Promoting a more equitable Fairfax community.
If this is your first time here, see our Summary page to see why we think extra rent control without a vote of the people, is a bad idea.
At FairfaxResidents.org and MarinResidents.org we strongly condemn political violence and violent speech. We believe in the power of people’s voices, the free expression of good ideas and the right to vote to help change our town for the better. These are our core beliefs.
The DSA Leads the Town Council in a Protest at a local housing provider.
On New Year’s eve, the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) led some members of the Fairfax Town Council and Leah Simon-Weisberg on a protest against a local housing provider.
Leah Simon-Weisberg, an executive of the Berkeley Rent Board, was the primary author of the Fairfax rent control ordinances, who, in league with the DSA and Council Members Chance Cultrano and Stephanie Hellman, pushed to impose extra rent control on the people of Fairfax.
The pandering of the these Town Council members to the desires of the DSA and Berkeley Rent Board, demonstrates a tremendous error in judgement and poor leadership.
This shows that both Chance Cultrano, and Stephanie Hellman are looking to the DSA to support their further political ambitions. Where there isn’t anything ‘illegal’ about this, it shows how the interests of the people and businesses of Fairfax can be over ridden by the political ambitions of our elected council members.
Whereas Fairfax, San Anselmo and Larkspur housing providers and mom & pop landlords have expressed concerns over the rental cap and the tremendous expense increases they face, they have been ignored. In fact, in a related video, Fairfax Council Member Stephanie Hellman called the owner a ‘bully’. Are housing providers all so terrible to want to stay in business and provide decent housing, a roof over their heads and food for their families? All communities can expect such division if council members don’t stand up to outside political groups like the DSA.
The people of Fairfax want our elected leaders to help alleviate problems in our Town, not escalate tensions and division. This shows tremendous poor judgement, lack of leadership and the unsuitability of these council members to hold office.
But the poor judgement of the council members started long before they imposed onerous ‘Just Cause’ regulations and an annual rent cap of 2.54%. The water bill will go up this year ~10-15%, PGE ~20%, Cable/Internet ~10%, Insurance (if you’re not cancelled) ~20+%, Taxes 2-5%, Trash 4.8%. Many of these costs are borne by the housing provider, yet they can not be passed on to the renter that uses these services because of Chance & Stephanie’s extra rent control and their rent cap of 75% of CPI.
This means that instead of saving for retirement and using the income to keep the rental property up to date, the owner of the rental property will actually be losing money to the tune of 25% below inflation year after year. This economic reality will cause needless suffering to senior rental owners and young families who depend on rental income to stay in this Town.
But you know that and you understand why the Town Council needs a good housecleaning in November.
We urge you to Zoom into the next Town Council meeting on Wednesday Jan 10th starting at 6:30, or show up in person.
The Jan 10 TC meeting agenda packet is here. It includes discussion of a Road Improvement bond estimated to cost each Fairfax median single family residential unit $146.25 per assessed value of $650,000,
Importantly, there will be discussed the very important Cease and Desist letter presented by long time FF resident Mark Bell supporting his claim of violations of the Brown Act (and common sense) by the TC in restricting time of residents to address the TC. His letter brings to light some egregious behavior of the TC in respecting the public’s input. Please be there to support him.
It’s Fiscal Irresponsibility Time Again!
On Dec 6, the Town Council postponed discussing spending your tax payer dollars on an extra rent control boondoggle!
|Registration system platform
|$25,000 set up costs,
|Staff to review/approve registration platform submissions, manage program contractors, provide Town expertise
|New staff is needed for this program, but it is unclear how many staff are needed at this time. (~ $40,000/yr ed.)
|Landlord/Tenant Informational Service
|$36,000/yr (currently additional to be allocated Dec 6)
|Legal Aid of Marin
|$0 for first 18 months (~$40,000/yr after. ed.)
|Contract Hearing Officers to conduct hearings
|$40,000 annually (not to exceed)
|Mailings, office furniture and supplies
|Estimates not yet known. (~$10,000/yr ed.)
Soon, they may be voting on allocating the first $36,000 for a tenant-landlord question line. This is crazy!
We all have lists of pot holes and other worthy investments that could use $36,000 now – today.
What is even worse, is that this is just the beginning of the expenses to cover this Council’s agenda. Adding up the costs, it comes out to $191,000 a year just to implement extra rent control on all Fairfax housing providers. This is insane!
It’s time to write the Town Council and stop their irresponsibility. Be there in person or Zoom in on Dec 6. To see the full staff report, click here.
We look forward to seeing you at the meeting and standing up for sanity.
It’s Job Performance Evaluation Time!
What Happened Aug 2?
The Town Council Meeting August 2, was interesting. We were celebrating the win for the residents of Fairfax to be able to get their chance to vote on extra rent control. Unfortunately, democracy delayed is democracy denied. In a not-unexpected move, in a 4-1 vote, the ballot measure went on the Nov 2024 general election vs a sooner special election. This means that the residents will have to endure the Town Council spending taxpayer money to implement extra rent control and the homeowners, housing providers and new renters will suffer the financial consequences of these ordinances. Only Council member Barbara Coler had the insight to understand how dragging out a decision for 15 months would affect the residents and the Council members up for reelection at the same time. She voted for a sooner resolution.
