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  • 03/20/2019 11:35 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The Santa Monica Rent Control Board has released the 2018 Annual Report summarizing developments during the year along with the most comprehensive and current information about controlled rental housing in Santa Monica.

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  • 03/20/2019 11:23 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The California Court of Appeal offered temporary relief to Santa Monica's current City Councilmembers, who were facing a special election this summer. Justices Elizabeth Grimes, Maria Stratton, and John Shepard Wiley of the appeals court signed an order staying an earlier ruling by a trial court that the city must hold special elections for city council via newly-drawn districts by August 15.

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  • 03/19/2019 3:41 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A California Appeals Court ruled Monday that Santa Monica's seven City Council members can continue serving while the City's appeal of a voting rights lawsuit is heard.

    The temporary order stays a ruling by Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos that prohibits Council members not elected under a district system from serving after August 15.

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  • 03/19/2019 11:57 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Implementation of district-based elections will be on hold pending the City’s appeal of its recent loss following a recent ruling by the California Court of Appeal.

    The City’s appeal automatically halted the order to hold new elections but Palazuelos’ order for current members to vacate their seats required additional judicial action.

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  • 03/19/2019 11:51 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    The California Court of Appeal today issued a temporary stay of paragraph 9 of the trial court’s order pending further order of the Court of Appeal.  Paragraph 9 of the trial court’s order prohibited any person who was not elected through a district-based election from serving on the Santa Monica City Council after August 15, 2019. 

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  • 03/19/2019 11:45 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Santa Monica residents have been receiving cleaner electricity since February and local businesses soon will too.

    City Council decided last September abandon Southern California Edison (SCE) in favor of Clean Power Alliance (CPA), a new utility that provides electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. Residents now receive 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources as a default and the average customer pays about $6 more per month for electricity. Customers can also opt down to 50 or 36 percent renewable energy, however, or opt out of CPA entirely.

    CPA will be enrolling business, industrial and agricultural customers in Santa Monica and 27 other communities in May, said Allison Mannos, the utility’s senior marketing manager.

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  • 03/19/2019 11:44 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A ballot measure sponsored by Santa Monica Senator Ben Allen that would lower the threshold for approval of parcel taxes is awaiting referral to a committee, his office said Monday.

    Introduced in December, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 would dramatically improve the chances for school parcel taxes to be approved by lowering the threshold from two-thirds to 55 percent of the vote.

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  • 03/19/2019 11:31 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    Lawmakers have passed bills to streamline the development of housing in urban areas and to make it harder for cities to block much-needed housing construction. Voters have approved billions of dollars in new spending to subsidize affordable homes. And there are more bills pending in Sacramento to boost the supply of housing, which is essential after many years during which the state failed to build enough units to keep up with population growth.

    But it is increasingly clear that lawmakers can’t address the real-time pain and upheaval caused by the state’s housing crisis without strengthening tenant protections.

    Now, a group of Democratic lawmakers has proposed a package of bills aimed at protecting renters, including proposals to cap annual rent increases and to make it harder to evict tenants without just cause. The bills will inevitably be controversial — any discussion of rent control is — but legislators shouldn’t shy away from adopting reasonable policies designed to provide stability and security for renters, who make up nearly half the state’s population.

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  • 03/18/2019 12:20 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    A series of housing bills introduced in the State Assembly Thursday will likely have little impact on Santa Monica's skyrocketing rental market, although one of them could pave the way for a local voter initiative.

    Of the four bills, the one introduced by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom could go before local voters if it is signed into law by the Governor, as expected.

    Unlike Bloom's 2018 housing bill to repeal vacancy decontrol -- which like a similar state voter initiative failed -- the new bill would make "modest reforms" to the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, his office said.

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  • 03/18/2019 12:16 PM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

    California voters decisively rejected Proposition 10 in November, wisely choosing not to invalidate a state law that bars local governments from imposing new types of rent control on single-family homes or apartments built after 1995. But to no one’s surprise, the state’s housing crisis is once again leading to a new push for rent control in the state Capitol.

    Two troubling measures have emerged. Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, has introduced a bill that would dramatically weaken the current anti-rent control law by allowing cities and counties to control the rent on apartments and single-family homes that are more than 10 years old, although it would exempt landlords of small properties. Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, has introduced a bill that would put a percentage ceiling on how much landlords could increase rent annually.

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