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tv   [untitled]    December 4, 2012 10:30am-11:00am PST

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would like to speak, please come forward. we're going to close public comment very soon. please stand up. next speaker. >> my name is estelle gomez, i
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am a member of casa just cause and i have been living in my apartment more than 5 years. the harassment began when the property owner of my unit attempted to overcharge us for utilities. when my husband and i asked her to show us the receipts of the amounts of
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money that we were paying if we were going to pay the utilities that she was asking us to, she gave us notes that did not have an address, did not have a date, did not have a number, just the amount of money that we supposedly owed. we continued to tell her that this was not going to be an acceptable form of a notice and she did not accept. she began to harass us and tell us we needed to pay us the utilities. she began by screaming at my husband, she went to my daughter's work and screamed at her in front of her clients. a couple of days after that, my daughter was fired from her job. she then called my son and started screaming to him over the phone, telling him that she did not care how the money was found but that the light and the water would be paid. finally she told us that we needed to leave. she gave us a verbal eviction. we told her that verbal evictions are not valid and she became even more
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angry and has denied giving us anything in writing. my husband and i are seniors with limited incomes and with the help of our children we struggle to pay rent and live in peace in our community. the owners of our home feel that they can do whatever they want against us because -- and that we don't have any rights but this isn't so. please support us, please support this legislation and help us ensure that our rights to live in safe housing that is free of this type of harassment is met. thank you. >> thank you. only for those who have not spoken yet --. >> i didn't use up all my time. i'd like 30 seconds. >> it doesn't work that way. >> well, the rent board refuses to hear us because this does not exist. >> ma'am, your time is up. is there anyone else that would
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like to speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. if there are no objections let's hear this last person. thank you. >> my name is maria and i am here to give my own opinion
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because the words that i say is from the city because the city has allowed these people to build for business and let them take the tenants' houses. rich people, corporation, can do business by own houses and you supervisor have been elected to represent us. please support this legislation to be sure we keep our houses because we really in danger to lose all houses. thank you very much. >> seeing no other public comment, public comment is closed. supervisor olage >> yeah, i just wanted to thank everyone for coming out. i wanted to mention that, as i
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commented earlier, the language before you is significantly different from the original language i introduced over the summer, which provided for damages and additions to the list of harassment. it was significantly watered-down in part because there was major push back from i think the apartment association and others and through the mayor's office and so we worked with the mayor's office, the city attorney and the rent board to get this to a place where it was more, in a place where we could provide some protection against harassment to tenants but not at the level that we originally had hoped to place something on the ballot. so we did pull that measure from the ballot, worked with again the rent board, the city attorney, and the mayor's office to come up with language that we felt was more acceptable but still
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provided some basic protections to tenants who in a city where it is one of the most expensive rental markets possibly in the world, certainly in this country and this state, then i worked for a number of years doing tenant counseling with single room occupancy hotel tenants and with seniors and disabled citizens of san francisco and i can tell you i don't have a number or a statistic but the type of harassment was definitely present and extensive and i don't believe this applies obviously to landlords who don't abuse this, there are plenty of good landlords out there, we're not suggesting that there aren't, but certainly with the market being what it is in san francisco it places vulnerable tenants, particularly immigrants, many of who we heard speak today, i know seniors and other low income tenants did face a lot
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of these issues. so i'll go ahead and read briefly what the language is that would be added to this administrative code and just so folks can know exactly what it states. just a hearing on alleged wrongful endeavor to recover possessions through tenant harassment. upon receipt of a tenant report alleging wrongful endeavor to recover possession of the tenant's unit through harassment, the board through its executive director shall send a notice acknowledging receipt of the report and summarizing the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants regarding possession of and eviction from residential rental units. upon consideration of such report, the executive director may schedule an investigative hearing on the allegations before a board or administrative law judge where
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both the tenant and the landlord may appear and make oral presentations, including presentation of other witnesses. following such hearing the administrative law judge shall provide the board with a summary of evidence produced at the hearing. that's basically what would be added. i believe that just the passage of prop m which, again, was challenged in court and dismissed is an indication that residents in this city do feel that harassment is a real issue that many of them deal with regardless of whether the statistics, if one could read prop m and its passage is an ipld indication people need for protection around this issue. that's an indicator. that's where i'll leave it. colleagues, are there any -- supervisor cohen.
