Culver City Council Ponders Changes to Commercial Tenant Eviction Moratorium

The Culver City Council this week discussed modifications to the local Commercial Tenant Eviction Moratorium (CTEM) which is expiring on March 31.

At their Monday night's meeting, the councilmembers reviewed recommendations from the Economic Development Subcommittee and expressed their desire to extend the moratorium to the end of the pandemic.

The recommendations include requiring tenants to pay at least 25% of their current rents to receive protections of the moratorium, referral tenants and landlords to mediation, a 12-month pay-back period, and enhanced documentations, among other stipulations.

City staff said the recommendations strike "a balance between commercial tenants and landlords" and don't apply to tenants that employ more than 200 employees.

According to city officials, 25 commercial tenants used the protections of the current moratorium in the past 11 months and roughly 200 businesses closed their doors in the past year.

Following a 90-minute discussion, the councilmembers directed staff to incorporate the recommendations to the CTEM and bring it for approval next month.

In another development, the Council voted 4-1 to ask staff to draft resolution in support of a state study of the feasibility of closing the natural gas storage facility located at 8141 Guiana Avenue in Playa del Rey.

Some councilmembers argued against the resolution, saying that the storage facility is not in the Culver City jurisdiction but others maintained any accident in that facility would affect the health of all the residents in the Westside and it's time to say "enough to fossil fuel."

In the end, most of the councilmembers decided to side with LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin who is spearheading the effort for a study to close the Playa del Rey gas storage.

In his LA resolution, Bonin quoted a study from the California Council on Science and Technology which found that the Playa del Rey storage facility "stands out as a facility with relatively higher risk to health and safety than the other facilities in California."


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