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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Council Opposes AB 317 Rent Plan

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council this week unanimously agreed to oppose Assembly Bill 317 described as legislation that could adversely affect residents of Malibu’s two mobile home parks.
The council authorized the mayor to send a letter to state Senator Fran Pavley and other interested parties urging them to oppose the measure, which has passed the Assembly and now goes on to the state Senate.
“This is an important issue, not only for Malibu, but the entire state,” said Councilmember John Sibert, who put the item on the council agenda. “This is a bad way to do this. We need to oppose this.”
AB 317 was introduced by Assemblymember Charles Calderon. The legislation would exempt a mobile home from any rent control ordinances if the mobile home is not the owner’s sole residence, according to a municipal staff report.
The city’s Mobilehome Rent Control regulations were enacted to control space rents charged to owners in Malibu’s two mobile home parks.
The code allows for surcharges to be imposed on space rents for mobile homes that are not the owner’s primary residence or units that are sublet, but AB 317 would remove protections for a mobile homeowner who owns or has ownership interest in another residence, the staff report states.
In other action, the city council unanimously approved a graywater ordinance.
The council had previously asked the staff to bring back proposed legislation with regulations that staff thought appropriate for Malibu.
Building Official Craig George explained the staff believed there are areas where graywater discharge is not appropriate such as on the beachfront and ocean bluffs.
Graywater is untreated wastewater excluding toilet, dishwasher, and kitchen sink wastewater, which has not been contaminated by toilet discharge, has not been affected by infectious, contaminated or unhealthy bodily waters and does not present a threat from contamination.
George said the staff is recommending that the issuance of a permit be required, though the state does not.
“Because of the constituents of graywater, it needs to be managed,” added George, who said other reasons include the varied terrain and topography of Malibu and other locations where it is not appropriate, such as the beachfront.
The permit would be free and would apply for both clothes washer systems and for simple and complex systems.
George also indicated the city will require all graywater drainage piping to be black in color to distinguish between graywater and recycled/reclaimed water.
The regulations would be crafted to prohibit graywater systems on the beach and that graywater systems must be sited more than 250 feet from any impaired body of water.
A 100-foot setback from any bluff top would also be required to prevent erosion.
According to research, total graywater within a residence may account for as much as 60 percent of the total indoor water consumption.
About 54 percent of water consumption in Southern California is attributable to residential use.
Because of a crowded agenda, council members had little to say.
Mayor Laura Rosenthal made the enactment of a graywater ordinance one of her campaign promises, but did not reflect on it at the meeting.

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