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Town of Fairfax Agrees to Further Study of Maximum Square Footage and Rental Mediation; Review Just Cause Eviction in One Year

Published Friday, April 5, 2019
by Romeo Arrieta

There were three noteworthy items at Fairfax town council on the night of Wednesday April 3, 2019 that MAR was following. MAR sent a letter to the Mayor and council expressing concern about the impact of their initiatives as currently written. The town will host further discussions on two out of the three issues at future meetings, allowing more time for feedback and agreed to revisit a just cause eviction ordinance in one year.

 

Maximum Allowable Square Footage:

The council introduced and read by title only an ordinance amending Town Code to reduce the allowable maximum home size from 5,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet. MAR commented that this appeared to be an attempt to obstruct private property rights for vague and unspecified reasons.  MAR members and executives expressed that they would like to understand what factors are being considered such as lot size, and setbacks so we can offer more informed & constructive feedback on this proposed ordinance and its potential impact on property rights, homeowners and the real estate industry. 

Though the city staff and council discussed this measure, the council opted not to take action but rather to postpone and discuss the issue further at a meeting to be held on April 23, 2019.

 

Mandatory Mediation for Rental Increases:

The council introduced for first reading an ordinance to add “Mandatory Mediation for Rental Increases” to the Fairfax Municipal Code. This would require mediation for rental increases exceeding five percent. In public comments MAR CEO Romeo Arrieta expressed concern that additional regulations on landlords may have an adverse effect and discourage potential rental property owners from entering the market.

The council voted to approve the Mandatory Mediation for a second reading at a future meeting.

 

Just Cause Eviction:

The council had a second reading for the adoption of an ordinance for “Just Cause Evictions” to Fairfax Municipal Code. This new ordinance requires landlords to give cause to terminate a residential tenancy.  In public comments MAR CEO Romeo Arrieta expressed concern that additional regulations on landlords may have the adverse effect of discouraging potential rental property owners from entering the market, and asked that the town consider a review of the ordinance in one year from the adoption of the ordinance.

While the town council voted to approve the Just Cause Eviction ordinance 5-0, they did agree to review of the ordinance in one year from the adoption of the ordinance.

MAR will continue to monitor these and other issues that affect private property rights.  If you are interested in learning more about MAR’s Government Affairs and advocacy, please reach out to MAR CEO Romeo Arrieta, MAR’s Contract GAD, Papia Gambelin GAD@marincountyrealtors.com or  MAR Government Affairs Committee Chair Scott Pinsky (scott@scottpinskyrealty.com)

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