Petitions calling for an ordinance to regulate rents on commercial and residential properties and to create a rent control enforcement board have been submitted to City Clerk May Doi.
The petitions contained 3,107 signatures from Gardena residents. If 2,863 of the signatures--15% of the city's registered voters--are verified, the City Council will have to adopt the ordinance or put it on the ballot in the municipal election next April, City Manager Kenneth Landau said. Doi has until Dec. 8 to verify the signatures.
City Atty. Michael Karger said he was studying the ordinance, which was drawn up by the organizer of the petition drive, Mark Hessman, to see if it was legally sound.
If the proposal becomes law, rent increases would be limited to the annual rate of increase in the consumer price index, or 7%, whichever is less, Karger said. It would also provide for the establishment of a paid rent control board. Gardena now has a volunteer rent mediation board.
Hessman, a tenant at the El Nor Mobile Home Park on El Segundo Boulevard, said he began the drive because he was not satisfied with the rent mediation board's decision last August on a dispute between the park owner and tenants.