Tuesday, March 19, 2019

100-Year Storm Flood Risk Map - San Francisco Law Requires Property Owners to Disclose Risk to Buyers or Tenants


Click on the image to utilize the interactive 100 Year Storm Flood Risk Map

The City and County of San Francisco recently passed an ordinance that will require sellers or landlords of property in San Francisco to disclose to buyers or tenants that the property is located within the flood risk zone delineated on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's 100-Year Storm Flood Risk Map. 

The purpose of this new law is to inform those affected property owners - commercial, residential and including the City and County of San Francisco properties, of their respective risk of flooding. The ordinance was signed by the Mayor on March 8, 2019. A copy of the ordinance is available online at: www.sfwater.org/floodmaps.

You may utilize the interactive map to identify if your property is affected by clicking here. You can also search by neighborhood as well. 

Please take a moment to review the information below from the SFPUC. Reach out to johnb@boma.com for any questions you may have. 

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As San Francisco has developed over time, its hilly topography has been largely paved over. During extreme storms, storm runoff flows still follow the naturally-formed historical waterways. When this occurs, we can experience flooding that sometimes results in property damage.

The SFPUC has developed a 100-Year Storm Flood Risk Map (Flood Map) that shows areas of San Francisco where significant flooding from storm runoff is highly likely to occur during a 100-year storm. A “100-year storm” means a storm with a 1% chance of occurring in a given year. The SFPUC used computer modeling that simulates flooding occurring Citywide under a 100-year storm to identify these parcels.

The purpose of the Flood Map is to inform existing and future property owners about flood risk on their properties and promote resilience. Please find more info on flood resilience efforts below.

The Flood Map shows parcels that are highly likely to experience “deep and contiguous” flooding during a 100-year storm. “Deep and contiguous flooding” means flooding that is at least 6-inches deep spanning an area at least the size of half an average City block.

The City passed legislation that will require sellers or landlords of property in San Francisco to disclose to buyers or tenants that the property is located within the flood risk zone delineated on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's 100-Year Storm Flood Risk Map.

This Flood Map shows flood risk from storm runoff only. It does not consider flood risk in San Francisco from other causes such as inundation from the San Francisco Bay or Pacific Ocean. Read our full Flood Map Disclaimer.

If you have questions, want to learn more about the Flood Map, or understand what the SFPUC is doing to promote Citywide flood resilience, please review our Information Sheet or contact us at rainready@sfwater.org. Is your property on the Flood Map? Please click on the map below to utilize a searchable Flood Map where you can enter in your address to find out.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

UPDATE: San Francisco's Better Market Street Project EIR - Comment Period Ends on April 15, 2019



BOMA San Francisco member Jose Guevara has been the industry's lead in monitoring the Better Market Street project. Here is his latest dispatch:

In case a BOMA San Francisco member wishes to attend or make their voice heard, the Better Market Street Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) was released by the San Francisco Planning Department recently and can be accessed here: https://sfplanning.org/project/better-market-street-environmental-review-process

Questions and public comment should be directed to Chris Thomas at San Francisco Planning (415-575-9036 or Christopher.thomas@sfgov.org). He will be accepting comments from Feb. 28 (tomorrow) until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 15, 2019.

In-person comments will be accepted at the Planning Commission hearing on Thursday, April 4, at 1 p.m. at City Hall, Room 400.

Here’s a list of other upcoming presentations/hearings:
  • Friday, March 8: Informational presentation to Senior and Disability Action (SDA), 10:00 a.m. (1360 Mission Street, Suite 400)
  • Friday, March 15: Mayor’s Disability Council, 1:00 p.m. (City Hall, Room 400) 
  • Monday, March 18: Civic Design Review, 2:30 p.m. (401 Van Ness Ave., Suite 125)
  • Wednesday, March 20: Historic Preservation Commission Hearing, 12:30 p.m. (City Hall, Room 400)

Embarcadero Seawall Program - Map the Waterfront's Assets and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Study Meetings on March 7th and 14th




It's Your Turn: Help Map the Waterfront's Assets

In three simple steps, inform how The Port of San Francisco prioritizes and define projects along the Embarcadero Seawall.

U.S Army Corps of Engineers Flood Study

The Port of San Francisco and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have partnered to conduct an expected 3-41/2 year study of flood risk and the possible strategies to reduce the risks to vital waterfront infrastructure and assets. The study area includes the entire Port of San Francisco jurisdiction from Aquatic Park to Heron’s Head Park.

