observation,

777 Middlefield in effect does not count, the affordable housing was targeted for teachers working in the city of Mountain view and NOT the general public. These were for ONLY city employees. Of course you knew that.

And in fact 280 rent stabilized units were removed in the process only providing 144 "affordable " units meaning a deficit of 136 lost rental units under CSFRA.

Thus SB330 became necessary.

But again you knew that too


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 22, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Speaking of tenant displacement, I want mention a few related news items that show how current housing policies are biased to favor new, market-rate unit construction over AFFORDABLE housing for lower-income households.

On Sept 14 - Web Link

"The Mountain View City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new policy in which rent-controlled apartments that are demolished for redevelopment must be replaced with units affordable to low-income residents."

"The move means that newly built housing replacing older, rent-controlled units won't be subject to the city's rent control law, but will instead be deed-restricted to be affordable for families making up to 80% of the area's median income. The benefit, according to city staff, is that the units would not make the jump to market-rate prices that normally comes with vacancy decontrol. With vacancy decontrol, once a rent-controlled unit becomes vacant, landlords may charge the next tenant market-rate rent."

Sounds awesome right? But wait ...

On Sept 28 - Web Link

"Mountain View City Council unanimously OKs apartment project on East El Camino Real ... the project proposes two, six-story buildings that will have 233 units, of which 191 are considered net-new, as the project will be replacing 42 existing units on site. The combined count for the existing and new development will be 371 total units."

42 rent-controlled apartments were replaced with 42 BMR apartments, so no displacement. Yay!

"The project will provide 11% of the project's base density for units affordable to very low-income households, making it eligible for a 35% density bonus and up to two concessions under the state density bonus law, plus development waivers."

Note that 42 BMR units / 371 total units = 11%. There's something like double-dipping going on here. The 42 "replacement" units are required by MV policy, but they are ALSO being used by the developer to obtain a slew of goodies while they build 191 net-new, market rate units.

Let me try to summarize. The new MV policy to require that rent-controlled apartments be replaced by BMR units is certainly a good thing. But it seems ripe for abuse. Notice that no net-new AFFORDABLE housing was created in this example project. A six-story building will be created, and existing low-income tenants will have protections. However, there won't be any NEW SPACES in the complex for other lower-income residents.

Question: will these BMR units be counted in the RHNA targets as new units, even though they are actually replacement units for existing low-income households? If so, it reduces construction of desperately needed low-income units. That's not good.

Is this project an example of how the redevelopment of MV will proceed? I fear the answer is yes. ALL or MOST of the net-new units will be expensive, market-rate units that over half the population CANNOT AFFORD. This is also NOT a good thing. Those who truly care about the fate of "teachers, service workers, and our kids who don't code" should seriously take note.

The current "affordable housing" crusade is going to result in the GENTRIFICATION of Mountain View.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 22, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

Correction: "TWO six-story buildings will be created, and existing low-income tenants will have protections. However, there won't be any NEW SPACES in the complex for other lower-income residents."


Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 22, 2022 at 1:04 pm

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an observation.

The STATE law in effect FORCED the City to eliminate any "NET LOSS" rent stabilized or BMR housing. But as you accurately described, this city is still attempting to use projects to evict people.

Especially where, the cost of relocation is not being fully compensating the real cost of the removal. This situation is just the city going to the motion of compliance of law.

I strongly urge that litigation be started to force the city to ensure that ALL COSTS placed on exiting as previous tenants are paid IN FULL due to their actions.

I also strongly urge more state laws that ensure that citizens do not get forced to take on costs that are beyond their control. In effect any City wanting to do this kind of thing will have to be fully financially responsible for the costs.

This is still abusive to those who have not done a thing to deserve it.


Posted by Leslie Bain
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 23, 2022 at 11:55 am

Leslie Bain is a registered user.

For interested voters, I searched for info about "Tom Means" in the Voice archives, and found some interesting stuff.

