Thursday, July 21, 2016

BOMA California Advocacy Report: Two Significant Americans With Disability Act (ADA) Lawsuit Reforms




California has 40 percent of the nation’s ADA lawsuits but only 12 percent of the country’s disabled population. So over the last few years BOMA California members have worked closely with legislators and the Governor to move forward reforms that curb lawsuit abuse while promoting increased compliance with disable accessibility codes.

The effort is the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan effort, that included leadership from state level elected officials and federal support coming from Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The first, in 2012, was SB 1186. The law:
  • Reduced statutory damages and litigation protections for defendants who correct violations.
  • New provisions to prevent stacking of multiple claims to increase statutory damages.
  • Banned demands for money and created new rules for demand letters.
  • New pleading with specificity requirement for demand letters and complaints.
  • State Bar review of demand letters; violation of demand letter and demand for money provisions would begrounds for attorney discipline.
  • Mandatory evaluation conference at option of either defendant of plaintiff.
  • Mandatory notice to property tenant of CASp status of the property.
  • California Commission on Disability Access (CCDA) to receive copies of complaints and demand lettersand tabulate data on top ten types of violations alleged.
  • CCDA to promote and facilitate accessibility compliance.
  • Required information regarding disability access compliance upon renewal of business license.
  • New add-on fee of $1 to business license fee to strengthen CASp program and develop educational and training resources at state and local level to promote compliance.
Among other things, this measure: prohibits pre-litigation demands for money by attorneys; puts into place new provisions to prevent “stacking” of multiple claims to increase statutory damages; reduces statutory damages and provides litigation protections for defendants who correct violations; and establishes priorities for the California Commission on Disabled Accessibility that promote and facilitate disability access compliance.

The second, signed into law in 2016, was SB 269 (Roth) which:
  • Establishes a presumption that certain technical violations are presumed to not be a cause for action.
  • Applies to small businesses (25 or fewer employees).
  • Business has 15 days to correct the violation.
  • Technical violations include non-access issues such as wording and placement of signs, lack of signs, order of signs, color of signs and parking stripes, paint issues (faded, chipped, etc) on otherwise compliant parking spaces, certain warning surface issues.
  • The law States that the above presumption affects the plaintiff’s burden of proof and is rebuttable by a preponderance of the evidence showing that the plaintiff did, in fact, experience difficulty, discomfort, or embarrassment on the particular occasion as a result of one or more of the technical violations.
  • Protects certain businesses from liability for minimum statutory damages in a construction-related accessibility claim made during the 120 day period after the business obtains an inspection of its premises by a CASp, under specified conditions.
Among other things, this bill finally gives businesses a chance to address and fix certain violations – and actually into compliance - before heading in court. 

Together these two laws are a step toward helping more properties become compliant with ADA laws and actually increase accessibility, while minimizing unnecessary lawsuits.

BOMA International Advocacy Update: ENERGY STAR® Data Access Feature, Advocacy Webinar Access, and Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking




New ENERGY STAR® Data Access Feature

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® is a great tool for benchmarking commercial building performance—and it is a key part of submitting your property to the BOMA 360 Performance Program. Luckily, using it is now easier than ever. EPA has compiled a list of all known utilities that provide customers with benchmarking data, either in spreadsheet format or directly through their Portfolio Manager accounts. You can also search for your local utilities using the interactive map on the ENERGY STAR website. Simply type in your building’s zip code to find out if your electric and gas utilities provide benchmarking information.

Free Advocacy Issues Webinar Archive Available

Did you miss the live broadcast of BOMA International’s advocacy webinar? Not to worry—the free, hour-long webinar is now available online for on-demand viewing. Tune in at your convenience to learn more about the key legislative and regulatory issues facing commercial real estate, as well as what BOMA International staff is doing to make the industry’s voice heard on Capitol Hill and in the agencies. The webinar includes a rundown of what to expect from Congress during the remainder of this election year.

