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Rental Property

August 10, 1986

Before the operators of the doll museum on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica succeed in their stated goal of convincing "an angel" to help them acquire the next-door house for expansion of their displays, please be advised that the Rent Control Act currently in effect in the city of Santa Monica would expressly prohibit the dislocation of the residents of that house ("At Angel's Attic, It's a Doll's World" by Heidi Yorkshire, July 27).

The house in question, next door to the east of the museum, has been used as rental property for many years. Through my work, I have been acquainted with two of the residents of that house, which is divided into about a half-dozen modest but clean bachelor apartments.

If the museum were to acquire that property, they would find themselves in the same boat as the nearby Rand Corp., which some years ago bought an older, adjacent residential building with the plan to use it for an expansion of their business. However, the rent control law took effect before Rand could evict the tenants and Rand subsequently found itself an unwilling landlord until the recent passage of the new state law that permits them to go out of business, evicting the tenants, but which expressly forbids them from making any other use of the property.

I might add I have no ill will toward the museum, which has done an excellent renovation job and sounds very interesting as a unique showcase. However, the need for rental property in this city must be preserved through existing law.

RUFUS BAKER

Santa Monica

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