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Three San Mateo County jurisdictions this week considered passing an urgency ordinance aimed at stopping no-fault evictions and large rent increases in anticipation of a new state law that takes effect in January. 

On Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors passed an urgency ordinance that immediately enacts the renter protections outlined in Assembly Bill 1482, while on Monday, both Burlingame and Foster City rejected proposals to implement those protections retroactive to Oct. 8. AB 1482, which requires landlords to have a state-defined just cause for evicting a tenant and also caps annual rent increases at 5% plus inflation, was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom Oct. 8. Since then, tenants throughout the county have been served 60-day eviction notices for no reason; in those cases it appears the landlord is evicting the tenant to avoid the rent caps mandated in AB 1482.

Local jurisdictions have responded by passing urgency ordinances that effectively implement AB 1482 ahead of schedule to keep tenants in their homes before the bill takes effect in January. Redwood City and Daly City were the first in the county to pass urgency ordinances on Oct. 28. San Mateo and San Carlos also passed their own ordinances to protect tenants until the law goes into effect.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 for the urgency ordinance, which includes both the just cause protections and rent caps in AB 1482.

“There are some very vulnerable people in our county now and they need all the help they can get,” said board President Carole Groom. 

Supervisor David Canepa opposed the proposal, described it as “overly aggressive” and also said the rent cap was unnecessary because Newsom on Oct. 26 declared a state of emergency, which caps rent increases at 10% in California, because of wildfires.

The Burlingame City Council voted 3-2 for an urgency ordinance that only included just cause protections retroactive to Oct. 8, with Mayor Donna Colson and Councilwoman Ann Keighran in opposition. The proposal failed because an urgency ordinance needs at least four votes to succeed.   

The Foster City Council voted 3-1 to reject a proposed urgency ordinance, with Mayor Sam Hindi being the lone supporter. Vice Mayor Herb Perez was absent from the vote.

The councilmembers in both cities who opposed the urgency ordinance did so because of concerns about implementing a law retroactively. 

“The reason I won’t support this ordinance is I don’t think it’s OK to retroactively criminalize lawful activities under any stretch of the imagination,” Colson said. She added that she could support a version of the ordinance that isn’t retroactive, but described a proposal like that as a “symbolic gesture because it wouldn’t really have any impact.”

Pacifica earlier this month also rejected an urgency ordinance that sought to retroactively enact AB 1482. 

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(6) comments


Aball 100% gets it!


Absolutely embarrassing votes by the city councils of Foster City and Burlingame. Colson, Keighran, and Mahanpour's comments were egregious and showed a complete lack of empathy for those being displaced, as well as a distinct lack of comprehension around both the law and the topic at large.

That said, kudos to the County Board of Supes for thoughtfully discussing the issues and joining Redwood City, Daly City, San Mateo, Menlo Park and San Carlos in recognizing the value of our renting communities and the dire need for these protections.


I share the same thoughts.


Nonsense. Cities have no obligation to cover for the shortsightedness of Assembly member Chiu and Gov. Newsom. They created this very predictable mess and should find a solution that does not create legal liability for cities being coerced into passing retroactive laws.


The Foster City Council sided with the realtors landlords on this issue. I don't believe these landlord realtors have any problem deciding between food, rent or sleeping in their cars as the people to receive help do. They are not hurting for support as this ordinance would help remedy.housing evictions and raising of rent. .Very dissapointing that my council failed to help those that so desperately need in these times. 40 percent of the population could have possibility been votes for the council in the future election. Instead the issue of a legal issue soon to be illegal hung them up in deciding in favor of the already blessed realtors and land lords leaving no help for housing needs.. The right thing to do was ignored in this situation. a case of not seeing the forest for the trees a chance to make history in helping residents was ignored.


Shame on you Foster City You confirmed my resolve to not attend any FC Council meetings after Bronitsky told me "You can't fix stupid ." asking for a light at Port Royal and Edgewater after my friend Grandmother Anna was hit by a car in the crosswalk Edgewater and Beach park crossing. to pick up her grandkids.. My resolve to not attend again has now been reconfirmed .

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