Thursday, July 17, 2014

Amendments to the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance - Effective July 26, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please be aware that recent amendments to the City’s Lobbyist Ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors will take effect on July 26, 2014.  Some of the key changes to the Lobbyist Ordinance are summarized below. Please note that this summary is for general informational purposes only, and that you should refer to the new law (available here) or contact the Ethics Commission for more complete guidance if you feel that you may qualify as a lobbyist.

Lobbyist Qualification Threshold

The new rules change the lobbyist qualification threshold, which is now based entirely on the number of compensated lobbying contacts an individual has with a City officer. More specifically, an individual must register and report as a lobbyist if he or she makes:
  • one or more compensated lobbying contacts in a calendar month with a City officer on behalf of a client, or 
  • five or more compensated lobbying contacts in a calendar month with City officers on behalf of the individual’s employer (unless the individual owns 20 percent or more of the employing entity).
Covered City Officials

The new rules expand the list of those City officials with whom compensated lobbying contacts will trigger lobbyist registration and reporting. These new officials include members of the following boards and commissions:
  • First Five Commission 
  • Health Authority Board 
  • Housing Authority Commission 
  • Law Library Board of Trustees 
  • Local Agency Formation Commission 
  • Parking Authority 
  • Relocation Appeals Board 
  • Workforce Investment San Francisco Board
  • Successor Agency to the former Redevelopment Agency of the City and County of San Francisco
  • Oversight Board of the Successor Agency 
  • Successor Agency Commission 
Also included is any person appointed as a department head by any City board or commission.

Exemptions From Lobbyist Registration

Under the new rules, lobbyist registration and reporting requirements are not triggered by communications by an officer or employee of a 501(c)(3) non-profit nonprofit organization (or any organization it fiscally sponsors), when the officer or employee is communicating on behalf of that organization. Also exempt are such communications by officers and employees of 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations that file either an IRS Form 990-N or an IRS Form 990-EZ.

The new rules also narrow the current exemption for communications in connection with bidding on a City contract, negotiating the terms of a City contract, or administering a City contract. The exemption for communications by a “party or prospective party” to a contract no longer applies to a City contractor’s outside consultants or independent contractors.

Developer Disclosures

The new rules require developers of major City real estate projects to file reports with the Ethics Commission disclosing donations of $5,000 or more to nonprofit entities that have lobbied the City regarding the developers’ projects. The filing requirement applies to real estate development projects costing over $1,000,000 and is triggered by the certification of an environmental impact review or the adoption of a final environmental determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Permit Consultants (aka Permit Expediters)
To bring greater transparency to the City’s permitting process, the new rules create registration and reporting requirements for “permit expediters.” These new requirements are similar to, but not exactly the same as, those for lobbyists and will take effect on January 1, 2015.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ethics Commission staff is in the process of drafting implementing regulations as well as updating its Lobbyist Manual and its online training, and will provide more detailed guidance regarding the recent amendments in the near future. In the meantime, you may contact the Ethics Commission if you have any questions at (415) 252-3100 or

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Now Available - The San Francisco 2013 Downtown Plan Annual Monitoring Report

The San Francisco Planning Department's Downtown Annual Monitoring Report for 2013 is now available online.

It summarizes business and development trends affecting downtown San Francisco as required by SF Administrative Code, Chapter 10E, and reviews data for 2013. It notes changes in the amount of commercial space, employment, housing production, parking supply, collection and use of fees and other revenues relative to the objectives of the Downtown Plan and mandated monitoring requirements.

It notes changes in the amount of commercial space, employment, housing production, parking supply, collection and use of fees and other revenues relative to the objectives of the Downtown Plan and mandated monitoring requirements.

In summary, the report found that Downtown San Francisco continued to be a resilient district for the city and the region in 2013, largely because of Downtown Plan polices. Adopted in 1985, these policies have enhanced Downtown San Francisco’s physical qualities and strengthened its position as a regional commercial center. The annual changes in Downtown land use, employment and transportation trends are summarized in the first four pages of the report, in the section entitled “2013 Summary & InfoGraphic.”

In addition, the report indicated that the downtown and citywide economy continues to recover as evidenced by increasing development and rents, declining vacancy rates, and growing employment, tax revenue and use fees. The report indicates that the economy is recovering downtown and citywide as evidenced by rebounding development, declining vacancy rates, increasing rents, stabilizing employment, growing tax revenue and use fees, high transit use, and stable mode share.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

UPDATE: BOMA SF-PAC June Election Primary Update

UPDATE - July 1, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The June 3rd primary election yielded interesting results for San Francisco.

