Kevin Cody

Hermosa Beach extends residential, commercial eviction moratorium

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by Dan Blackburn

Hermosa Beach city officials Tuesday evening adopted a state-recommended hiatus on private residential and commercial rental evictions that will extend through Jan.31, 2021, subject to satisfaction of specific requirements.

The eviction protection is part of state officials’ efforts to stem a potential flood of rental evictions caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local policies on the issue would otherwise expire at the end of this month.  

City council members voted 4-0 to embrace the landlord collection delay. Officials are essentially reconfiguring the most current city provisions to coincide with state policy. 

The action was presented as an emergency ordinance, meaning that it takes effect immediately.

The city has had a residential eviction moratorium in place since March 2020, but a new state law allows Hermosa Beach to extend a tenant’s repayment period through March 31, 2021. That was accomplished by the council’s Tuesday action.

Deferred payments must be repaid in full when the moratorium ends.

Similar extensions apply to commercial tenants in the city, except the period is shorter — this moratorium ends on Jan. 31, 2021.

City Atty. Michael Jenkins explained he was “required to present to council an ordinance to comply with state law” because current city law does not. He described the city’s six-page ordinance as “very complicated.”

The council action “grants a defense” in the event an unlawful retainer is commenced against a renter.

In other action, the council:

— Heard from City Manager Suja Lowenthal that Nico De Anda-Scaia, assistant city manager, is  resigning effective Thursday, Sept. 24. He has been a city employee in varying capacities for the past seven years. No reason for his departure or his future plans were given, but Lowenthal said, “Wherever he goes, his star will shine brightly.”

— Learned that fellow council member Michael Detoy, a Riverside city firefighter, was absent because he was “on a big fire,” said Mayor Mary Campbell.

— Delayed discussions by a subcommittee regarding a summer concert schedule until pandemic-related crowd restrictions are ended or altered. ER



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