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>> thank you very much. i want to thank the member s of the public who came out to give testimony as well as the leaders in the industry, given your perspective. this has actually been a very eye-opening experience listening to this. i too am a renter but as many of you know, i represent district 10 which is the baby portrero hill neighborhood. i am becoming more well versed with some of the challenges of living in the mission, of living in the tender loin and south of market area. thank you, supervisor olage, for bringing this level of attention to the board of supervisors. as i begin to gain more knowledge i would like to publicly reach out to mr.
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gulickson and the tenant's union and sarah short as well. i want to hear from the rent board, i have not heard from them, sarah short, you may very clear why they would not perhaps weigh in on this issue. i'm not prepared to vote on it today and i'd like to make a motion to continue this item so i can personally become more well versed on the issues that circulate this particular renting demographic, this group of san franciscoans. i feel like i owe everyone who came and spoke just an opportunity to walk in their shoes and to really be able to empathize with some of the frustrating living circumstances that people are going through. so i would appreciate if i could have a little bit more time. i'd like to make a motion to move that this be, that this item be moved to the call of
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the chair. >> there's a motion let's continue the discussion. supervisor wiener. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thanks everyone who came out today. i was actually, and i made this comment at the beginning before public comment, that i was just surprised that the rent board is not here. i know one commissioner came and gave public testimony but when we're talking about doing legislation to create a new hearing and noticing mechanism for the rent board i would want to know that the rent board has -- and one person referred to the rent board considering harassment, i'm sure the rent board has considered harassment, but the question is whether the rent board has considered and commented on this particular piece of legislation. so i am just surprised the rent board
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wasn't here today to make comments on the legislation so i'd be interested in hearing from the rent board about that. so i'm inclined to support the motion. >> thank you, supervisors. let me also thank everyone for testifying today and thank supervisor olage and the housing organizations for bringing an issue forward that many of us know anecdotally and with stories of friends and others that have faced harassment. i do know it's a real issue in the richmond district but also throughout the city and i do know how challenging it is to get data on information and even to know the subjective line of what is harassment and what may be a landlord requesting basic information or having some legitimate need to communicate to a tenant that may be perceived as harassment as well. but i do know from my communications with the tenant
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organizations that it is a serious issue, that prop m from 2008 was attempting to address. unfortunately it was struck down by courts and this is another effort to try to address a serious issue that's been going on for a number of years. april and others mentioned that the current housing cost spike that's increasing is leading to more incidents and reports of harassment so i feel like this is a critical issue. i do appreciate that supervisor olage also has worked closely with many organizations including the city attorney's office and also rent board staff and also the apartment association to try to concern so i think this is a simple administrative procedure that's been brought to us. i think it can work but i have some questions still about rent board data, as others have said, and how it would work as
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well. it seems that the language of the ordinance also says that the executive director of the rent board may send this to an administrative law judge and i had some questions about what's the burden of proof, is it any allegations of harassment or does the director make a determination of what is harassment and what may be not harassment? i'm just curious if supervisor olage can answer that one. >> would be able to make those determinations, yeah. >> i think like my colleagues i would appreciate, would have appreciated it if the rent board or others could have been here to answer the questions but i'm still ready to vote on this today. i won't support a continuance. i do feel like this is a serious enough issue that i would oppose a continuance but let me just ask supervisor olage if you have any suggestions. >> again, you know, my last meeting at the board will be
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december 11 so i was hoping to be able to shepherd this legislation through before leaving the board, which is part of why we calendared it in the manner that we did. again, because of the push back we received from the industry when we wanted to originally introduce this in july, that is why we've amended it to where it is now where it's a simple procedural nonbinding tool for the rent board to use as they deem appropriate. but it's, of course, i'm not an official member of this body so i just wanted to give some, and i do apologize, i should have thought to invite the rent board which i just -- slipped my mind and my preparation. >> can i just ask if the maker of the motion, supervisor cohen, would consider continuing this until december 11 as a courtesy to our colleague, supervisor olage, so at least it could be heard on that date as opposed to continuing it to the call of
