Portland announced Friday it will begin accepting applications next week to form a new voter-approved rental board to increase protections for tenants.

The city also said landlords must now begin paying higher registration fees to support the city’s housing safety office, another measure approved by voters last month, although more time will be granted before late fees are attached.

And the city laid out implementation dates for various aspects of the “Green New Deal for Portland,” a broad reform package affecting energy efficiency rules, labor requirements and zoning rules.

The announcements Friday revealed part of the city’s plan to implement five citizen referendum initiatives that were approved by voters last month and take effect Sunday. The city has posted its plan online and has included a list of frequently asked questions to help people understand the wide-ranging impacts of the citizen-enacted ordinances.

“I’m proud of the hard work done by City staff to process the letter of the ordinances as written by the petitioners, and take the necessary steps to ensure implementation can begin by the time they go into effect,” City Manager Jon Jennings said in a written statement. “We understand the public has a lot of questions regarding what these new ordinances mean for them, and I’m thankful for their patience as we worked through a vast amount of language.”

Four of the five ordinances approved by voters were drafted by People First Portland, a political group formed by the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America. Their ordinances include a $15-an-hour minimum wage plus hazard pay during emergencies, penalties for city employees who violate a ban on using or obtaining information from facial surveillance technology, rent control and other tenant protection, and the Green New Deal reforms.

A fifth referendum, put forward by marijuana advocate David Boyer, eliminated a 20-establishment cap on marijuana stores.

The city had separately issued a decision about implementing the minimum wage initiative, and the announcement sparked confusion about when that ordinance takes effect.

City officials said a hazard pay provision in the minimum wage ordinance would not take effect until 2022, a position at odds with People First Portland, which intended it to take effect this month. The matter is now before the court, since the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and five local entities sued the city, arguing that the hazard pay exceeds the scope allowed by a citizen referendum. It’s unclear when the court would issue a ruling.

Voters approved the initiatives over the objection of most city leaders.

Portland Mayor Kate Snyder and every city councilor, except Pious Ali, opposed the referendum questions because of the process used and the council’s inability to change the ordinances without going through another referendum process. Since the election, Snyder has said repeatedly that the council is not trying to undermine the initiatives, but is simply implementing the language as written.

While critical of the city’s minimum wage stance, a volunteer for People First Portland didn’t not find fault with the city’s interpretation of the other ordinances.

“After initial review, we are pleased,” volunteer Em Burnett said Friday. “We basically concur with the city’s interpretation of the ordinances and appreciate how simply they have laid out the particulars for the public. We look forward to working with the city on implementation going forward.”

The city said in a news release Friday that applications for the Rent Board will be accepted through Dec. 28. Applicants will be vetted by the council’s Legislative and Nominating Committee, led by Ali. The committee will issue recommendations to the full council for confirmation. And the city aims to have the board established by February.

The board must contain one member for each of the council’s five districts, plus two at large councilors. The ordinance calls on the council to “take reasonable steps” to appoint at least three tenants and no more than three landlords to the board, though it’s not required.

The city said the board would mediate and resolve disputes between landlords and tenants and take up complaints about ordinance violations, “but only if” both parties make the request in writing by filling out the landlord-tenant dispute form. The city said landlords and tenants should reach out to the city’s Housing Safety Office with any concerns. A summary of housing rights is also online.

The ordinance uses June 1 rents as a baseline for controlling rent increases. Future rent increases will be tied to inflation plus property tax increases. A landlord can increase rent up to 5 percent once a year during a change in tenancy.

Any additional increases, such as those intended to recoup costs for maintenance and upgrades, must be granted by the Rent Board. Annual rent increases of all types are capped at 10 percent a year.

The new rules also require landlords to provide 75 days notice for rent increases and 90 days notice when ending an at-will tenancy. Landlord registration fees are going up from $35 per unit to $50.

People First Portland has been collecting tenant complaints until the Rent Board is established. But Jennings reminded residents in his written statement that those actions are not sanctioned by the city.

“The City of Portland is the only entity authorized to enforce or implement the recently passed citizen initiated ordinances,” he said. “Any interim actions taken by any outside groups do not have governmental authority, and are not sanctioned by the city nor enforceable.”

With regards to the Green New Deal for Portland, the city said an apprenticeship requirement will not take effect until Jan. 1, but other provisions associated with the city contracts over $50,000 will take effect on Dec. 6.

Changes made to the city’s building code will take effect on projects that file applications for site plans or building permits after Dec. 6. And changes to the land use code, requiring 25 percent of units in certain housing developments to be affordable, will only apply to projects that have not had an initial review by the Planning Board.

“Generally speaking, the Green New Deal only applies to eligible city projects or projects that are funded by the city,” the city’s website states. “With the exception of changes to the Affordable Housing ordinance, the Green New Deal does not apply to private construction projects that receive less than $50,000 in funding from the city.”

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