With regard to BOMA SF-PAC's endorsements (as detailed in our previous blog post, below):
  • Proposition A  passed overwhelmingly, with the support of both the business and labor communities;
  • Proposition B also passed and the voters' decision that may restrain future development on Port of San Francisco property, a limitation that BOMA and many  business and labor organizations opposed;
  • BOMA was pleased that San Francisco Board President David Chiu finish strongly in his run against San Francisco Supervisor David Campos for the California Assembly.  Your BOMA SF-PAC will continue to support Supervisor Chiu in November for the final round against his colleague at the Board of Supervisors.

Original Post - March 31, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee has been working diligently to promote good government in San Francisco.  The following is a brief update of the BOMA SF-PAC board members' efforts regarding the June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election.  
  • Proposition B - OPPOSE
    • Waterfront Height Limit Initiative
    • Rationale
      • The initiative undermines longstanding civic planning efforts to improve the waterfront and seeks to take away uniform protections of the bay and view from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 
      • It jeopardizes 3,700 housing units, most of which are apartments. The City and County of San Francisco is in need of more housing to accommodate demand and to reduce the upward pressure on rents for our workforce.
      • The measure risks shorting the City some $8 billion in tax revenues from development of the waterfront and may result in losing the opportunity to create 60,000 new jobs. 

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet With San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee

BOMA San Francisco Members,

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC), met with San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee recently.  Here are the highlights from the meeting:

Supervisor Norman Yee with GAPAC Chair Horace Green
  • Children’s education/supporting families (he was former chair of the SF Board of Education)
    • Developing a Task Force to keep them in San Francisco 
  • Housing + Job Creation 
    •  Feels that the economic gap needs to be addressed 
  • Participatory budget meetings with community input 
  • Pedestrian Safety 
    • Supports Vision Zero – an SF initiative to reduce traffic deaths to zero in 10 years 
  • Street Condition 
    • 1 complaint from voters he represents.

Small Businesses
  • Very supportive
  • District 7 needs more support for local small businesses
  • Only one Community Benefit District on Ocean Avenue
    • Only two merchant associations
    • Had a summit with the SF Chamber of Commerce to address these concerns earlier in the year.
Gross Receipts Tax
  • Businesses in his district do not understand it and don’t have time, in general, to learn more about it.
BOMA San Francisco thanks Supervisor Yee for his time and public service on behalf of all San Franciscans.

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Members Meet with BART's General Manager - Grace Crunican

Grace Crunican, in the middle of the table at left, with BOMA GAPAC members

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee members met with Grace Crunican recently to discuss how a better BART makes for a better San Francisco.  Click here for her presentation.  Our members look forward to collaborating with Grace and her team on the organization's future-forward vision for BART.

About Grace Crunican

Grace Crunican was appointed General Manager of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit by the BART Board of Directors on August 31, 2011. She oversees a staff of 3,137 full time employees and a $15 billion transportation infrastructure. The Board of Directors selected Ms. Crunican because of her 32 years of experience in the public transportation industry, her proven leadership abilities, and her focus on providing safe and reliable transportation services for all Bay Area Communities. She brings to BART a reputation for transparency and accountability.

Prior to coming to BART, Ms. Crunican was Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). She guided SDOT in meeting the goals of Bridging the Gap, Seattle’s transportation maintenance levy, and implemented the Transit Master Plan – Seattle Connections, Bike Master Plan, Freight Mobility Strategic Plan and Pedestrian Master Plan, aimed at building a system to move more people and goods with fewer cars and helping Seattle achieve the U.S. Kyoto Protocol goals.

Previously, Ms. Crunican was the Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation for five years where she implemented Community Solution Teams, integrated livability objectives into transportation planning and instilled a customer focus throughout the department.

Her Washington DC experience includes being the Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from 1993 to 1996. Before joining the FTA, Grace led the Surface Transportation Project a nonprofit coalition dedicated to implementing the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, or ISTEA.

Her first transportation appointment was in 1979 to the Presidential Management Intern Program for the U.S. Department of Transportation followed by serving as Professional Staff for Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.Ms. Crunican has local level experience working as the Deputy Director of Portland’s Department of Transportation. She holds a B.A. from Gonzaga University and a MBA from Willamette University.

BOMA Emergency Preparedness Committee Members Meet with Patrick Otellini: San Francisco's - And The World’s - First Chief Resilience Officer

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Emergency Preparedness Committee members met with Patrick Otellini, San Francisco's - The World’s - First Chief Resilience Officer.