The local knowledge and insights of those who live, work, and recreate in the area are vital to the success of the study. Please join The Port at an upcoming meetings:

Mission Bay Community Waterfront Resilience Meeting on Thursday, March 7 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM at the UCSF Mission Bay Conference Center

Islais Creek-Bayview Community Waterfront Resilience Meeting on Thursday March 14, 5:30 - 7:00 PM at the Bayview Opera House

Monday, February 25, 2019

Register To Attend - 2019 Business Comes to City Hall Advocacy Day on March 1st

2019 Business Comes to City Hall Advocacy Day
Friday, March 1, 2019, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

On behalf of BOMA San Francisco and the business community, you are invited to attend the third annual City Hall Advocacy Day on March 1, 2019.  BOMA members will join a broad coalition representing the City's diverse business community to advocate with a common voice, suggest solutions to on-going issues that impact businesses, and partner with civic leaders to find solutions.

We will start the day at 8:30 a.m. in the California State Building on topics of top importance to business leaders, including:
  • Regulations, Permitting & Taxation
  • Transportation
  • Clean & Safe Streets
  • Housing for All
  • Doing Business With the City
After lunch we will move to City Hall to meet in small groups with members of the Board of Supervisors, as well as a meeting with the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Sean Elsbernd.

Tickets for the event are $100 and include lunch, meetings with City leaders, including members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 


Please email johnb@boma.com with any questions. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

UPDATE: Congestion Pricing in San Francisco




UPDATE - February 16, 2019

The study of congestion pricing in San Francisco will again commence after an interlude.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA), has been leading the effort to understand what possible scenarios exist in San Francisco for congestion pricing since 2010. The SFCTA Commissioners have recently appropriated $500,000.00 to study the possible new permutations that may lead to a charge for driving in and out of a specified zone in San Francisco.

Click here for more information.

Click here for a recent article on the new deliberation in the San Francisco Chronicle.

From 2010-2013, BOMA San Francisco members were in opposition to congestion pricing due to a number of factors that may not have been considered by the SFCTA including:
  • Efficacy 
    • Can a small city - relative to London where congestion pricing exists - enact such a traffic pricing scheme effectively?
    • Will it, in fact, alleviate the traffic issues that currently exist?
  • Feasibility
    • How would a plan be implemented with out impacting traffic flow and commerce?
      • What about commercial vehicles and residents who might travel in and out of the congestion pricing zone multiple times on a daily basis? 
The economy has grown and how people utilize various forms of transportation - ride sharing in particular - in San Francisco has changed dramatically since 2010. What may have been seen as a hindrance to commerce and effective traffic flow might need to be revisited with BOMA member involvement. BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) will lead the policy discussion for the commercial real estate industry and we welcome your comments.

Please email johnb@boma.com with questions or your feedback.
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Original Post - September 30, 2013




BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) members met with Tilly Chang, Executive Director for Planning for the San Francisco County Transportation Authority recently for an update on the issue of congestion pricing.

Please click here to review Tilly's presentation to the GAPAC.

BOMA San Francisco opposes congestion pricing as it will damage the San Francisco economy.  Indeed, a recent article published in the San Francisco Examiner authored by BOMA San Francisco Executive Vice President Marc Intermaggio and BOMA San Francisco President Steven Ring detail the association's position on the issue.

Nevertheless, our members are an intrepid lot, willing to work with the City and County of San Francisco on issues that pertain to the commercial real estate industry.  Tilly kindly listened to our concerns as the BOMA San Francisco Advocacy staff and members reiterated the need for BOMA members to be at the table for any future discussion of congestion pricing models in San Francisco, whatever their form.

Thank you to Tilly Chang and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority for their outreach and for working with BOMA San Francisco members.

Friday, February 1, 2019

IMPORTANT UPDATE: San Francisco's FINAL Tall Buildings Safety Strategy Report & Mayor London Breed's Directive To Strengthen The Resiliency Of Tall Buildings And Downtown Neighborhoods




UPDATE - January 31, 2019

BOMA San Francisco is ensuring that the industry is at the table and our collective perspective is heard regarding possible enactments of various recommendations contained within the Tall Buildings Safety Strategy/Study. Members of BOMA's Codes and Regulations Committee held a meeting with officials from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection recently to provide feedback on the process and to relay their concerns regarding the implementation of the Study's 16 proposals.

