Chapter 17.76


17.76.010    Application And Intent

17.76.020    Application Content

17.76.030    Ownership Association

17.76.040    Building Code Requirements

17.76.050    Building Inspection

17.76.060    Consumer Protection Provisions

17.76.070    Sales And Lease Termination

17.76.080    Relocation Assistance

17.76.090    Antidiscrimination

17.76.100    Preconversion Protection

17.76.110    Appliance Warranties

17.76.120    Development Standards

17.76.130    Utilities

17.76.140    Findings Required For Approval

17.76.150    Lapse Of Use Permit

17.76.160    Right To Terminate Conversion

17.76.010 Application And Intent:

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the development of all residential condominiums and stock cooperatives including the conversion of existing dwelling units to condominiums, row houses, townhouses, and stock cooperatives. The existing stock of rental housing provides the majority of housing opportunities for low and moderate income households. A limited number of such units exist, and any reduction in the stock of such units while there is a shortage would be incompatible with the goals of the housing element of the general plan. Conversion of such units into condominiums often results in displacement of low and moderate income households. It is the intention of this chapter to regulate such conversion and to mitigate displacement where conversion occurs. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.020 Application Content:

No conversion to condominiums shall be accepted or approved when the citywide vacancy rate for multiple unit rental housing, as determined by the planning director, is equal to or less than five percent (5%) averaged over the previous four (4) quarters prior to application submittal or when the current percentage of multi-family rental units (within complexes of 3 or more units) is at or below ten percent (10%) of the total number of housing units within the city. Recognizing that the conversion of existing structures which have been previously occupied and constructed as rental units presents unique problems to present tenants and future buyers, the application for a use permit for a condominium conversion project shall include the following information in addition to that required by chapter 17.16 of this title:

A.    Organizational Documents: The proposed organizational documents, including the covenants, conditions and restrictions to be recorded pursuant to section 1350 et seq., of the Civil Code. The organizational documents shall provide for the following:

1.    Transfer of title to each unit;

2.    Assignment of parking for each owner, and provisions for parking of recreational vehicles;

3.    The management of common areas within the project, and the complex generally;

4.    The antidiscrimination provisions set forth in section 17.76.090 of this chapter; and

5.    Maintenance program and proposed budget.

B.    A Property Report: The property report prepared by an engineer shall describe the condition and structural integrity of the buildings as well as an estimate of the remaining useful life of each of the following elements of each structure situated within the project proposed for conversion: roofs, foundations, exterior paint, insulation, paved surfaces, mechanical systems, electrical systems, plumbing systems, sewage systems, sprinkler systems for landscaping, utility delivery systems, central or community heating and air conditioning systems, fire protection systems including any automatic sprinkler systems, alarm systems, or standpipe systems, structural elements, and drainage systems. The property report shall state what the sound transmission class and sound impact class of the existing floor to ceiling and wall to wall assemblies of sample units are. The report shall also explain, in nontechnical terms, what the class ratings mean and state what measure, if any, the applicant will take to improve sound attenuation between units. The property report shall list each fixed appliance to be contained in each or any unit offered for sale and shall state whether the appliance is or will be new or used when the unit is first offered for sale. The report shall also state the terms and nature of the warranty offered by the applicant on each such appliance. Each portion of the property report shall be prepared by an appropriately licensed engineer.

C.    Pest Control Report: A structural pest control report.

D.    Building History Report: A building history report identifying the date of construction of all elements of the project.

E.    Noncompliance Report: A report identifying all characteristics of the building not in compliance with this code or applicable building or housing codes.

F.    Rental History Report: A rental history report detailing the size, in square footage, of the building or buildings and each unit; the current or last rental rate; the name and address of each present tenant; the monthly rental rate for the preceding three (3) years for each unit; the average monthly vacancy over the preceding three (3) years; the number of evictions over the preceding three (3) years. In addition, evidence shall be submitted that tenants have been notified and have acknowledged the applicant’s intent to file a request for conversion for a period of at least sixty (60) days prior to the initial filing of an application for a conversion use permit or tentative subdivision map. Failure to provide any information required by this subsection shall be accompanied by an affidavit or declaration given under penalty of perjury, setting forth in detail all efforts undertaken to discover the information and all reasons why the information could not be obtained.