Nov 3, 2017- Editorial: Tom Means should resign from Rental Housing Committee - Web Link

"The City Council appointed two renters, one landlord and one property manager to the committee, which appeared to be a reasonable course. But the appointment of the fifth committee member, Tom Means, waved the red flag for Measure V supporters — and for us. Means, a former City Council member, had forcefully spoken out against the citizen-driven measure, and has publicly stated his opposition to rent-control laws in general ... the recent revelation of his paid work to help defeat another community's rent-control ballot measure makes his presence on the RHC unacceptable."

[What on earth was the Council thinking when they appointed Tom Means to the RHC in the first place?]

Mar 29, 2018- RHC majority pushes for extra rent increase - Web Link

"As in many previous discussions, the Rental Housing Committee showed a deep ideological divide. Grunewald, Tom Means and Vanessa Honey insisted that the CSFRA regulations needed to accommodate the business realities of the rental market -- even if their legal counsel disagreed."

[Oh I see, Means was put there to give the landlords a majority, together with Grunewald + Vanessa Honey]

April 20, 2018- RHC member accused of bias for being a tenant - Web Link

"A Mountain View landlord is seeking the resignation of Rental Housing Committee member Emily Ramos based on concerns that her role as a tenant creates a conflict of interest."

So again, JAFO's "facts" look like facts to me! But I also found something more recent, that is important for those who have not yet cast their votes in the city council race.

Mar 24, 2021 - Mountain View City Council votes to shake up city's Rental Housing Committee - Web Link

"After two rounds of votes, council members agreed to add Guadalupe Rosas -- a mobile home owner and union representative for Workers United -- to the committee for a four-year term, while reappointing Emily Ramos and Nicole Haines-Livesay. In doing so, council members bumped Matt Grunewald, who has served on the RHC since its inception in 2017, to an "alternate" member."

[Remember, Grunewald together with Tom Means and Vanessa Honey were part of the early landlord-sympathetic majority when the RHC was first founded.]

It took two rounds of voting, to add Rosas. How did the current candidates who are running for re-election on the City Council as incumbents vote?

Both former Mayor Ellen Kamei and current Mayor Lucas Ramirez voted for Grunewald as their first choice in the final vote. THEIR FIRST CHOICE!

Alison Hicks chose Grunewald as her last pick.

Also, remember that Lucas Ramirez was enthusiastically endorsed by MV YIMBY, a group that I rarely see eye to eye with, Web Link . Somehow they don't mention Ramirez' vote to retain Grunewald on the RHC though, a guy who pushed for an extra rent increase in 2018 even though "tenant advocates warned that such a move [was] blatantly illegal under the city's rent control law."

I've been on the fence about Hicks, but I think I will vote for both her and Li Zhang. I'm glad that mobile home owners and tenants have some representation now on the RHC.



Posted by JAFO
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 23, 2022 at 6:33 pm

JAFO is a registered user.

Just an observation,

The city has a problem with city inspectors do NOT do their job correctly and are paid to defend property owners. John Carr twice went into a RHC hearing to testify for a landlord and both times not being able to validate his claims and in fact had to say in his words “I do not know anything about this situation” The City does not provide proper city inspections, EVERYONE should read the webpage here (Web Link

This attorney points out that the City inspector are in no way responsible to uphold building codes. As the page points out

“As the above cases reveal, unknowledgeable property owners, including unit owners in homeowners associations, may be the ones to suffer if they depend on the public agency to stand behind the building permit it issues and the inspectors it hires to oversee ongoing private works of improvement. These cases reinforce the point that a building permit issued by a public agency is neither a guarantee of the quality of the contractor's work, nor is it a representation of the adequacy of the work that was performed on the property. Building codes, the issuance of building permits, and building inspections are merely devices used by municipalities to collect the revenues that help fund the municipality.”

John Carr DID NOT INSPECT the property at 184 Centre Street when he was presented a reasonable doubt of safety, which under the CA Building Code Section 1708 In Situ Load tests section 1708.1 REQUIRES a load test to be performed on the property where a reasonable doubt calls for it. With cracks in the foundation, cracks on the balconies, cracks in the elevated access walkways can easily be seen, and even cracks in external walls visible that satisfies the reasonable doubt.

The City of Mountain View has a SERIOUS problem with upholding the State Laws and Codes. The CSFRA Officers are supposed to uphold them.


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