Formerly the City and County of San Francisco's Director of Earthquake Safety, BOMA San Francisco members have been honored to work with Mr. Otellini over the years on the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) report and recommendations, and and look forward to continuing the relationship as he develops in his new role.

More details on Mr. Otellini, his new job, and his vision for a resilient San Francisco can be reviewed by clicking here.

Monday, June 30, 2014

BOMA San Francisco's Title 24 Briefing

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Codes and Regulations Committee members recently held a FREE briefing on California's Title 24 energy code changes, effective on July 1, 2014.

The event focused on the changes that will affect commercial construction. The amendments are part of the Title 24 energy efficiency codes and will dramatically increase potential costs to all tenants and owners who build or renovate commercial properties and interior tenant spaces. The intent of the code update is to reduce energy consumption.

Speakers (pictured):
  • Ross Farris with Glumac
  • J'e Kelper-Korn with Siemens 
  • Kimberly Huangfu with Buchalter Nemer
  • Julia Grinberg with Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Key Topics Covered
  • The fundamental changes to the Title 24 Energy Codes affecting commercial real estate.
  • How these code changes may impact areas outside your new or existing tenant built spaces.
  • Considerations that must be addressed in your leases for new or existing space that will factor in these new code changes.
  • The impact of the Title 24 changes on PG & E’s rebate programs.
Please click here to review each presentation and reference the links below for more information from PG&E.  

Title 24 Frequently Asked Questions
Rebates Incentives and Resources
2014 Business Rebate Application
Lighting Rebate Catalog
Customized Retrofit Incentives
Retrocommissioning (RCx) Program

AB 1103: California's Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program - Lessons Learned

By Zach Brown, Sustainability Manager with CBRE and former Chair of BOMA San Francisco's Energy & Environment Committee.

California Assembly Bill 1103: Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program, commonly known as AB 1103, promised forward-thinking, game-changing regulations intended to bring non-residential energy use transparency to the market. Unfortunately, six months into the initial compliance period and a whopping seven years after the initial draft of the bill, stakeholders are looking back and seeing mostly frustration and missed opportunities in the rearview mirror.

AB 1103 is triggered by a real estate transaction (an entire building being sold, refinanced or leased). This law can become increasingly complicated as in addition to the two the buyer and seller, a real estate transaction in California now involves – at a minimum - brokers, attorneys, lenders, and escrow agents as part of the energy disclosure duties. Because of this explosion of stakeholders now gathered around benchmarking duties, it is more important than ever to know and master to nuances of AB 1103 as to not encumber a multi-million dollar real estate deal.

The San Diego Energy Desk website ( has a well-worded, concise criticism of AB 1103 titled “AB 1103: Too Little Too Late” available here: I encourage you all to read it.

Despite its many shortcomings, AB 1103 is the law, so we must learn how best to comply. If needed, please review the essential mechanisms of the ordinance before reviewing my lessons learned after 6 months of active compliance by visiting the AB 1103 FAQ available here.

Lessons Learned:
  • The ordinance is not about energy efficiency. AB 1103 is about transparency of energy data.
  • There is still confusion; do not be surprised if you encounter unexpected resistance due to lack of understanding.
  • The exact moment one must disclose the Data Verification Checklist is 24 hours prior to the execution of the sales contract; however, anticipate that an eager buyer might request disclosure by an earlier deadline.
  • Start early! Given that buyers might be eager to receive the required documentation, you certainly do not want to encumber the sale of your asset! 30 days before the anticipated execution of the sales contract is the minimum timeframe; it is never too early to begin benchmarking and collecting the necessary energy data.
  • Even though tenants are not legally obligated by AB 1103 to disclose proprietary energy data to the building owner, they are becoming increasingly open to sharing data; it never hurts to ask!
  • Utilities (PG&E in-particular) are requiring tenants to authorize the release of proprietary data to the building owner in order to comply with AB 1103. If a tenant approves of sharing data, use this as an opportunity to excel in tenant engagement by helping them complete the online authorization form. As all of the necessary information is readily available on the tenant’s utility invoice, simply request one recent invoice and complete the online form on their behalf. To learn more, visit and read about PG&E’s Web Services Data Authorization Form.
  • Document everything. Save all requests for data (whether from tenants or utilities) as well as all responses. This back-up should be included in the disclosure documentation to both the transactional counterparty as well as California Energy Commission.
  • It is not necessary to have a licensed professional stamp the Data Verification Checklist. There is no need to fill it out it in any way beyond simply generating it and providing a copy to the counterparty and CEC.
  • Do not forget to find and select the appropriate 'property contact' and 'property owner' from the pull-down menus in step 4, 'Select Contacts for Report' when generating the Data Verification Checklist. If the appropriate contacts cannot be found in the pull-down menus, print-out a copy of the Data Verification Checklist and write-in the appropriate information; the California Energy Commission will not accept the documentation without these two pieces of information.
  • Though it is not a necessary component of the ordinance, draft a cover letter clearly identifying the property (or properties) being disclosed, all enclosed back-up documentation showing good faith attempts to gather data, and (if applicable) where estimates were applied and how they were determined.
  • Make your voice heard and keep informed! Subscribe to the AB 1103 listserv at to remain updated of new developments as well as opportunities to offer feedback and criticism.
  • Shift your perspective. Use this mandate as an opportunity to benchmark for performance, rather than simply regulatory compliance
For more information, please visit


