The Santa Rosa City Council on Tuesday rejected a temporary rent control measure after giving the public just one day’s notice that it would vote on the proposal.

The council scheduled the vote with just 24 hours public notice by declaring it an “urgency ordinance,” or a law “for preserving the public peace, health or safety.”

An urgency ordinance, which can take effect right away, has a steeper approval threshold — five of seven votes.

With little time to react, the California Apartment Association quickly called upon its members to attend the meeting and voice their concerns. This article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reflects some of the frustration with the surprise vote.

Tuesday’s rent control ordinance, which would have capped increases at 3 percent for the next 45 days, fell one vote short of passage.

The Press Democrat followed up with an editorial in its June 12 edition that recognized the council’s good judgment in rejecting the rent control measure. The editorial also pointed to the root cause of rising rents — the lack of housing supply.

“The fundamental problem is a shortage of housing, particularly the kind available to those on the low end of the income spectrum. And with few housing units in the pipeline, scarcity is driving up rents,” the editorial reads.

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