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Santa Barbara Co. supervisors pass ordinance to protect tenants against evictions

SBC Board of Supervisors
Posted at 5:55 PM, Apr 06, 2023

On Thursday morning, dozens of community members showed up at a last-minute Board of Supervisors meeting that was scheduled following hundreds of eviction notices sent to renters in Isla Vista.

"On the first day of finals, we got a notice posted to our door that said, 'You have 60 days to leave. We are terminating your tenancy. We need to remodel,'" said apartment resident Ananya Kepper.

Last month, Core Spaces, the Chicago-based company that purchased the CBC and the Sweeps Apartments near the UC Santa Barbara campus, served eviction notices to the tenants of more than 200 units.

In response, at the last three Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meetings, affected tenants like Kepper and many others have spoken out about the issue, leading to Thursday's meeting at which the Board gathered to consider changes to the county's eviction policy.

"I again urge you all to pass legislation to stop this renoviction and prevent these crimes from causing irreparable damage to our most vulnerable community members," said another CBC and the Sweeps tenant who received the notice.

Kepper says the eviction notices posted on their doors stated that Core Spaces had the "intent" to begin renovations, though no other details were provided.

"They can just say, 'We need to renovate,' and kick everybody out. Legally. That is what was on the Board today," Kepper added.

During Thursday's meeting, supervisors evaluated the proposed amendment to their ordinance regarding the rights of landlords and tenants. Following much discussion and nearly 50 public speakers, supervisors voted 4-1 to approve the motion, resulting in applause from the crowd.

"They now have to include permits for the work they are going to do. They have to file the permits, have them approved and then include them in the notice to terminate," Kepper explained.

"I hope this is not only an attempt to save these tenants and other tenants, but that we make it inform our other decisions to save a generation of Santa Barbarans," Chair Supervisor Das Williams said during the meeting.

According to the amended ordinance, the new changes will only apply to evictions served following Thursday's supervisor vote, not to the CBC and the Sweeps tenants who already received theirs. County officials also add that before Core Spaces issues additional evictions on the property, they will have to abide by the new policy.

KSBY News reached out to Core Spaces for comment but did not hear back.