Friday, July 19, 2019

FEEDBACK REQUESTED - Electric Vehicle Charging in Commercial Parking

Mayor Breed and Supervisors Rafael Mandelman and Aaron Peskin have introduced an ordinance that will require any commercial parking lot or garage – including the City and County of San Francisco – with more than 100 parking spaces to provide 10% of them for Level 2 charging stations for electric vehicles. The requirement will need to be completed by 2023.

Please click here to review the ordinance and let us know if you have any comments at 

Click here to read a recent story on the issue from the San Francisco Chronicle.

FEEDBACK REQUESTED: San Francisco's 100% Renewable Electricity Requirement for Commercial Property Owners

San Francisco's ordinance requiring 100% Renewable Energy for commercial property owners ordinance is now moving through the legislative process at City Hall and will likely be heard at the Land Use and Transportation Committee soon.

Please click here to review the measure and us know if you have any feedback at


You can read Mayor London Breed's press release on this topic. Breed announced the proclimation on Earth Day in April 2019.

Monday, July 1, 2019

San Francisco Hazards & Climate Resilience Plan Workshop for Business and Commercial Property Stakeholders - July 9th

The City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) is hosting five workshops with key stakeholders to inform the strategies and implementation of the updated San Francisco’s Hazards and Climate Resilience (HCR) Plan. The HCR Plan presents how community members and San Francisco neighborhoods will be impacted by specific hazards and identifies how CCSF will prepare for and should respond to natural hazards (including earthquake, fire, extreme heat, and flooding) when they occur.

BOMA San Francisco members are invited to participate in a meeting with representatives of businesses and commercial properties located in CCSF to provide feedback on HCR strategies and implementation. This is also an opportunity to build relationships with CCSF agencies and other businesses to share information and coordinate efforts to strengthen the resilience of our community.

During this interactive two hour workshop, you will:
  • Learn about hazard issues (including earthquakes, flooding, and extreme heat events) and their impacts on the City & County of San Francisco, as well as existing and planned work to increase resilience.
  • Share your experience with hazard events to inform how the government agencies and community groups can improve responses to hazards.
  • Provide feedback on draft Hazards & Climate Resilience Plan strategies and how they could be implemented in partnership with residential property owners and managers as well as with other housing stakeholders.
Please RSVP by registering here.

Refreshments will be provided.


How do I get to Bluxome Center?

It is 1 block away from the SF Caltrain station and 2 blocks from the K/T and N MUNI lines' stop at 4th & King Streets. There is no dedicated parking onsite, but there are plenty of metered parking spots on Bluxome Street.

Who is coordinating the Hazard & Climate Resilience Planning Process?

The Office of Resilience and Capital Planning is leading this effort in partnership with Department of Emergency Management, Department of Public Health, Department of the Environment, and SF Planning.

Have questions about the purpose or scope of the Hazards & Climate Resilience (HCR) Plan? 

Please contact Jim Buker, HCR Plan Project Manager, at (415) 554-4939

IMPORTANT - PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff Program

As part of PG&E's Community Wildfire Safety Program, PG&E is implementing additional precautionary measures to help reduce the risk of wildfires. If extreme fire danger conditions threaten a portion of the electric system serving your community - including San Francisco, it may be necessary for them to turn off electricity in the interest of public safety. This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).

The PSPS Program now includes all electric lines that pass through high fire-threat areas – both distribution and transmission.

While customers in high fire-threat areas (based on the CPUC High Fire-Threat District) are more likely to be affected, a public safety power outage could impact any of the more than 5 million customers who receive electric service from PG&E, including BOMA San Francisco members. This is because the energy system relies on power lines working together to provide electricity across cities, counties and regions.

The Program will affect proactively turning off electric power for safety when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted. The forecast can arise from high winds, high heat, low humidity, or other factors that contribute to a Red Flag warning. PG&E aims to notify those affected ahead of time, when possible, with a series of texts, social media updates, and other forms of communication that customers may sign up for. They will also utilize the AlertSF system.

