Battle against SLO’s rental inspection ordinance advances

August 31, 2016
San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter

San Luis Obispo Councilman Dan Carpenter

By KAREN VELIE

Councilman Dan Carpenter and two local attorneys unveiled a plan Monday to strike San Luis Obispo’s controversial rental inspection program through the initiative process.

The proposed measure by Carpenter, Stew Jenkins and Dan Knight, says that the city’s rental inspection ordinance violates the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. It contends the inspection ordinance is unlawful because it discriminates between renters and homeowners and dictates an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.

In May 2015, the city council voted 3-2 to adopt the ordinance that allows an inspector to enter and examine rental units to determine if the properties are safe and habitable. The ordinance also requires landlords to pay a fee to fund the program.

Mayor Jan Marx, Councilman John Ashbaugh and Councilwoman Carlyn Christianson support the program. Carpenter and Councilman Dan Rivoire voted against the rental inspection program, and have continued to ask that it be discontinued.

Many city residents have opposed the program, arguing it constitutes government intrusion and a tax on rentals. Supporters of the program contend there are deteriorating neighborhoods in the city where landlords do little to maintain their properties.

Last year, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled that mandatory rental inspections were unconstitutional warrantless searches that violate the Fourth Amendment.

The three proponents of replacing the ordinance filed their proposal on Monday. City Attorney Christine Dietrick now has 15 days to name and describe the measure.

Then, proponents of the measure will have 180 days to collect the signatures of 15 percent of registered voters in the city, or roughly about 3,900 signatures. If successful, the measure will then go to the people for a vote.

Under the name SLO Voice, the proponents plan to raise funds to pay for the cost of collecting signatures and for legal expenses.

Jenkins has a long history of battling for the constitutional rights of San Luis Obispo County residents. In 2013, Jenkins and attorney Saro Rizzo filed a lawsuit accusing the city of San Luis Obispo of discrimination, harassment and the criminalization of homeless people. Following a decision by a superior court judge that the city’s treatment of the homeless was unconstitutional, the city voided its fines against the homeless.

 

Non-Discrimination in Housing Initiative by CalCoastNews on Scribd


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30 Comments

  1. mej says:

    Good job Mr. Carpenter.

    (22) 22 Total Votes - 22 up - 0 down
  2. ajdury says:

    There are so many renters who are getting fucked over by their landlords, safety and sanitary-wise. In SLO, AG, Los Osos, Paso, Oceano, you name it.

    How are you against those renters?

    Separate your hate of government, rules, legislation, Lichtig, Marx, etc.

    How are you against renters wanting safe and sanitary rental space for their money?

    When did safe & sanitary rental space become a horrible thing to expect from a landlord?

    When did local government decide to turn a blind eye to this? When government money went to fatter and fatter salaries?

    Thanks 1%ers and Happiest Place on Earth denizens.

    When the rich are the only ones able to afford rent and the super-rich are the only ones able to afford residency – is THAT your goal?

    Don’t bother. I already know your answer. Goal accomplished.

    (-30) 42 Total Votes - 6 up - 36 down
    • r0y says:

      Do not be so ignorant to think that renter’s have no course of action when substandard living conditions arise. That is just selling yourself very short, all based upon a purely emotional reaction to this issue.

      When I was but a mere young 20-something and renting, whenever I had an issue, I spoke to my landlord about it, and we usually found some common ground. If there was no common ground to be had, I would simply report it. I cannot imagine a landlord wanting something reported… unless you have no faith in the same government you are propping up and telling people to “separate” their “hate of government” ?

      You cannot have it both ways. (well, your “1%” comment indicates you believe you can)

      Either you have faith in the government to enforce the myriad of laws on the books, or you do not and ironically feel that adding more laws to said books will rectify the situation.

      What a sad little post you made.

      (26) 28 Total Votes - 27 up - 1 down
  3. womanwhohasbeenthere says:

    Until this rental inspection ordinance was passed, inspections were done as complaints came in. But someone decided students were too afraid to make complaints, ergo the nanny state will take care of them against their evil landlords.

    It’s all about the money, specifically the city’s debts -$93 million in long and short term debt (per Camus Frank in last week’s SLO City News) and don’t forget $145+ million owed to CalPERS at 7.5% interest every year.

    Wake up. City bureaucrats are overpaid, underworked and mostly unnecessary. We are drowning in debt and I place the blame squarely on the spineless elected officials and the staff who spoonfeed them excuses that they eagerly accept as the truth and the only way to do things.