The San Diego Energy Desk website (

We Need YOU! Are You Ready to Volunteer for BOMA’s Emergency Preparedness Event of the Year?

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Annually, BOMA’s Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) members plan, organize and execute a full scale emergency preparedness drill at a BOMA San Francisco member building. The event provides an environment where all stakeholders - the building owner, property management team, engineering and security teams, tenants, and San Francisco’s emergency responders - participate in a jointly planned drill.

The objective: To test each stakeholders’ emergency response plan to determine the best practices and lessons learned.  For example, if a tenant in a BOMA building has a preparedness plan that is in conflict with the property management’s plan, it would be important to know how that variance would affect life safety in an actual emergency situation. Our drills test for this and much more.

For 2014, we are honored to partner once again with the San Francisco Police Department; our last two drills with San Francisco’s finest were back in 2010/2011 (our 2012/2013 exercises were with the San Francisco Fire Department). 

This year's drill will simulate an active shooter situation at 100 First Street and we need member volunteers to help with evaluating and 'victim' actors as the drill is happening. No experience is necessary and our committee members will brief you on your activities the day of the drill.  

In short, we need your eyes, ears, expertise, and, if you're so inclined, acting abilities to cogitate what you’re seeing. This is a really unique opportunity to witness the SFPD do what they do best: protect San Francisco citizens.

Email John Bozeman at if you’re interested and/or have any questions.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Free Workshop on August 11, 2014: Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Wood Framed Buildings

UPDATE - June 20, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection will be hosting a Q&A session on the City's Soft Story Program on August 11, 2014 at the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

The purpose of the gathering is to assist those property owners that qualify for the Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Wood Framed buildings (details in our previous blog post, below) in completing their screening forms prior to the September 15, 2014 compliance deadline. Please pass along this information to your friends and colleagues who may be affected or who may be interested in attending to learn more about the program and its requirements.

RSVP by clicking here.

For more information on the Soft Story Program visit

Original Post - April 18, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - April 18, 2013

The Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Wood Framed (soft story) Buildings legislation was signed by Mayor Ed Lee this morning - the anniversary of the 1906 earthquake.  We thank the City and County of San Francisco for its continued leadership in earthquake resiliency.


UPDATE - March 18, 2013

BOMA supports the Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Program for Wood Framed Buildings, or Soft Story Building Legislation, that is scheduled to be heard at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Land Use and Economic Development Committee.  This measure derives from CAPSS, Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety, an effort that BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members have been involved with since its inception.

This legislation, which includes sensible phase-in provisions for owners of residential/mixed-use properties, is a step in the right direction for the City and County of San Francisco to improve housing resiliency in the event of a major earthquake in the region.

UPDATE - December 19, 2012

If you are interested in attending a CAPSS meeting, the next gathering will be on Monday, January 28, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at San Francisco City Hall, Room 34.  

BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee member Will Grogan will be in attendance and will provide a report on the CAPSS meeting discussion at the February 27, 2013 Codes meeting.

Original Post - November 26, 2012 

The CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program continues to work toward a more resilient San Francisco. Here is a very brief update on their activities:
  • Patrick Otellini appointed Director of Earthquake Safety
  • Soft-story building program final review
  • Private School Earthquake Safety Working Group progress
  • Upcoming CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program Public Meeting

A Message from Laurence Kornfield

Dear Friends,

Big news! The Mayor has appointed Patrick Otellini to be San Francisco’s Director of Earthquake Safety. We are fortunate to have such a qualified and enthusiastic new Director. Patrick comes to the CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program from the private sector where has spent over a decade working across the spectrum of San Francisco’s building community – he is intimately familiar with the City’s permit approval and inspection processes, building owner and user concerns, the pragmatic construction issues of costs, scheduling, and financing. He has been closely engaged in the CAPSS earthquake safety work, including serving as a committee chairperson on the 2010 Mayor’s Soft Story Task Force. Patrick, who will be working directly under City Administrator Naomi Kelly, brings passion, vitality and commitment to the position of Director of Earthquake Safety. I am thrilled that we are fortunate enough to get Patrick Otellini in this role.

