The Marina City Council will deal with a sensitive subject Tuesday — possible fees for appeals in mobile home rent cases and related fees.
The city manager is slated to make decisions by Dec. 17 on the first batch of petitions for base rent increases filed by three mobile home park owners under the city's new "rent stabilization" law.
The law, which was supported by many mobile home residents who argued they could ill afford steep rental increases, provides for a formal appeal by a hearing officer if either side is unhappy with the manager's decision. And the appealing party is responsible for the costs.
"It should be apparent that the appeal process could easily cost many thousands of dollars," a council report says.
The decision the council still needs to make is to set up the process for collecting the appeal fees. An initial deposit of $15,000 likely would be reasonable, the council report says.
The law also allows the city to charge residents who occupy mobile home spaces a monthly fee to cover the administrative costs of enforcing the ordinance. But the council has yet to set the fee. The city of Watsonville recently took such a fee to voters, who agreed to a $5 monthly fee.
The council report suggests $3.50 a month per space would raise about $10,000 a year and cover estimated administrative costs.
At earlier hearings, advocates for mobile home residents questioned the need for the administrative fees, arguing they would punish the very people the city is trying to help with the rent control law.
Setting the fee too high would undermine the intended purpose of the ordinance by forcing residents to sign long-term leases with park owners at higher rents, advocates argued.
Also Tuesday, the council will consider:
· Approving Marina's participation in a new Peninsula regional police violence and narcotics team. The city would contribute a full-time detective to the team.
· Moving one of two proposed electric vehicle charging stations from the UC Monterey Bay Education, Science and Technology Center to the city library.
Larry Parsons can be reached at 646-4379 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
·What: Marina City Council meeting
·When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
·Where: Council chambers, 211 Hillcrest Ave.
If you go