G.    Relocation Assistance Information Report: A detailed report describing the relocation and moving assistance information to be given to each tenant, and the steps the applicant will take to ensure the successful relocation of each tenant. The report should state in detail what assistance will be provided for special category tenants, including a discussion of long term or life term leases and provisions to allow such tenants to continue renting after conversion until comparable housing, as defined by subsection 17.76.140C of this chapter, is located and the move can be completed.

H.    Tenant Survey: A survey of all the tenants in the conversion project indicating how long each tenant had been a resident of the project, how long each tenant had planned to live in the project, whether or not each tenant would be interested in purchasing a unit, to which community area would each tenant choose to relocate if the conversion took place and the tenant did not purchase a unit, and the extent of tenant approval in principle of the conversion. This survey shall include an estimate of the sales price for each unit, not including inflation and adjustments that would take place during conversion. To comply with this provision, the applicant shall provide a tenant rights handout and a questionnaire, in a form approved by the city, to each tenant with an envelope, postage prepaid, addressed to the city. The questionnaire shall direct the tenant to return the completed form directly to the city of Greenfield planning division.

I.    Additional Information: The planning director may require additional information necessary to assist in evaluating said conversion project in order to make proper findings in accordance with the purposes and objectives set forth in the adopted city general plan, or any specific plan or element thereof in effect at the time of such application. Comparable data as listed below shall include projects with three (3) or more units. Such information may include, but shall not be limited to:

1.    A report comparing the units in the conversion project, as both rentals and ownership units, with housing available within the city;

2.    A report on availability of comparable rental units at similar rental rates remaining within the city, including vacancy rate information;

3.    A report outlining the available low and moderate income housing units (rental and sales housing) within the city. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.030 Ownership Association:

The developer shall submit to the planning director a copy of the maintenance program and proposed budget by a homeowners’ association or other enforceable means to ensure maintenance of common areas, landscaping, private streets, parking areas, and recreational facilities. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.040 Building Code Requirements:

A building proposed for conversion, and each unit within the building, shall comply at a minimum with all applicable building code standards in effect at the time of the last alteration, repair, relocation, or reconstruction of the building, necessitating compliance with the building code, or, if none, at the time of first construction. All converted units shall be retrofitted to the standards required of new residential condominiums as required by the chief building inspector, including energy conservation. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.050 Building Inspection:

After reviewing the property report required pursuant to subsection 17.76.020B of this chapter and after inspecting the structures within the project when deemed necessary, the building official shall identify and make available to the planning commission and city council all items evidenced by such reports or inspection to be in noncompliance with applicable building and housing codes or to be hazardous to the life, health or safety of any occupant of the units within the project or the general public. All such items shall be corrected to the satisfaction of the building official. An appropriate fee to cover the cost of the building inspection division’s review and inspection will be collected. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.060 Consumer Protection Provisions:

In addition to the tenant protection provisions set out in the subdivision map act, the applicant shall comply with the provisions in sections 17.76.070 through 17.76.110 of this chapter, as conditions of any use permit for a condominium conversion project approved pursuant to this chapter. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.070 Sales And Lease Termination:

The tenants of the project on the date of application shall be offered the first right of refusal to purchase units. The offer shall run for ninety (90) days from the date of issuance of subdivision public report by the state department of real estate unless the tenant gives prior written notice of intention not to exercise the right. A tenant of any project proposed for conversion on the date of application for each conversion may terminate any lease after giving thirty (30) days’ notice. The required relocation assistance shall be applicable to all units from the date of final approval of the use permit to the closing of escrow for the final unit in the project. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.080 Relocation Assistance:

The applicant shall offer to each eligible tenant a plan for relocation to comparable housing, as approved by the city council. The relocation plan shall provide, at a minimum, for the following:

A.    Assistance to each eligible tenant in locating comparable housing, including, but not limited to, providing availability reports and transportation, where necessary.

B.    Payment of a relocation fee to each tenant who does not choose to stay. At a minimum, such payment shall be equal in amount to two (2) months’ rent and the security deposit amount paid by the tenant for the existing apartment unit. A tenant is not entitled to a relocation fee pursuant to this subsection if the tenant has been evicted for just cause.

C.    In the case of eligible tenants who are elderly, handicapped, low income, or single heads of households living with one or more minor children, the following additional provisions must be made:

1.    Payment of the first month’s rent in the new complex, and refund of all key, utility, and pet deposits to which the tenant is entitled upon vacating the unit. Cleaning and security deposits, minus damages, shall be refunded to the tenant upon vacating the unit.

