The Westminster city council will consider placing a temporary moratorium on commercial evictions during an upcoming meeting.
The ordinance would be an emergency measure effective immediately upon adoption. The policy is being brought forward by city manager Sherry Johnson, who believes it would provide relief for businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is an interesting conundrum. While there is no doubt that businesses in our area have been hit hard, the business tenants’ landlords are also businesses,” Johnson told The Epoch Times in an email.
“We as a city have offered up loans and many grants have also come through CARES Act monies. The city will continue to work with our businesses as we navigate our way out of COVID.”
Last September, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing local jurisdictions to authorize their own eviction moratoriums on commercial tenancies through May 31, 2021.
The order permits cities to decide their own rules on whether commercial tenants can be evicted due to a failure to pay rent caused by COVID-19 restrictions.
Now, Westminster is looking to do just that.
A staff report says: “In evaluating this issue, the city seeks to provide a reasonable balance between providing commercial tenants with the short-term protections which have been afforded to them during the last year, and the rights of the commercial property owners many of whom have been able to meet their own obligations as a result of the loss of rental income.”
Westminster will vote on the ordinance during a Feb. 10 meeting.