The City Council this week tabled an urgency rent-control ordinance that would have placed a moratorium on apartment rent increases in the city for six months and would have rolled back rents to their June 1, 1985, level.
The measure was tabled with the provision that a special subcommittee, composed of Councilmen John McTaggart and Robert Ryan, can reintroduce the ordinance if ongoing negotiations between landlords and tenants in the city break down.
The ordinance, which both landlords and tenants oppose pending the completion of negotiations, brought a standing-room-only crowd to council chambers at Hess Park on Tuesday.
The dispute between landlords and tenants surfaced in October when tenants of Porto Verde Apartments and Palos Verdes Apartments complained to the council of rent increases as high as 28%. While the City Council readily assisted in establishing a forum for negotiation, it declined to get involved with the negotiations themselves.
When the negotiations appeared to founder on Dec. 17, the council ordered the city staff to draft the urgency ordinance. Since then the negotiations have proceeded.