What does the PSPS Program mean for BOMA San Francisco Members?

PG&E could decide to shut off power to San Francisco and/or the Bay Area as part of the PSPS Program. 

 Even if San Francisco is not subject to a wildfire, transmission lines that feed San Francisco and run through a shut off area could be affected, thereby turning off electricity to San Francisco. The transmission lines feeding the city primarily run from the east (roughly along Highway 92) and from the south up the Peninsula. The power shutoff could run for the duration of the Red Flag warnings which could last several days.

Many tenants believe that since their building has an 'emergency generator' they will be able to continue business as usual in their office space. Property owners and managers should consider planning for such an event and inform their tenants accordingly.

BOMA San Francisco members and the public can sign up for PG&E notifications to ensure they are on the notification list by going to the PG&E website:

The contact information PG&E currently has probably does not include your company’s emergency management team, but rather an administrative contact in the billing department during normal business hours. Make sure to get your emergency contacts into their 24/7 notification database!

Notifications can also be obtained by signing up for emergency messages from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management at A useful website for planning for Red Flag warnings is National Weather Service - California Fire Weather Map

Building owners, property managers, engineers and security professionals should all consider the issues that may occur during a Public Safety Power Shutoff.

A special thanks to BOMA San Francisco's Emergency Preparedness Committee members who contributed to this update for the benefit of the commercial real estate community and for all San Franciscans.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Salesforce Transit Center - Opening Date Announced

A Message from Mohammed Nuru, Board Chair

Transbay Joint Powers Authority

Salesforce Transit Center: Safe. Strong. Sustainable.

In September 2018 the Salesforce Transit Center was temporarily closed as a precaution after fissures were found in two beams on the bus deck of the new, four-block-long, one million-square-foot facility. I am happy to report that the problem has been fixed and we can move forward with reopening the facility, which independent experts have deemed to be safe, resilient and ready to resume operations to serve the Bay Area.

Our Commitment

We committed to reopening the facility only after determining the cause of the fissures, repairing the affected area, performing a facility-wide review, and fully cooperating with an independent review. I am happy to report that all of these steps are now complete and the Salesforce Transit Center will reopen to the public on July 1. Local bus service out of the street level bus plaza will resume in early July and regional bus service from the third level bus deck will resume later this summer.

Independent Review

Public safety is at the core of our work. I would like to apologize to our transit riders and to the public for the inconvenience they experienced due to the closure. As a taxpayer-funded project, we are held to a high standard in design, engineering, and construction excellence. We know we let you down. Be assured that the problem was addressed with thorough, proper, and independent oversight and all have concluded that the issue was localized to the Fremont Street location. I would like to thank San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for requesting the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s independent review. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has affirmed that the center can now reopen. We are thankful for the expert, independent review.

Moving Forward

The transit center is a safe, strong and sustainable facility and we are eager to welcome you back. From our five-acre world class rooftop park complete with year-round free events and activities to our acclaimed public art program to efficient and reliable transit options, there are many reasons to come to Salesforce Transit Center.

With Appreciation

For information about park activities, new services, hours of operation, and the temporary closure, please go to Again, thank you for your patience as we carried out all of the steps necessary to reopen the transit center and welcome you back.

Best regards,

Mohammed Nuru
Board Chair, Transbay Joint Powers Authority

Thursday, June 20, 2019

SFPUC Onsite Water Reuse Program - Networking Event on June 25th

The SFPUC is holding an upcoming event to provide the development, design, engineering, and building communities with more information about their Onsite Water Reuse Program.


Click on the image to enlarge


In September 2012, the City and County of San Francisco adopted the Onsite Water Reuse for Commercial, Multi-family, and Mixed Use Development Ordinance. Commonly known as the Non-potable Water Ordinance, it added Article 12C to the San Francisco Health Code, allowing for the collection, treatment, and use of alternate water sources for non-potable applications in individual buildings and at the district-scale.