I will continue to work on the CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program (ESIP) both on our ongoing programs and as an advisor to Patrick and his staff, as we embark on our challenging 30-year implementation program. I am extraordinarily grateful to have Patrick join me in the leadership of our crucial earthquake safety programs. Patrick’s commitment, the overwhelming support of the City leadership, and your continued involvement mean that we will succeed in making San Francisco a safer and more resilient city.

With much thanks,

Laurence Kornfield

Click here to download the Mayor’s Office press release.

Soft-Story Building Final Review

All of the pieces are now in place to move forward with a program to dramatically improve the safety of many of San Francisco’s most hazardous buildings. Over the next few months the Earthquake Safety Working Group will work to determine the best ways in which to implement the proposed regulations for earthquake upgrade of vulnerable soft-story buildings, focusing on buildings having five or more dwelling units and three or more stories (ESIP Task A.3.a). Much of the groundwork for these regulations was laid under the 2010 Mayor’s Soft Story Task Force. The CAPSS team is looking forward to a collaborative, consensus-based effort to make San Francisco’s housing stock more resilient and safer. More details on this in the near future.

Private Schools Earthquake Safety

A Private Schools Earthquake Safety Working Group, under volunteer chairperson Laura Samant, is studying the technical and policy issues related to the earthquake risk of private schools in San Francisco, and will propose ideas for how the City may best address private school safety (ESIP Task A.6.f). The group is exploring challenging issues such as community expectation for school safety, evaluation of earthquake risk, and potential building improvement opportunities. A report on the findings of this Working Group is to be delivered to the City Administrator and the Mayor in late 2013. If you would like to receive information about the activities of the Working Group by email or to participate in the Working Group, please contact Micah Hilt,

The next meeting will be in City Hall, Room 370, on December 6, 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Click here to download our notice to the private schools.

Upcoming CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program Public Meeting

December 10, 11:00 a.m. until 1: 00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 370.

Please join the CAPSS team for an update on their many CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation programs. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and to learn how you can get further involved in their activities.

Building Rating Systems

The CAPSS recommendations for improving San Francisco’s earthquake resilience were founded on an ability to evaluate or rate building earthquake performance and to effectively communicate about building performance with the public (ESIP Task A.6.h). Building rating systems for buildings of all types, from older homes to new high rises, are now being developed. The CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program staff is working with the groups preparing these rating systems to assure that proposed rating systems will meet San Francisco’s needs. Expect to see one or more rating system proposals within the next few months.

Update to the Community Safety Element Adopted

The Board of Supervisors, following the lead of the Planning Commission, unanimously adopted an update to the Community Safety Element of San Francisco’s General Plan that incorporates many earthquake resilience goals, including those outlined in the CAPSS work. Thank much to Planning Department and Department of Emergency Management staff for their help in preparing this document.

Shelter-in-Place and Neighborhood Support Center update

The Shelter-in-Place and the related Neighborhood Support Center concepts focus on keeping San Franciscans in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and informed and supported after an earthquake. This will empower communities, reduce the demand for emergency housing, and facilitate a more rapid recovery. The Department of Emergency Management, SF SAFE, the Neighborhood Empowerment Network, SPUR, CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program and many other groups and agencies have worked together to prepare demonstration programs, work which is actively continuing (ESIP Task A.4.b). More details on this coming soon!

A few of the other CAPSS/ Earthquake Safety Implementation Program programs underway:

  • Demonstration of one- and two-family home earthquake improvements (ESIP Task A.6.b)
  • Focus on earthquake improvements for economically-disadvantaged San Franciscans (ESIP Task A.6.e)
  • Provide information and assistance about renter’s insurance and other insurance (ESIP Task A.1.b)

Thank you for your continued support of CAPSS and our Earthquake Safety Implementation Program.

Laurence Kornfield
Special Assistant to the City Administrator

Patrick Otellini
Director of Earthquake Safety

Micah Hilt
Earthquake Safety Implementation Program

 Click to follow the CAPSS Program on Facebook!