Chapter 23.713


23.713.010    Purpose.

23.713.020    Application acceptance.

23.713.030    Permit required.

23.713.040    Application content.

23.713.050    Vacancy rate limitations.

23.713.060    Building code requirements.

23.713.070    Consumer protection provisions.

23.713.080    Anti-discrimination.

23.713.090    Preconversion protection.

23.713.100    Appliance warranties.

23.713.110    Development standards.

23.713.120    Lapse of conditional use permit.

23.713.130    Right to terminate conversion.

23.713.010 Purpose.

The provisions of this section 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 purpose of this chapter is to establish procedures for the conversion as well as to ensure that rental apartments being converted meet applicable physical standards. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.010)].

23.713.020 Application acceptance.

An application for a conditional use permit is required and shall apply to the whole multifamily housing project and partial conversions shall not be permitted. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.030). Formerly 23.713.030].

23.713.030 Permit required.

All condominium conversion projects require a conditional use permit as outlined in this chapter. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.040). Formerly 23.713.040].

23.713.040 Application content.

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 conditional use permit for a condominium conversion project shall include the following information:

A. 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 anti-discrimination provisions set forth in this chapter.

5. 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.

B. A property report prepared by a licensed engineer that shall describe the condition and structural integrity and estimate 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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Each portion of the property report shall be prepared by an appropriately licensed engineer, and each unit shall be fully inspected. Upon completion and submittal of the report, the city’s neighborhood services rental inspection team shall confirm the findings of the property report in writing subsequent to their independent review of conditions.

4. The property report should include an estimate of the cost to improve all of the systems so that a new buyer could reasonably expect a 30-year life from the structure and grounds involved.

C. A structural pest control report.

D. A building history report identifying the date of construction of all elements of the project.

E. A report identifying all characteristics of the building not in compliance with this chapter or applicable building or housing codes. The report shall also indicate how the buildings and/or units will be brought into compliance with the existing building code.

F. A rental history report detailing:

1. The size, in square footage, of the building or buildings and each unit.

2. The current or last rental rate; the name and address of each present tenant; and the monthly rental rate for the preceding four quarters for each unit.

3. The average monthly vacancy over the preceding four quarters.

4. The number of evictions over the preceding four quarters.

5. 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 90 days prior to the initial filing of an application for conversion use permit or tentative subdivision map.

Failure to provide any information required by subsections (B) through (F) of this section 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. 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 is available.

H. A survey of all the tenants in the conversion project indicating the tenants’ household income, 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 city area each tenant would 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. The survey must 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 department. The questionnaire shall direct the tenant to return the completed form directly to the department. The 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. 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 in the city as affected by the project.

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

3. A report outlining the available low and moderate income housing units (rental and sales housing) in the city.

4. A report providing the overall vacant rate of apartments in the city. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.050). Formerly 23.713.050].

23.713.050 Vacancy rate limitations.

If the vacancy rate within the city is less than five percent, then a condominium conversion is not permitted, unless measures are provided by the applicant to offset the loss of affordable apartment units. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.060). Formerly 23.713.060].

23.713.060 Building code requirements.

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. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.070). Formerly 23.713.070].

23.713.070 Consumer protection provisions.

In addition to the tenant protection provisions set out in the Subdivision Map Act, the applicant shall comply with the provisions below, as conditions of any permit for a condominium conversion project approved pursuant to this chapter.

A. 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 90 days from the date of issuance of subdivision public report by the California Bureau 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 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.

B. Relocation Assistance. The applicant shall offer to each eligible tenant a plan for relocation to comparable housing, as approved by the council.

The relocation plan shall provide, at a minimum, for the following:

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

2. 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 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.

3. 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:

a. 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.

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

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

d. Residents with school-age children shall not be required to relocate during the school year.

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

a. 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.

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

c. Life-Term and Long-Term Leases. The applicant shall offer eligible tenants leases for a term of:

i. Fifty-nine 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.

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

iii. An annually renewable lease for a term not to exceed five 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.

d. 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 the application for approval of conversion. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 13-2013 § 4 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.080). Formerly 23.713.080].

23.713.080 Anti-discrimination.

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 room which shall have not less than 150 square feet of floor area. Other habitable rooms, except kitchens, shall have an area of not less than 70 square feet. Where more than two persons occupy a room used for sleeping purposes, the required floor area shall be increased at the rate of 50 square feet for each occupant in excess of two (Uniform Housing Code Section 503(b)).

This anti-discrimination section shall be included in the conditions, covenants, and restrictions for the project. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.090). Formerly 23.713.090].

23.713.090 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 years, no tenant shall be unjustly evicted and no tenant’s rent shall be increased (A) more frequently than once every six months nor (B) in an amount greater than the annual increase in utility costs and insurance costs, plus increased operating costs not to exceed two percent 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. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.100). Formerly 23.713.100].

23.713.100 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. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.110). Formerly 23.713.110].

23.713.110 Development standards.

The following development standards shall apply to all applications for a conditional use permit for condominium conversion and new construction:

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

B. Electricity. Each condominium unit shall have a separate electrical service, with separate meters and disconnects, and with 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. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.120). Formerly 23.713.120].

23.713.120 Lapse of conditional use permit.

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

A conditional use permit shall be deemed in effect if, within three 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 conditional use permit; or

B. Pursuant to the approved relocation assistance plan, written evidence has been filed with the director that more than 10 percent of eligible tenants have been relocated. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.130). Formerly 23.713.130].

23.713.130 Right to terminate conversion.

Within three years of the approval of a conditional use permit for a condominium conversion and after the conditional 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 designated approval 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. Such acceptance shall be by a written notice of acceptance which may be withheld until such time as the director is assured that any required tenant obligations incurred during the preconversion process have been satisfied. [Ord. 4-2017 § 3 (Exh. B); Ord. 12-2011 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 27-2008 § 1 (Exh. A § 4.5.140). Formerly 23.713.140].