Full-text of Initiative Measure

INITIATIVE MEASURE TO BE SUBMITTED DIRECTLY TO THE VOTERS ABOLISHING CHAPTER 15.10 OF THE SAN LUIS OBISPO MUNICIPAL CODE AND ADOPTING A NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING ORDINANCE.

WHEREAS, the People of San Luis Obispo seek to protect the privacy of all residents from discriminatory inspections invading residents’ privacy that violate the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 15.10 requires mandatory intrusive inspections inside homes in San Luis Obispo violating the privacy of City residents under the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 15.10 is so vague that City Officials are authorized to silently discriminate in determining whose home to target based on age, income, political activity, or status as a renter or an owner; and

WHEREAS, Chapter 15.10 must be abolished and replaced with a Non-Discrimination in Housing Ordinance to protect residents’ privacy in San Luis Obispo;

NOW, THEREFORE,
THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF SAN LUIS OBISPO DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. This ordinance shall be known as the “Non-Discrimination in Housing Ordinance.”

SECTION 2. Chapter 15.10, “Rental Housing Inspection”, of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code is hereby repealed and new Chapter 15.10 is adopted to read as follows:

CHAPTER 15.10. NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING

SECTION 15.10.010 The City of San Luis Obispo shall not discriminate against any person based upon age, income, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, or inability or ability to own a home, by imposing any compulsory program, policy, intrusion or inspection applicable to any residential dwelling unit. No determination to conduct an inspection of any dwelling shall be based substantially on any occupant’s age, income, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity or status as an owner or renter of such dwelling.

SECTION 3. The people of City of San Luis Obispo hereby request this ordinance be submitted immediately to a vote of the people at a special election, pursuant to Elections Code § 9214.

Ballot Title and Summary
The San Luis Obispo City Attorney has prepared the following title and summary of the chief purpose and points of the proposed initiative measure:

TITLE

AN INITIATIVE TO REPEAL CHAPTER 15.10 OF THE SAN LUIS OBISPO MUNICIPAL CODE ENTITLED “RENTAL HOUSING INSPECTION” AND TO ADOPT NEW CHAPTER 15.10 ENTITLED “NON-DISCRIMINATION IN HOUSING”

SUMMARY

Existing San Luis Obispo Municipal Code Chapter 15.10, Rental Housing Inspection, established a program for the registration and code compliance inspection of residential rental units in the City of San Luis Obispo. Chapter 15.10 applies to all “residential rental dwelling units” in the City, which are defined as “…single-family dwellings, duplexes, and second dwelling units, which are rented, leased, or held out for rent or lease, or otherwise used for residential rental purposes, including any curtilage, structures or buildings on the property on which the residential rental dwelling unit is located… This definition excludes multifamily dwellings having three or more dwelling units within a structure and transient type occupancies (hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts),” which are subject to separate state law inspection provisions.

Based on legal and factual assertions stated in the proposed measure, the proposed measure would repeal entirely San Luis Obispo Municipal Code Chapter 15.10, entitled “Rental Housing Inspection,” Sections 15.10.010 – 15.10.110, and replace that Chapter with a new Chapter 15.10, entitled “Non-Discrimination in Housing,” Section 15.10.010, to read as follows:

The City of San Luis Obispo shall not discriminate against any person based upon age, income, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, or inability or ability to own a home, by imposing any compulsory program, policy, intrusion or inspection applicable to any residential dwelling unit. No determination to conduct an inspection of any dwelling shall be based substantially on any occupant's age, income, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity or status as an owner or renter of such dwelling.

Current California and federal laws prohibit discrimination in housing accommodations based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability or genetic information. The first sentence of the proposed measure defines certain characteristics on which it would prohibit the City from discriminating “… by imposing any compulsory program, policy, intrusion, or inspection applicable to any residential dwelling unit.” The characteristics on which the defined discrimination would be prohibited include some, but not all, existing characteristics protected under state and federal housing law. The proposed measure additionally would prohibit the form of discrimination described in the measure based on “income” and “inability or ability to own a home”. The second sentence of the proposed measure would prohibit a City “…determination to conduct an inspection of any dwelling…based substantially on…” the same set of characteristics on which the measure would prohibit discrimination, but including “status as an owner or renter” and not including “inability or ability to own a home”.

Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the persons whose names appear hereon of their intention to circulate the petition within the City of San Luis Obispo for the purpose of repeal of Chapter 15.10, “RENTAL HOUSING INSPECTION”, of Title 15 of the San Luis Obispo Municipal Code and adopting a Non-Discrimination in Housing Ordinance.

A statement of the reasons of the proposed action as contemplated in the petition is as follows:

San Luis Obispo’s Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance mandates forced inspections of private homes and invades the privacy of City residents. The Ordinance unleashes City Officials to intrude into, and photograph, the most private spaces of citizens’ homes—bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets. Embarrassing photographs can, and already have, become public.

San Luis Obispo’s Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance is unlawful in that it requires mandatory inspections inside homes in San Luis Obispo that violate the privacy of City residents under the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

San Luis Obispo’s Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance is so vague that City Officials are authorized to silently discriminate in determining whose home to target based on age, income, political activity, or status as a renter or owner.

San Luis Obispo’s Rental Housing Inspection Ordinance should be abolished and replaced with a Non-Discriminatory Housing Ordinance to protect residents’ privacy.

s/Daniel L. Carpenter, 2030 Johnson Ave, San Luis Obispo 93401. (805) 704-8567, dlcslo@aol.com

s/Daniel J. Knight, 227 Santa Lucia Dr, San Luis Obispo 93401. (805) 235-8775, danieljackknight@gmail.com

s/Stewart D. Jenkins, 1336 Morro Street, San Luis Obispo 93401. (805) 541-5763, info@stewjenkins.com