Pasadena City Council Heads into Marathon, Back-to-Back Overnight Meetings

Published : Monday, November 4, 2019 | 6:05 AM

Taking extraordinary measures to quickly enact a moratorium on renter evictions the City says are “surging” ahead of new Jan. 1 State law protections, Pasadena’s City Council scheduled a highly unusual second meeting for 12:01 a.m. Tuesday to follow tonight’s regular meeting.

A City statement said the Council effort is in response to a “recent surge of eviction notices and threats of eviction” in Pasadena.

Last week, the Pasadena Tenants Union and allied organizations told the Council that after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1482 into law they saw a jump in 60-day eviction notices.

The new law will enable the state to regulate how much California landlords can increase their tenants’ rent every year, limiting it to five percent. It goes into effect January 1, 2020.

Both the Tenants Union and the ACLU Pasadena/Foothills Chapter urged their members to attend tonight’s Council meetings to “help pressure” the City Council to pass the moratorium,

“We know unscrupulous landlords are raising rents and conducting massive evictions in Pasadena in advance of AB 1482’s enactment,” an ACLU announcement said.

Meanwhile, realtors organizations say there is no convincing evidence there actually is any sort of surge in evictions.

“I have not heard any actual or anecdotal evidence that any of that is happening,” said Todd Hays, former President of the Pasadena-Foothills Association of Realtors.

Leon Khachooni, Manager of the Foothill Apartment Association, said his organization provides landlords with legal forms needed to increase tenants’ rents.

“There hasn’t been any uptick in the 60-day notices or calls about evictions at all,” Khachooni said.

At the Council’s regular meeting tonight, Councilmembers are scheduled to consider and vote on a Tenant Protection Act Temporary Adoption Ordinance.

The proposed ordinance’s first reading has already been planned for the same meeting, to follow a bit later.

Then to facilitate the swiftest possible legal adoption, a special meeting of the City Council has been called for 12:01 am on Tuesday for the purpose of conducting the second reading of the ordinance, which is required to enact the new law.

The series of actions was designed to comply with the City Charter, Section 505, which states, “No ordinance shall be adopted by the City Council on the day of its introduction,” a City spokesperson explained.

Publication of the ordinance would follow on November 7, 2019, which would become the ordinance’s effective date.

The emergency eviction moratorium ordinance, if adopted, would be effective through December 31, 2019.

“The purpose of this unique approach is to complete the City Council’s action to implement protections for residents being evicted as quickly as possible,” explained Pasadena City spokesperson Lisa Derderian.

“Had the City taken the normal approach, given that the November 11, 2019 meeting will be canceled due to the Veteran’s Day Holiday, the ordinance would not be adopted until November 18, 2019 and will not be published and effective until November 21, 2019.”

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