As for the second agenda item – the ‘tweaks’ of the ordinances: there were only a few minor changes to the ordinances. One of the most surprising was a ‘tweak’ to the rental cap, going from 60% of CPI to 75% of CPI. This is not a substantial change. To put it into perspective, CA has a 5% + 100% CPI (10% max increase), Larkspur 5% + 100% CPI (7% max increase) rental cap. At the current 3.9 CPI, for a $2000/ mo rental, the increase would now be $58/mo vs $47/mo.
In fact, from the same report (page 6 figure above), vacant ‘Medium Rent’ units only increased 2% and ‘High Rent’ units actually declined in cost. Only ‘Low Rent’ affordable units increased in price when they were relisted, greater than what they would cost if they maintained occupancy.
The Mayor is once again incorrect in his evidence and assertion that we have a crisis in the rental market. Where prices for rent have been high in Marin for the last 60 years, this is not a new crisis that needs to be amplified by the misconception that extra rent control actually brings down rents. In fact, as the report indicates, before CA 1482 CA rent control (Jan 2020), there was less yearly increase in the price of vacant rental units. (Figure 1, page 4). Only after CA rent control did prices for vacant units rise significantly.
We look forward to the candidates that will challenge Mayor Cultrano’s position that extra rent control is benefits everyone, extra rent control is needed, and the decisions regarding extra rent control should not be up to the voters.
So what now?
For any candidate who desires to get the Town back on the right path, they will find tremendous financial and political support from the business community, the housing provider community, and the community of homeowners and renters who call our Town home.
We strongly encourage all potential candidates to reach out to our organization and express your views on what needs to change in this Town, and how you feel you can add to the Town’s success.
Outside of Fairfax.
Both San Anselmo and Marin County will be dealing with extra rent control regulations in the next year. San Anselmo has scheduled their first community input session on Sept 14.
It is important to realize that all local Marin communities look at each other to see how their citizens feel about an issue. We feel that Fairfax has gone about the issue of extra rent control that has caused discord in the Town, and other communities are eyeing our Town warily. At these sessions, the Town Council wants to hear about your experience so that they do not repeat the same mistakes. Writing an email or speaking at the sessions will help them understand their choices.
FairfaxResidents.org and MarinResidents.org will help keep you informed.
Great Coverage in the Marin IJ!
A group of Fairfax residents has filed a draft ballot initiative attempting to repeal the town’s tenant protection ordinances.
Signatories said they’ve been pleading with the Town Council to rescind the rent control and just-cause-for-eviction ordinances since they were approved in November. The signatories said they’ve reached a breaking point.
“What made people mad is that we did not get a vote on this,” said Michael Sexton, a petition organizer and landlord. “The petition is an attempt by the residents for us to take back control from the Town Council, and bring this to a vote of the people.”
Deborah London, a downtown business owner, landlord and petitioner, called the ordinances “extreme and paralyzing.”
Thank you so much for being engaged!
But because we are a residents supported group, we are always in need of financial support to continue our outreach. We ask that if you understand how the extra rent control regulation will negatively affect homeowners, renters and housing providers, that you support us in our efforts. Thank you for your support.
MarinResidents.org in the Pacific Sun Newspaper and the Marin IJ
MarinResidents.org in the IJ
4/10/2023. Today we had some good coverage in the Marin IJ! Read the article here. After being misrepresented by an opinion columnist earlier, we are glad to see that our message of the need to get back to the existing, reasonable protections for homeowners, housing providers and renters is resonating with a broad audience.
Although the article was focused on our efforts here in Fairfax, we are working with the residents of several towns in Marin, to help their town councils understand the negative, unintended consequences of extra rent control.
We are proud to show off our first TV ad. With your ongoing support from the past month, we’ve put together some ads that we are showing on Comcast throughout Marin to help communicate that extra rent control hurts those in our community that we care about.
We hope that we can have your continued support our outreach to people who need to understand what has happened. Please consider supporting us again help keep up this media campaign.
Extra rent control? You know that in 2019, Gov. Newsom helped pass AB 1482 – statewide rent control. Whereas there are problems with that law in that it affords housing providers very little protection, it currently governs how housing providers and tenants interact. Enough already! Any extra rent control affects homeowners, housing providers and renters alike. There is a feeling that the Town Council is starting to understand this, and how unpopular and burdensome their ordinances are.
All well-appointed yards need a sign this summer! Email us, include your home address and we’ll get one out to you ASAP!
To keep up this momentum, we ask for you to contribute to our efforts to “Help Make Marin Affordable” and pause then repeal the extra rent control ordinances in Fairfax.
Also, see our Experiences page to see the latest anecdotal evidence of the negative consequences of Rent Control in Fairfax.
Please see our Resources page for the basics of these ordinances and their negative consequences, or for an in depth analysis, see the video below.
Add your email to the list! – We promise not to spam you and only send you info regarding Fairfax and housing. (Promise! You know where we live…)
We, the citizens of Fairfax have an amazing and powerful voice when we come together to express our desire for a functioning government that is responsive to the people. It is the desire of everyone to keep the character of Fairfax alive and well. Whether a renter, home owner or a housing provider, we all have a desire and a responsibility to not only make a great home for ourselves, but to help others enjoy the best of our community.
Email your Town Council now. Let the Town Council know how you feel – they love community input. Since you didn’t have a vote on the ordinances, express your opinion by email!
A special thank you to The Coffee Roastery for showing community support by hosting gatherings and displaying informational messages. We urge you to show your support for them (and all local businesses) by visiting and enjoying some locally roasted, very good local coffee.
If you have relevant news or perspective or an event that is of importance to the housing community in Fairfax, please email this site. firstname.lastname@example.org