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the chair? >> no, actually, would be interested -- i don't know if i'll be able to reach out and do the outreach that i needed. in all fairness, as this came about, our office wasn't included or reached out to. we actually actively reached out to supervisor olage's office this morning trying to get a better understanding of it. >> i apologize. >> i hate to be --. >> no, that's fine. >> hard nosed on this. >> that's fine, i just wanted to give some background why the language is what it is. it's not due to lack of input. certainly the industry seemed to be active in giving their input to the mayor's office. i just wanted to put that out there for the record. >> thank you. supervisor wiener. >> so we have a motion to continue to the call of the chair. can we have a roll call vote? >> on that motion, supervisor
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cohen. >> aye. >> cohen, aye. supervisor wiener. >> aye. >> wiener, aye. chair mar. >> no. >> mar no. the motion passes. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you, supervisor olage can we -- mr. clerk, can you call the next item? >> item 4 is an ordinance amending the planning code regarding the valencia street neighborhood commercial transit district. >> thank you. the sponsor of this or presenting today is stephanie ashly from supervisor campos' office. miss ashly, thank you. >> yes, good afternoon, supervisors, thank you for having me today. i am here representing supervisor campos' ofrs and we are introducing or bringing to your attention today an ordinance which would amend or address the valencia street neighborhood commercial
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transit districts to allow for personal service use on the third floor and above provided it met with conditional use authorization. so here to speak more about this ordinance for us is aaron star from the planning department and i believe we also have regina from the small business commission. >> mr. star. >> aaron star from planning department staff. the planning commission considered this item at their last week's november 29th hearing, they voted unanimously to approve it. the commission found that personal service was originally prohibited from the third floor in order to try to preserve housing on the third floor, but now that the valencia neighborhood commercial transit district has adequate protections to prohibit the conversion of residential units on the third floor that allowing this use on the third
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floor with conditional use authorization is appropriate. and i'm happy to answer any questions that you have. thank you. >> thank you, it looks like chris schulman is here from the office of small business and it doesn't look like regina dickinson, but chris schulman is here. >> chris schulman from the office of small business. we held a hearing and recommended 6-0 to approve. the ordinance provides flexibility for a business to provide personal service on the third floor. the commission has taken this opportunity to help increase awareness of disability access requirements on businesses on the second story and above. thank you, supervisors, and we recommend approval. >> let's open this up for
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public comments, two minutes each. is there anyone who would like to speak on this item? >> ronald rabine, i wish some of the tenants had stayed here. i think this is another step of putting commercial uses ahead of the right of quiet enjoyment. the gentleman said there's protections against turning third floors into businesses but i don't know what those protections are. it seems to me there's no chamber of quality of life, there's no chamber of quiet enjoyment, we might need that. but the idea that business above all and let our space earn money more than let someone quietly live there is a wrong concept and they do this on the railroads too, of course, freight before passengers. i think this is a wrong trend and i urge a no vote on this and i'm sorry supervisor campos brought this up. >> is there anyone else from the public that would like to
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speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. colleagues, can we move this forward without objection? thank you. mr. clerk. >> item no. 5 is an ordinance amending the police code regarding the junk dealer and junk gatherer permit process. >> and the sponsor is supervisor cohen. >> thank you very much, mr. chair. colleagues, i want to thank you for hearing this item. i've spent nearly 8 months working on this legislation with the police department, the city attorney's office, junk dealers and the community members with the goal of curbing and better regulating the sale of metals, copper and other junk materials. now, metals theft is a significant problem in our city. if you recall, there was very much media coverage of it earlier this year. we have seen individuals go to great lengths to steal copper and metal by breaking into public housing units, homes,