    Dan, I hope you or someone else will start a petition to limit compensation and retirement benefits for city employees and make them pay their share of retirement contributions. If they don’t like it they can quit. There are plenty of well-qualified people who would love to have their jobs at half the salary. Lichtig, Dietrick et al need to go. ASAP, along with the bozos who continue to reward them for their poor management and decisions.

    (57) 71 Total Votes - 64 up - 7 down
  4. Ricky2 says:

    My 2-cents worth, per usual, is different from most here. The ordinance itself isn’t the problem. What’s the problem is that, per usual, the Lichtig gestapo at city hall took an ordinance passed by the city council and “interpreted” it to become oppressive to residents and turned it a bureaucratic-building enterprise (additional staff, etc., to permanently build the bureaucracy). The folks who sponsored this ordinance aren’t any happier about what staff has done than those who are subject to it — both groups see it as bureaucratic over reach. So how does this happen? Because we have a wimp-ass city council and mayor who let staff do whatever they want to do, regardless of what the council enacts as law. Mayor Marx has got to go. Don’t vote for the pro-developer anti-resident Chamber candidates (Gomez and Pease) who will give us more of the same Marx-Christianson trashy let-Lichtig-do-what-she-will government. I urge people to vote for Clark and Mila, who are good people who understand what’s wrong with the status quo, and with our support can help fix it.

    (36) 54 Total Votes - 45 up - 9 down
    • Thomas A says:

      Go to Fire Adam Hill 2016’s FaceBook page to see Adam Hill and Jan Marx snuggled between John Belsher (PB Companies) and his wife. It’s time to fire this whole crew.

      Fire Team Adam Hill.

      (44) 50 Total Votes - 47 up - 3 down
    • SLOBIRD says:

      Ricky, I agree with almost everything you stated above except that Marx and Lichtig are tied at the hip or whatever. Marx even goes with Licktig to her real home in Mailbu for long weekends, the rest of the time Licktig rents a room from Monica Irons, Human Resource Director, husband is Mayor Irons of Morro Bay. These politicians are all embedded in incesterous political relationships!
      Vote out all incumbent office holders!

      (25) 29 Total Votes - 27 up - 2 down
  5. kettle says:

    “Neighborhood wellness” This all sprouted because of a influential neighbourhood group in the Cal Poly neighbourhood,dealing with the student blight.

    Now thanks to the current mayor/council and the need for votes we have all of these ordinances, furniture, trash cans, parking and the rental ordnance and more! All part of the fine money filter to get dollars from landlords and students (or mom/dad) during the school years.

    Fun fact I don’t live near poly and no one has ever seen the wellness inspectors in the new cars bought just for them.We have cans in the street, people living in trailers and unpermitted construction all over.

    Just vote no to Jan Marx 2016, 20 years is enough.

    (50) 56 Total Votes - 53 up - 3 down
  6. demiseofslo says:

    Neighborhood wellness…LOL That program has done nothing but piss off the taxpayers and homeowners, while pressuring people to throw their neighbors under the bus for having a trash can visible from the street.

    All this program does is create more fees and fines to pay the huge salaries of the city manager, attorney, and every other overpaid ass hat on the city’s payroll.

    Does the city manager even live in the city? Is her rent $15k a month? I doubt it!

    (43) 51 Total Votes - 47 up - 4 down
    • Ricky2 says:

      Just curious, who pays $15K a month for rent in SLO? Examples, please.

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
      • demiseofslo says:

        I doubt anyone. I was comparing her annual salary and compensation to the median cost of living in SLO. She makes nearly $300k a year. What does she need all that $$$ for.

        (15) 31 Total Votes - 23 up - 8 down
  7. SLOBIRD says:

    Good job, guys, SLO needs to be stopped on so many levels. Let’s see how that highly paid, rewarded and corrupt City Attorney, Christine Dietrick, deals with this one. What a waste of taxpayer dollars!

    SLO, non-profits, schools, and local folks better get use to less money with the closing of Diablo, They have no idea how good PGE has been to this community, even if they are corrupt and evil, they have been generous. No one should feel sorry for all the takers as they have plenty of time to adjust to this loss of revenue and it should not fall on the backs of the residence but it will, and I suggest every SLO resident and business pay attention to the way SLO will be looking to screw you some more for the pennies in your pocket. There will NEVER be enough for these government agencies. Tour gravy train is coming to an end….

    (52) 56 Total Votes - 54 up - 2 down

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