2.    If the amount of deposits and other fees required upon moving into the new complex exceeds the amounts refunded to the tenant plus damages, the applicant shall pay the difference.

3.    If the amount of damage to any unit exceeds the deposit, the excess may be subtracted from the relocation assistance payment.

D.    In the case of eligible special category tenants, the following additional provisions must be made:

1.    Subsidy: Where the rent for the comparable unit is higher than the rent for the current unit, the applicant shall pay the difference for a period of one year from the date of relocation.

2.    Evictions: Until each tenant is successfully relocated, the tenant shall not be unjustly evicted.

3.    Life Term And Long Term Leases: The applicant shall offer eligible special category tenants leases for a term of:

a.    Fifty nine (59) years when the tenant is elderly or handicapped and who also qualifies as low income. Such leases shall provide that annual rent increase shall not exceed the percent of change in HUD’s defined fair market rent.

b.    Fifty nine (59) years when the tenant is elderly or handicapped with a moderate income or greater. Rents may be increased at the prevailing market rate.

c.    An annually renewable lease for a term not to exceed five (5) years for low income households when the appropriate authority finds that comparable units are not available for the relocation of low income persons. Such agreements shall be certified for tenant eligibility each calendar year. Qualification for the federal section 8 program or its successor shall constitute certification.

E.    The offer to each eligible tenant of a plan for relocation shall be free of any coercion, intimidation, inducement or promise not herein specified and shall not cause the tenant to vacate in advance of, or prior to, a timetable or schedule for relocation as approved in its application for approval of conversion.

F.    An affordable housing plan subjecting ten percent (10%) of the total units within the project to affordable purchase obligations, without city subsidy, as part of a conversion. The affordable units shall provide a minimum of four percent (4%) of the total units within the project affordable to very low income, four percent (4%) affordable to low income households, and two percent (2%) affordable to moderate income households, unless an alternate affordability breakdown is approved by the planning director. Parcels that have an existing affordable rent component shall convert the affordable rental units to affordable purchase units. In addition, the condominium conversion shall increase the total number of affordable units by a number equal to five percent (5%) of the total number of units within the project. However, the total number of affordable purchase units shall not be less than ten percent (10%) of the total units in a project. The converted and new affordable units shall be provided without city subsidy and shall include a minimum of four percent (4%) affordable to very low income households, four percent (4%) affordable to low income households, and two percent (2%) affordable to moderate income households, unless existing affordability restrictions require a different breakdown of the affordable units or an alternate affordability breakdown is approved by the planning director. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.090 Antidiscrimination:

The applicant or owner of any condominium unit within a project shall not discriminate in the sale, or in the terms and conditions of sale, of any dwelling unit against any person who is or was a lessee or tenant of any such dwelling unit because such person opposed, in any manner, the conversion of such building into a condominium. In a like manner, the applicant or owner shall not discriminate in the sale, or in the terms and conditions of sale of any dwelling unit against any person or household based upon age or household size, when household size does not exceed the uniform housing code standard which states, "Every dwelling unit shall have at least one (1) room which shall have not less than one hundred fifty (150) square feet of floor area. Other habitable rooms, except kitchens, shall have an area of not less than seventy (70) square feet. Where more than two (2) persons occupy a room used for sleeping purposes, the required floor area shall be increased at the rate of fifty (50) square feet for each occupant in excess of two (2) (Uniform Housing Code section 503(b))." This antidiscrimination section shall be included in the conditions, covenants, and restrictions for the project. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.100 Preconversion Protection:

From the date of application for a permit to convert, or until relocation takes place or the application is denied or withdrawn, but in no event for more than two (2) years, no tenant shall be unjustly evicted and no tenant’s rent shall be increased: a) more frequently than once every six (6) months or b) in an amount greater than the annual increase in utility costs and insurance costs, plus increased operating costs not to exceed two percent (2%) per year. This limitation shall not apply if rent increases are expressly provided for in leases or contracts in existence prior to the filing date of the use permit. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.110 Appliance Warranties:

The applicant shall provide free of charge to the first individual purchaser of each unit a one year warranty on each fixed appliance contained in the unit, whether new or used. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.120 Development Standards:

The following development standards (sections 17.76.130 and 17.76.140 of this chapter) shall apply to all applications for a use permit for condominium conversion and new construction. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.130 Utilities:

A.    Gas: Each condominium unit shall have a separate gas service where gas is a necessary utility. If this provision places unreasonable economic burden on the applicant, the appropriate authority may approve an alternative.