Deadline to Submit to LEEP Campaign Approaching

Time is running out for your building to take the LEEP! The awards submission deadline for the CCampaign is June 15. The LEEP Campaign, a Better Buildings Alliance initiative organized by BOMA International and other industry groups, is a recognition and guidance program designed to encourage facility owners and managers to take advantage of savings opportunities by installing high-performance, energy-reducing lighting in parking lots and garages. Joining the campaign gives members access to cost-saving tools and the technical expertise of the Department of Energy (DOE). The DOE provides participants with all the information needed to decide which technologies work best in their parking lots.


Winners will be recognized this October at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.leepcampaign.org.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BOMA California Advocacy Update: 2016 California Commercial Real Estate Summit




Recently, the annual California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) was held in Sacramento and attended by over 100 real estate leaders - including BOMA San Francisco - who converged on California’s Capitol to advocate on behalf of the commercial, retail, and industrial real estate industry.  Fifteen teams of real estate advocates met with half of the state Legislature to talk about split roll property tax, American's with Disabilities Act issues and much more.

The focus of this year’s CCRES was support for Proposition 13 and opposition to moving forward with proposals to allow a split roll property/parcel tax.  Reports back from members who met with Legislators ranged from support of Proposition 13, to vague understanding of its provisions, to questions of an alternative to split roll.  The objective of each team was to explain the day-to-day realities of the real estate industry and how protections from unfettered property tax increases has meant the difference between success and failure. Members also tried to explain how the state’s stable tax structure benefits our tenants and the state’s small businesses.

The goal of the California Commercial Real Estate Summit is to increase public policy and political awareness of state issues impacting commercial, industrial, and retail real estate, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of California and their representatives in the State Legislature.

Thank you to those BOMA San Francisco members who attended.

About the California Business Properties Association



CBPA is the designated legislative advocate for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), NAIOP of California, the Commercial Real Estate Developers Association (NAIOP), the Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), the California Downtown Association (CDA), the Association of Commercial Real Estate – Northern and Southern California (ACRE), the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). CBPA currently represents over 10,000 members, making it the largest consortium of commercial real estate professionals in California.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FEEDBACK REQUESTED: California AB 802 Benchmarking Draft Regulations




BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please click here to review the draft regulations for the AB 802 Benchmarking Program that were released recently.

On Friday, July 22nd, there is a workshop to discuss these regulations and any feedback/concerns/suggestions, you can provide by that time would be very much appreciated. Our BOMA California representative plans on attending the meeting so please feel free to send me any thoughts and comments you may have regarding the proposed regulations from full blown analysis to minor comments - they want them all - and will synthesize it into formal and verbal feedback.

This will be of interest to anyone that is responsible for benchmarking, energy, and potentially escrow, so please pass along to anyone that may care.

As you may know, BOMA California (via the California Business Properties Association) has been working with the California Energy Commission (CEC) on this regulation and have been generally supportive of the direction it has been heading. BOMA supported the repeal of AB 1103 and its replacement with AB 802, a much more flexible statute that addresses many of the issues with the prior program. Even so,  implementation may not be perfect so please send any comments you may have. The earlier BOMA expresses concern and points out issues that may not work in the real world, the easier it is for CEC staff to address them.

Please send all comments to Matthew Hargrove at mhargrove@cbpa.com


Below is a piece  that compares/contrasts the prior statute with the current statute for your reference

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Benchmarking Regulations Continue to Move in Positive Manner

As many of you know, the mandatory California Benchmarking law recently went through a significant change, in response to voluminous complaints from all sectors of the commercial real estate industry.

Your Sacramento staff has been working closely with the California Energy Commission to provide input on proposed regulations to implement the building energy use data access and public disclosure provisions of Assembly Bill 802 (Williams, Chapter 590, Statutes of 2015).

AB 802 completely repeals and replaces the older statute (referred to as AB 1103) the commercial real estate industry supports the state’s benchmarking law and supported the actions taken by the Legislature and the Governor to repeal AB 1103 – a law that was creating significant implementation issues – and replace it with AB 802.