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businesses, as well as historic buildings. we've seen metal thiefs sail small boats and even pull copper line from the cable lines. not only does metal theft cost thousands of dollars in damage but it can disrupt the delivery of critical transit services. unfortunately some metal thiefs have an incentive to engage in this dangerous behavior. junk dealers who buy and sell these materials often pay up to $4 per pound for metal and copper. while several junk dealers provide a service to local residents and contractors by allowing them to recycle lawfully obtained items, our police department has conducted a number of undercover investigations and has discovered some junk dealers
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illegally purchasing stolen material and accepting false documentation from sellers. now, all of the large junk dealers that engage in the business of purchasing metal and copper are located in district 10. the -- this legislation that we are reviewing today does a number of a few things. it updates and provides more structure to the permitting process for junk dealers in an attempt to combat the trafficking of stolen metal. 2, it brings the permitting of junk dealers more in line with the permitting structure for commercial towing companies and parking lots which the board of supervisors has recently updated. 3, the legislation requires junk dealers do 4 of the following: renew their permits with the police department annually if they have a facility or every two years if they do not,
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provide a process for the city and the neighbors to work with junk dealers to abate a nuisance and crime and finally makes conforming changes to our local regulations to make them more consistent with the state law. i appreciate the effort some of the junk dealers have made to establish better communication and working relationships with my office and with the police department. i hope that we will be able to continue to work together to implement these new requirements and collectively continue to work to address and abate metal theft. we have a representative from the police department here, we have the lieutenant o sullivan from the bay view police station, he's here to answer any questions that you may have, but given the length of this meeting i thought it would be best to spare a long presentation and just go ahead and go to public comment. >> okay, colleagues, let's open this up for public comment. is there anyone from the public that would like to
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speak? please come forward. >> ladies and gentlemen, my name is mark med, i'm the director of government affairs for sims metal management which has a metal recycling facility at the end of pier 70. i want to focus my remarks on just two things. one sft general comment that we are as worried, concerned, anxious and otherwise about metal theft. we have done much both locally and in the state of california to try and combat it. i will offer this. effective metal theft deterrents and prevention rests on really 3 legs of the same stool. one of course, is for people who -- and we include ourselves here -- who have materials subject to metal theft take active steps to protect their property. banks don't have screen doors. we have barbed wire and security in our own
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facility because we store a fair amount of copper in particular. the second thing is that it's very important that we support our police and local law enforcement in general in catching people who are actually taking metal illegally from housing, public utilities, private utilities, et cetera, and we are the third part of it, which is to make sure that all the transactions we do in buying this metal are properly done, legally done, completely recorded, et cetera. that's the general comment. the single comment i want to make about supervisor cohen's proposed ordinance is this: we have a 5 year lease with the port of san francisco and we would very much like to have the licensure be commensurate with that time period because as you know companies who invest like we do millions of dollars in an acre in our case that is actually not ours need to have some reliance on our
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ability to continue to operate within the strictures of our lease for the period of time of our lease. thank you very, very much. >> thank you. is there anyone else from the public that would like to speak? >> good afternoon, supervisors, my name is dan dote, i'm a bay view resident, home owner, business owner, and director of the bay view office of community planning which is a community-based land use entity. we are not city funded. i'm in full support by the effort of supervisor cohen in introducing this legislation on behalf of our district. we believe the legislation will potentially reduce the overall pool of debris collectors by requiring a consistent licensing and regulatory structure. it also may reduce the incidence of illegal dumping which adds significantly to the blight in district 10,
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throughout district 10. it's obvious the residual effects of illegal dumping has effects both environmental, physical, criminal, economic and psychological. it contributes to the unwarranted negative impression of our neighborhood. the legislation with also reward the legitimate hard-working and licensed contractors who engage in such work and it will further enhance, i believe, the overall climate within district 10 and our community. thank you very much. >> thank you. is there anyone else that would like to speak? >> i'd like to --. >> public comment is closed. supervisor cohen. >> i'd like to give lieutenant oh sullivan an opportunity just to go on the record and express his opinion on the legislation. thank you. >> thank you, good afternoon, supervisor, as the supervisor


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