The SFPUC is working on state and national efforts to establish guidance and policy frameworks to help local jurisdictions overcome barriers for onsite water reuse. The National Blue Ribbon Commission was established to craft model state policy and develop resources to demonstrate how onsite non-potable water systems can help utilities meet One Water goals.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

SF72: Heat Advisory for the Bay Area on Sunday June 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

From our partners at the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SFDEM and SF72):

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the Bay Area on Sunday June 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. In San Francisco, temperatures may reach high 80s to low 90s. If you are traveling to inland parts of the Bay Area temperatures may exceed 100 degrees.

Keep heat safety in mind as temperatures rise:
  • Drink plenty of water, wear a hat if you go outside and apply sunscreen.
  • Never leave kids/pets in a vehicle for any reason for any length of time. Temperatures will rapidly rise to dangerous levels. If headed to the beach, remember that rip currents are always a danger.
  • Check on neighbors, friends and family that may be sensitive to heat. Call 9-1-1 immediately if you or someone you know is having a medical emergency.
Sign up for emergency alerts by texting your zip code to 888-777.

More information can be found by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Public Hearing Regarding the Adoption of Regulations for the Refuse Separation Ordinance - June 13, 2019; Written Comments Due by June 12th

UPDATE - June 4, 2019

Click here for an announcement for regulations drafted by the Department of the Environment to address adequate capacity of zero waste facilitators in the Refuse Separation Ordinance (RSO).

Written comments are due June 12th at 5:00 p.m. to, and there will be a public hearing on these regulations on June 13th at 10:00 a.m. at Room 412 at San Francisco's City Hall.

The Refuse Separation Ordinance was signed by Mayor London Breed on December 21, 2018 and is effective on July 1, 2019. The RSO amends Environment Code Chapter 19 (Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance No.100-09). The Director of the Department of the Environment promulgates these regulations pursuant to the Director’s authority to adopt forms, regulations and guidelines under the Environment Code Section 1909(a) to implement that Chapter. Any section numbers in these regulations refer to Environment Code Chapter 19.

UPDATE - April 10, 2019

A law was enacted recently that affects large refuse generators (LRGs) in San Francisco. LRGs are those that have a roll-off compactor or at least 40 cubic yards of uncompacted refuse (recyclables, compostables, and trash) per week. When any type of compactor is used, the volume of compacted refuse shall be multiplied times three to determine actual volume collected.

The measure mandates that LRGs will be subject to visual inspection audits of their refuse not less than every three years. The Director of the Department of Environment would issue to those large refuse generators found non-compliant a notice and order to comply with the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance (details below).

This ordinance will also require such non-compliant LRGs to appoint or otherwise engage staff or contractors whose exclusive function is to serve as zero waste facilitators, for a minimum of 24 consecutive months, upon receiving a Director’s notice and order. A zero waste facilitator is a person serving exclusively in the capacity to manage refuse material sorting and movement. After 24 consecutive months of compliance with the Director’s notice and order, a large refuse generator would be subject to a follow-up audit.

Most BOMA San Francisco members are considered LRGs and should review the ordinance thoroughly. Imperative and helpful information is available via our partners at the Department of the Environment and Recology

Questions, please reach out to


BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - April 6, 2011

Please click here to review the final Commercial Office Building Recycling and Composting Program Guidelines.  Also please click here to review the Commercial Office Building Compliance Toolkit.


Original Post - June 11, 2010

As we have posted on the blog previously, San Francisco now has a city-wide mandatory recycling and composting requirement. There are five mandatory areas that property managers need to address in the ordinance:
  • Sign-up and pay for adequate recycling, composting and trash service.
  • Have the appropriate number, color and size containers placed close together in convenient locations at your site.
  • Educate and train tenants and employees on the program.
  • Work with the hired janitorial staff or contractors to create an effective program.
  • Make sure your building is participating in separating materials.
There could be fines for buildings that do not provide an adequate program (#1-4 above), but there will not be fines for buildings that do not properly separate all materials until at least July 1, 2011.