Click here for the full and final Tall Buildings report.

Our members are looking forward to working with San Francisco officials in the near-term and years to come. What is important is that any proposal take into account BOMA members' perspectives including the appropriate timeline for implementation, feasibility considerations, impact on tenants/commerce and other possible unintended consequences that may arise from the regulatory and legislative processes.

Mayor London Breed Directive

Recently, Mayor London Breed issued an Executive Directive to strengthen the resiliency of tall buildings and downtown neighborhoods. The Directive was issued to strengthen high-rise buildings and create a comprehensive recovery plan in preparation for the next major earthquake.

The Directive instructs City departments to work with community stakeholders, i.e., BOMA, develop regulations to address geotechnical and engineering issues, clarify emergency response and safety inspection roles, and establish a Disaster Recovery Task Force for citywide recovery planning, including a comprehensive recovery plan for the Financial District and surrounding neighborhoods by the end of the year. It is estimated that San Francisco has a 72 percent chance of experiencing a 6.7 magnitude or greater earthquake before 2043.

Email johnb@boma.com with any questions and to get involved with this process.
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UPDATE - October 17, 2018

The Tall Buildings Safety Strategy report has been released. We recommend that you review the document and all the recommendations. Any feedback – and if you’d like to be involved in future discussions – should be sent to johnb@boma.com.

The team that produced the missive will present the suggested policy actions in-detail at the BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Seminar on November 8th (click on the link to learn more and register).

From the report:
The recommendations of the Tall Buildings Safety Strategy, prepared by seismic engineering experts of the non-profit Applied Technology Council, stem from a study of the 156 tall buildings in San Francisco, primarily in the northeast neighborhoods. The recommendations are also applicable to a wider network of buildings that support similar functions or may share similar vulnerabilities. The recommendations are presented in this report with the specific issues they were developed to resolve and with a proposed timeline for implementation.

Each recommended action identifies one or more City departments to lead its implementation. However, implementation of any new policy is assumed to involve appropriate coordination with other City departments, outside experts (as needed), and other stakeholders. Some recommended actions require enactment of legislation by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors or action by the Building Inspection Commission and can only commence after these approvals.

BOMA San Francisco is well-positioned to work with policy makers to ensure that new and, most prominently, existing building code changes, protects life-safety but also ensures a rational approach to address issues unique to existing structures. It is paramount that any policy action is:
  • Rationally implementable and recognizes the constraints inherent with structures built at different time periods;
  • Involves affected stakeholders;
  • And, ensures appropriate timelines for execution.
BOMA San Francisco’s membership is looking forward to working with the City and County of San Francisco in the near-term to discuss the approach to the Strategy’s recommendations.

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Original Post - June 15, 2018


A recent article in the New York Times, At Risk in a Big Quake: 39 of San Francisco’s Top High Rises, "includes a list of buildings that are potentially vulnerable to a large quake." The San Francisco Bay Area is in seismic zone and those who live and work in the area are likely aware of that fact.

In light of the potential for seismic activity, The City and County of San Francisco's Office of Resilience and Capital Planning is in the process of producing a report on the subject of seismic effects on tall buildings in San Francisco, as well as geotechnical considerations related to tall buildings.

BOMA San Francisco, through our Codes and Regulations Committee, participated in the first stakeholder meeting on March 6, 2018 that provided an overview of the Tall Building Study and learned more about the team's progress to date. The team leading the Study from Stanford University and the private sector, also provided an overview of their effort at the March Codes and Regulations Committee.

The Study is expected to be completed in October 2018.

The report will:
  • Clearly characterize the issues and available information;
  • Propose regulatory and procedural recommendations where appropriate to the subject studied;
  • Scope out future work items.
The work under this project will be performed under the six tasks, detailed below, and compiled in the report.
  • Task 1: Seismic Performance Characterization of Existing Tall Buildings 
    • This task is developing an inventory for purposes of establishing the broad scope and context of tall buildings in San Francisco.
  • Task 2: Tall Building Effects 
    • This task summarizes seismic risks with tall buildings with recommendations for new policy and further research. 
  • Task 3: Standards for Post- Earthquake Structural Evaluation
  • Task 4: Barriers to Reoccupancy of Tall Buildings
  • Task 5: Costs and Benefits of Higher Performance Goals for New Construction
  • Task 6: Geotechnical Engineering for Tall Buildings 
    • This task will review and compile best practices in geotechnical engineering that could apply in San Francisco.
Please contact johnb@boma.com with any questions you may have.

