Gordon Robertson, owner of a 10-unit apartment building at 117 Anita Road, said last month he issued to most of his tenants 60-day notices to vacate due to fear of being subjected to the restrictions proposed under Measure R.
The initiative aims to remove Measure T, an ordinance approved by Burlingame voters almost 30 years ago restricting the City Council from regulating the rental housing market and replace it with rent control, just cause eviction protections and relocation assistance for those displaced and more.
Also if approved, the initiative would scale back rents in occupied rooms across Burlingame to March 2016 rates and gradually allow them to rise only at an amount comparable to the cost of inflation.
Robertson claimed such a move would cut his profit margins so severely that he would be unable to reinvest in his property, so he said he elected to vacate the building and plans to keep it empty until after the election to avoid the threat of operating under a new ordinance he detests.
“I feel awful,” said Robertson. “But I can’t take this risk.”