B.    Electricity: Each condominium unit shall have a separate electrical service, with separate meters and disconnects, and ground fault interrupters where ground fault interrupters are required by present building codes.

C.    Telephone Company Access: The telephone company serving the location under conversion shall have the right to construct and maintain (place, operate, inspect, repair, replace and remove) communication facilities as it may from time to time require (including access) in or upon any portion of the common area, including the interior and exterior of the buildings as necessary to maintain communication service within the project. This provision may not be amended or terminated without the consent of the serving telephone company. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.140 Findings Required For Approval:

The commission shall not approve a use permit for conversion unless it finds:

A.    That the proposed conversion is consistent with the general plan and applicable community and specific plans in effect at the time of the use permit application, especially with the objectives, policies, and programs of the housing element of the general plan designed to provide affordable housing to all economic segments of the population.

B.    That the average rental vacancy rate in multiplefamily units of similar size in the city affected by the proposed conversion during the four (4) quarters preceding the filing of the application is greater than five percent (5%) and that the current percentage of multi-family rental units (within complexes of 3 or more units) is above ten percent (10%) of the total number of housing units within the city. In evaluating the average rental vacancy rate in the city and in the building proposed for conversion, the commission shall consider the rental history of the building, including the number of evictions and increases in rent over the preceding three (3) years. In addition, the following sources of vacancy rate statistics may be used: 1) department of finance (state of California), 2) postal service, and 3) HUD vacancy rates, if available. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the commission may deny a use permit if it finds that vacancies in the building have been created by unjust evictions and unreasonable rent increases in order to qualify a project for conversion under this subsection.

C.    That the applicant unconditionally offered to each eligible tenant an adequate plan for relocation to comparable housing. In determining whether the housing to which the applicant proposes relocation is "comparable" the commission must find that the housing is decent, safe, and sanitary, and in compliance with all local and state housing codes: and, that the housing is open to all persons regardless of race, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, marital status, or gender. In addition, the commission shall consider the following factors in determining whether the relocation housing is comparable:

1.    Whether the housing is provided with facilities equivalent to that provided by the landlord in the dwelling unit in which the tenant then resides in regard to each of the following: a) apartment size including number of rooms; b) rent range: c) major kitchen and bathroom facilities; d) special facilities for the handicapped, infirm or senior citizens; e) willingness to accept families with children:

2.    Whether the housing is located in an area not less desirable than the area in which the tenant then resides in regard to: a) accessibility to the tenant’s place of employment: b) accessibility to community and commercial facilities; c) accessibility to schools; and d) accessibility to public transportation. A unit is not comparable if it is located in a building for which a notice of intent to convert has been given, except where the rental units of the building will not be offered for sale as condominium units within two (2) years. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.150 Lapse Of Use Permit:

An approved conditional use permit, if not used for the purpose for which it was granted, shall lapse three (3) years following the date on which the permit became effective. Since the regulations related to condominium conversions are unique in the following ways: a) measures come into place with the filing of the application for the use permit; b) in terms of the financial obligations related to eligible tenants; and c) rental limitations; the following provision shall apply to use permits for condominium conversions:

A use permit shall be deemed in effect if, within three (3) years from the date of approval, one of the following occurs:

A.    A final subdivision map is recorded for all or a portion of the property involved in the use permit, or

B.    Pursuant to the approved relocation assistance plan, written evidence has been filed with the planning division that more than ten percent (10%) of eligible tenants have been relocated. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.76.160 Right To Terminate Conversion:

Within three (3) years of the approval of a use permit for a condominium conversion or after the use permit is in effect, the applicant may elect not to pursue the completion of all or part of the approved conversion. Upon the acceptance of a notice of termination by the approving authority, along with evidence that all remaining eligible tenants have been notified in writing, the conditional use permit shall be deemed lapsed and void. Acceptance of the notice of termination shall be an administrative authority of the director of planning. Such acceptance shall be by a written notice of acceptance which may be withheld to such time as the director is assured that any required tenant obligations incurred during the preconversion process have been satisfied. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)