San Francisco Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax - Operative as of January 1, 2019




The Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax is operative as of January 1, 2019.

This tax generally applies if you have more than $50,000,000 in total combined taxable gross receipts, or if you are subject to the administrative office tax.

In addition to the existing Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes, this measure imposes an additional gross receipts tax of 0.175% to 0.69% on combined taxable gross receipts over $50 million. Businesses or combined groups that pay the administrative office tax will pay an additional tax of 1.5% on their payroll expense in San Francisco.

These additional taxes would not apply to:
  • Certain nonprofit organizations and businesses exempt from local taxation, such as banks and insurance companies;
  • Receipts that are exempt from the gross receipts tax; and
  • Receipts subject to the City’s Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax.
Persons projected to be subject to the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax (based their 2018 gross receipts tax returns) will see an estimated payment amount for tax year 2019 on their quarterly bills. There will be no penalties for underpayment or late payment of the estimated taxes for the Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax during tax year 2019.

Additional Information:
Please contact the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector for additional questions by submitting a service request.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

San Francisco Commercial Rent Tax Information - Operative as of January 1, 2019



The ‘Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax Ordinance’ (Commercial Rents Tax) is operative as of January 1, 2019.

This tax generally applies to businesses leasing commercial space in the City and generally does not apply to businesses exempt from Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes.

In addition to the existing Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes, this measure imposes a new gross receipts tax of:
  • 1% on the amounts a business receives from the lease or sublease of warehouse space in the City;
  • 3.5% on the amounts a business receives from the lease or sublease of other commercial spaces in the City.
Commercial space is any building or structure, or portion of a building or structure, that is not residential real estate, as defined in section 954.1 of Article 12-A-1. For the purposes of this tax, commercial space does not include any building or structure, or portion of a building or structure, that is used for:
  • Industrial Use, as defined in Section 102 of the Planning Code
  • Arts Activities, as defined in Section 102 of the Planning Code
  • Retail Sales or Service Activities or Retail Sales or Service Establishments that are not Formula Retail uses as defined in Sections 303.1(b) and 303.1(c) of the Planning Code
Businesses will file and pay the Commercial Rents Tax at the same time and in the same manner as the Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense Taxes. This includes making three quarterly estimated payments of the Commercial Rents Tax liability throughout the tax year.

The annual filing due 2/28/19 for Gross Receipts and Payroll Expense taxes will ask businesses to report their gross receipts from the lease of warehouse space and commercial space during tax year 2018. Estimated payments for tax year 2019 will be billed accordingly, subject to revision by taxpayers to reflect actual taxable gross receipts for that quarter. There will be no penalties for underpayment or late payment of the estimated taxes for the Commercial Rents Tax during tax year 2019.

Additional Information:
Please contact the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector for additional questions by submitting a service request.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

San Francisco Annual Business Tax Return for 2018 - Filing Deadline on February 28, 2019



The San Francisco Annual Business Tax Return for 2018 formally known as the San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax filing; is available.

The filing deadline is February 28th, 2019.

The Return includes the San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax, Payroll Expense Tax, and Administrative Office Tax. Beginning in tax year 2019, the Return will also include the Early Care and Education Commercial Rents Tax and Homelessness Gross Receipts Tax.

Businesses should receive their filing notice this week which includes their Business Account Number, and Online 8 digit PIN. The 2018 Return and instructions are available at: https://sftreasurer.org/2018annualbusinesstaxreturn

New this year, all businesses that are required to file a Return must report their gross receipts from the lease or sublease of warehouse space and other commercial space in the City for tax year 2018.

Please review our “What’s New for 2018” information and video for additional updates to the 2018 Return.

For questions or assistance, please contact San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector customer service department by submitting a service request online: http://sftreasurer.org/customer-service.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Join the Port at SPUR for a Seawall Community Meeting - January 31st




BOMA San Francisco Members:

You're invited to Seawall Community Meeting on January 31st at SPUR.

Join the Port of San Francisco at the third in a series of Seawall Community Meetings to learn more about the Embarcadero Seawall, explore seismic and flooding scenarios, and weigh-in on the Program goals for short and long-term waterfront resilience. The meeting will include an interactive mapping exercise, allowing us to dive deeper into the Seawall program framework and understand the unavoidable trade offs ahead.

Refreshments served!

Event Details




Apture