Here is what has changed statutorily moving from the now repealed AB 1103 to the new AB 802 law:
  • AB 1103 mandated ALL buildings must be benchmarked regardless of size or use; AB 802 states that buildings 50K s.f. and above must be benchmarked and allows the Energy Commission some discretion to exempt certain building types and situations (i.e. the CEC could decide that long-term empty buildings or buildings scheduled for razing need not be benchmarked).
  • AB 1103 was a transaction based program – benchmarking was triggered by a sale/lease of whole building/refinance. The transaction based approach had many unintended consequences such as requiring actively managed building to be benchmarked more often than buildings that are not; put an unnecessary technical process in the middle of a real estate transaction; and required benchmarking be provided to parties that were not making management decisions (i.e. lenders); AB 802 allows the CEC to determine the best trigger for benchmarking – that could be transaction based or time certain (i.e. once every two years).
  • Under AB 1103 many building owners were unable to get tenant energy information from local utilities; AB 802 clarifies that utilities are required to provide information; in an aggregated format if there are privacy concerns in multi-tenant buildings.
  • AB 1103 treated income producing properties separately by only focusing on commercial; AB 802 – with the support of the Apartment industry - includes certain multi-family housing properties.
  • AB 1103 provisions will be suspended as of the end of this year (until otherwise notified we recommend you comply with the current provisions of AB 1103 until then). AB 802 provisions will become operative on January 1, 2017 – the CEC will write regs to implement in 2016.
There will be no statewide energy use disclosure requirement in 2016. During this time, Energy Commission staff will engage in a public process to develop regulations and establish the reporting infrastructure for the new program. However, we recommend that you continue to benchmark buildings on a regular basis as it makes good business sense.


Monday, July 18, 2016

BART Weekend Closures Between Daly City & Glen Park Stations July-October 2016


BART will close the tracks between Glen Park and Daly City stations on multiple weekends between the end of July and October including Labor Day weekend. The transit agency will be making vital repairs to their tracks including adding sound dampening equipment to the curved trackway in order to reduce noise from the trains. Crews will work 24 hours a day during the shutdown. Other work will include improvements to Balboa Park Station and tree trimming along the trackway.

Weekends - Subject to Change. Check here for updates.

July 30 & 31
August 13 & 14
August 20 & 21
September 3, 4, & 5 (Labor Day Weekend)
September 17 & 18
October 1 & 2
October 15 & 16


Balboa Park Station will be closed.

The closure will cause 20-40 minute delays to your travel–SFO and Millbrae passengers should add 1 hour to their trip.

SamTrans will provide free express shuttle buses between Daly City and Glen Park stations. The bus ride will take approximately 15-20 minutes and all buses will be accessible. SFMTA will provide a free local shuttle for the three stations: Glen Park, Balboa Park, and Daly City. This local service trip should take 10 minutes between Glen Park and Balboa Park station and 15 minutes between Balboa Park and Daly City station. There is additional regular paid service available from SFMTA on the J Church, 14R Mission Rapid, 14 Mission, and 49 Mission-Van Ness lines that provide service to BART stations like Glen Park and 24th Street.

Caltrain service will run as usual and may be a good alternative for folks travelling to/from Millbrae Station or elsewhere on the Peninsula. Peninsula passengers may wish to take Caltrain to Giants games.

Service from Richmond (Red line) will be limited and will stop at Montgomery Station. There is no Red line service on Sundays. Pittsburg/Bay Point line train service will end at Glen Park station. Dublin (Blue line) trains will stop at 24th Street station. Passengers on trains from Dublin going to Daly City or SFO/Millbrae will need to transfer to a SFO train at 24th Street and then transfer to the free shuttle bus service at Glen Park to continue to Daly City.

From Daly City there will be trains to/from Millbrae and trains to/from SFO. Customers will need to follow signs and directions from BART employees to board the correct train for their destination.

BART will have extra staff and signs at the stations to help you with your trip. They understand that this will be inconvenient for you and appreciate your patience.

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet with San Francisco Supervisor David Campos



BOMA's Government Affairs Committee members have been meeting with public officials recently to represent your interests. San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, David Campos, spoke to BOMA representatives recently at San Francisco's City Hall.

