Threatened Lawsuit Stalls Santa Cruz Tenant Eviction Relief Plan

Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Jessica A. York
Santa Cruz Sentinel

A planned tenant housing relief measure was put on hold by city officials Tuesday in the face of potential litigation.

The Santa Cruz City Council had scheduled a special meeting with two items on its agenda this week, scrambling to fit in some final legislative acts prior to the term expiration for three of seven members this month. Both a proposed 90-day minimum eviction notice requirement from landlords and lengthier decision on rules to ease development of homeowners’ secondary granny flats, however, were taken off the agenda after brief public comment for each.

At the start of the meeting, the council recessed to a closed-session discussion not on the agenda to discuss the pending litigation threat. When members returned, they announced that the California Apartment Owners Association had threatened to sue the city, based on a past court’s decision, if the city tried to change its residential eviction requirements. Existing state law requires landlords to give at least 30 days notice to a tenant of less than a year, or 60 days for a tenant of a year or more. The council, with Councilwoman Richelle Noroyan absent, voted to put the ordinance on hold.

Due to council member absences and limited time availability, a lengthier discussion on granny flat regulation changes also was pushed to the council’s regular Dec. 11 meeting, which may begin as early as 8:30 a.m.

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