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Posner Undisclosed

Councilmember Micah Posner admitted last month to renting out a shed in his backyard without the proper permits to make the unit habitable under city building codes.

Many Santa Cruz residents have said that Posner collecting rent from his extra unit strikes them as hypocritical.

After all, the local politician has championed relaxing building laws in order to allow more accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and he ultimately voted in favor of the revised ADU laws passed in 2015. The loosened laws still do not accommodate Posner’s backyard shed, which does not have a kitchen or a bathroom and is in a multi-residential area that is not zoned for ADUs.

Additionally, Posner did not disclose income from his $700-month back unit, which has since been red-tagged, on election forms with the Fair Political Practices Committee, an omission he now regrets.

“Those forms represent the fact that public officials need to be public about everything, and I wasn’t being public, because I had an unpermitted unit,” says Posner, who adds that he has since updated the forms.

As of press time, Santa Cruz City Council was scheduled to look at a number of issues surrounding Posner’s unit, including unreported income, at its Tuesday, March 8 meeting. It would also look at the council’s options, which include censuring Posner, a move that would still allow him to serve.

“I hope that this whole thing will allow us to focus more on housing and won’t just be a big distraction,” Posner says. “But even though it’s a distraction, it’s my responsibility, and I take responsibility for it.”

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