Supervisor Campos' Background
  • Represents District 9 on the Board of Supervisors. District 9 is a very special place that encompasses some of the most diverse, vibrant, and culturally rich neighborhoods in San Francisco: The Mission, Bernal Heights, St. Mary’s Park, and Portola.
  • Election history:
    • Appointed 12/04/08 to 01/08/09 
    • Elected November 2008 for term January 2009 to January 2013 
    • Elected November 2012 for term January 2013 to January 2017 
  • Committee/Commission that he serves on: 
  • Legislative history:
    • https://sfgov.legistar.com/PersonDetail.aspx?ID=36802&GUID=301F7366-2D14-411C-98EB-E60006EECA17&Search
Synopsis

This meeting was held to update Supervisor Campos on the state of the commercial real estate market in San Francisco, and our members' work to help BOMA members address homelessness and issues with street behavior. Also discussed were Police Department reform, housing and  affordability in San Francisco.

Meeting attendees informed Campos of the economic benefits for all of San Francisco, i.e., taxes and jobs generated, from our industry and from the tenants that lease space from BOMA building members. Lastly, our members' effort to address an imminent labor shortage via the BOMA Foundation and our partnership with San Francisco State University was detailed.  

BOMA San Francisco members appreciate Supervisor Campos' time and are honored to be a resource for his constituents.

Monday, July 11, 2016

PG&E Step Up and Power Down Event at 345 California Center - July 18






As part of 345 California Center’s participation in Step Up and Power Down, they are committed to reduce energy waste across at the building. Join them for a lunchtime celebration around this effort and to kick off the Sweet Goodnight employee engagement campaign.

Grab your coworkers and come make the pledge to Step Up and Power Down!

DATE: Monday, July 18

TIME: 12-2PM

LOCATION: 345 California Center Plaza

They are celebrating with:

Gelato
Powering Down is Sweet Candy Bar
Step Up Photo Booth
Power Down Pledge Wall
Beats by DJ King Most
#StepUpPowerDown
#SweetGoodnight

Thursday, July 7, 2016

RESULTS: BOMA SF-PAC Slate Card June 7, 2016 Election




BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card
June 7, 2016 Election

BOMA San Francisco has an active Political Action Committee that campaigns for candidates and issues that promote the economic vitality of the industry and the City and County of San Francisco. Here is a brief report of the June 7th election results.

Election Summary

The months before the June 7th election were anything but quiet in San Francisco as voters had a number of issues to consider and an even greater number of candidates for elected office - some understood, some ambiguous - to vote for. It was an unprecedented election for even the most fervent political insider that has resulted in an interesting turn in San Francisco politics.

For the last few years, the San Francisco's Democratic County Central Committee, or DCCC, the governing body of the local Democratic Party, has been led by group of moderate elected leaders that have improved the efficacy of the dominant political party in San Francisco. On June 7th, the voters of San Francisco decidedly shifted the balance of the DCCC and the end result of the change is one that will influence our local and state politics in the November election and, possibly, for years to come.

In short, the outcome of the June election was a mixed bag: voters approved the propositions our members supported and did not approve a majority of the candidates we supported for the DCCC. 


Scott Wiener who is currently a sitting San Francisco Supervisor running for the California State Senate, will face his opponent again in a November runoff.
CLICK HERE FOR THE OFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS

It is a reminder of why BOMA members are involved in local, state, and federal politics: To protect our members, the small businesses that lease space in our buildings, and residents, from public policy that can impact our industry and the City and County of San Francisco.

We will need your help before the November election where it is expected that - due to the June election results - a number of tax measures will be on the ballot, both at the local and state level, that may have the potential to impact the economic vitality of the San Francisco business community. Stay tuned for future reports on what those may be. Just as important will be the candidates for local office. Specifically, the odd numbered supervisorial districts.

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Local Propositions 

SUPPORT --- Proposition A - Public Health and Safety Bond          
NO POSITION ---Proposition B - Park, Recreation and Open Space Fund                          
NO POSITION --- Proposition C - Affordable Housing Requirements                                            
NO POSITION--- Proposition D - Office of Citizen Complaints Investigations                              
SUPPORT --- Proposition E - Paid Sick Leave

Regional Proposition

SUPPORT --- Proposition AA - San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program  

CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS

San Francisco's Democratic County Central Committee, or DCCC, is the governing body of the local Democratic Party. The DCCC is comprised of local Democrats elected by voters in each Assembly District (AD), 17 and 19 as well as partisan-level Democratic elected officials and nominees who serve as Ex-Officio Officers.

The BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee has endorsed a moderate slate of candidates that will continue to work hard for all within the Democratic party in San Francisco. 

DCCC AD17


Joshua Arce, London Breed, Malia Cohen, Zoe Dunning, Tom Hsieh, Gary McCoy, Leah Pimental, Rebecca Prozan, Alix Rosenthal, Arlo Smith, Frances Tsang, Scott Wiener, Jill Wynns

DCCC AD19

Kat Anderson, Keith Baraka, Joel Engardio, Mark Farrell, Tom A. Hsieh, Mary Jung, Trevor McNeil, Emily Murase, Rachel Norton, Marjan Philhour

California State Senate - District 11



The BOMA SF-PAC is supporting Scott Wiener for California State Senate, District 11. Learn more about this outstanding moderate candidate by clicking here.

UPDATE: Homelessness in San Francisco and Resources for BOMA San Francisco Members


UPDATE - July 7, 2016

Since the meeting in April, a group of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) members have been working diligently to aggregate the necessary resources when an issue regarding homeless campers or egregious street behavior arises.

Indeed, the document is complete and you can access it by clicking here.

Please email johnb@boma.com with any questions you may have.

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Original Post - April 12, 2016



BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) welcomed a panel from various City and County of San Francisco departments recently.  The purpose of the meeting was to help our industry understand how they are helping those who are, unfortunately, without a home in San Francisco

The panelists were:

Joyce Crum, Director, Housing and Homeless Division, Human Services Agency
Lt. Michael Nevin, SFPD
Sam Dodge, Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE), Mayor Ed Lee’s Office
Brenda Meskan, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Director San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team

The information exchange was excellent and our members felt that San Francisco is working diligently to address the homelessness issue in The City. Based on this meeting, BOMA's GAPAC members have elected to research the resources available in San Francisco to help BOMA members regarding homelessness matters.We'll post that data in a separate blog post once it has been completed.

Key takeaways from the gathering:


  • Some are homeless due to their economic situation; some are there because of mental health.
  • 13 years of lifetime homelessness = chronic homeless in San Francisco. About 250 people are on this list.
  • Issuing tickets/warrants for quality of life issues doesn’t solve homelessness.
  • San Francisco: there is 6700 homeless, 3,500 unsheltered, and 1,300 beds.
Click here for a presentation from Brenda Meskan, San Francisco Department of Public Health, Director San Francisco Homeless Outreach Team, that provides detailed information about her Department's efforts.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Important - San Francisco Fire Code Changes Could Impact Commercial Property Owners





BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee recently discovered a code change from San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) Fire Marshal, Dan DeCossio. The update was passed unanimously at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and it will change the way the SFFD will conduct inspections of all buildings - both residential and commercial:
  • There will no longer be a Notice of Correction (NOC) given out for minor fire code violations. Instead, two levels of NOVs (Notice of Violations) will be handed out, Priority and Standard. Both NOVs could potentially hold up the issuance of other permits in buildings that receive them.
    • It is unclear at this point how the Fire Department will be handling these infractions, and if there will be any type of differentiation taken between high rise buildings versus multi-tenant residential buildings; the latter was the focus of the legislation.
    • The Fire Department acknowledges that mandating the issuance of unwarranted NOVs in fully-sprinkled high rise buildings would redirect their resources where they are less likely to achieve the goal of reducing residential building fires. 
  • Supervisor Scott Wiener, the author of the legislation, also acknowledges that he didn’t identify the difference between types of buildings that were to be more stringently inspected by the Fire Department when he wrote his legislation.
  • BOMA staff believes that Mr. Wiener may be willing to amend the original ordinance that could clarify the the intent of the measure: Better, more transparent, fire safety inspections of residential buildings . 
Stay tuned for additional updates in the near-term as our members intend to meet with Supervisor Wiener and his staff to discuss this issue further. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact kenc@boma.com and johnb@boma.com 

Apture