Please click here to review the ordinance and here for FAQs.  Contact the San Francisco Department of the Environment at (415) 355-3768 if you need assistance in starting a recycling and composting program to comply with the new law.

BOMA San Francisco's Trip to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir & San Francisco's Annual Water Quality Report

Click on the image for more pictures of the trip.

BOMA San Francisco member leaders were treated to a tour of the San Francisco Hetch Hetchy water system recently. Click here to here to review the 2018 Annual Water Quality Report.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) manages a complex water supply system stretching from the Sierra to the City and featuring a complex series of reservoirs, tunnels, pipelines, and treatment systems. Two unique features of this system stand out: the drinking water provided is among the purest in the world; and the system for delivering that water is almost entirely gravity fed, requiring almost no fossil fuel consumption to move water from the mountains to our tap.

The SFPUC is the third largest municipal utility in California, serving 2.7 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the Bay Area. Approximately one-third of the delivered water goes to retail customers in San Francisco, while wholesale deliveries to 27 suburban agencies in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties comprise the other two-thirds.

Click on the image to enlarge.
About Hetch Hetchy Power

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) owns and operates the Hetch Hetchy Power System. Our facilities have been generating some of the cleanest energy available in California since 1918. Water flows downhill as it travels 167 miles from Yosemite to 2.7 million people throughout the Bay Area, and we put it to work by harnessing the natural forces of gravity-driven water to generate 100% greenhouse gas-free hydroelectric power.

This clean Hetch Hetchy Power, along with renewable power that we generate locally from solar and biogas facilities, energizes vital San Francisco services as well as a growing number of residential and commercial customers. All in all, we provide about 17% of San Francisco’s total electricity.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

BOMA California Advocacy Update: Lactation Rooms, Wayfair Bill/Online Sales Tax, Possible Increase in Property Taxes

Please take a moment to review this advocacy update from BOMA California.


Once again, we are dealing with a bill in the legislature that mandates expanded access to Lactation Rooms in commercial buildings. The bill, AB 142 by Senator Weiner from San Francisco, is very similar to a bill he carried last year that was vetoed by Governor Brown. The new version passed another major hurdle this week when the Senate voted 26-9 in favor of the measure.

As an industry our main concerns with the bill is that it brings building owners and managers into the middle of an employer-employee relationship in which we do not belong.

In terms of building code issues, the bill is very owner-occupied-centric. The issues we have mainly occur with multi-tenant situations where responsibility for tenant improvements may be 100% on the owner, 100% on the tenant, or some combination thereof, but as the bill is written it ignores how leases are written and agreed upon.

Also, this bill assumes that all real estate markets across the state are the same – akin to those in coastal cities – and will be much more difficult to comply with in areas where tenants have less capital to work with.

Over the past two months we have been working with our legislative committee, the author, and his staff to identify our specific issues and try to resolve them. Here they are, and you are encouraged to share this information with local legislators:

ISSUE 1. The entity responsible for making modifications should be who is responsible for providing the space (it is common for tenants to control their own space). This is how it is in S.F.’s ordinance.

SOLUTION: Clarify the entity triggering the law is the responsible party for the accommodation (that may be a building owner, manager, or tenant).

ISSUE 2. Currently the bill triggers a Tenant Improvements in spaces thats not part of the qualifying event. An improvement in one tenant’s Premises should not trigger requirements in other Premises in building/center. Shifts cost and/or requires use of common space that may not exist.

SOLUTION: Clarify this only applies to the space triggering the law.

ISSUE 3. If no reasonable space within Premises and no need to provide space elsewhere in building/center if no room in Premises. This commonly occurs in an industrial campus setting where each company has its individual space. SOLUTION: Provide an exemption for properties that do not have common space/office space.

ISSUE 4. Number of employees at one location instead of companywide. Bill currently could trigger based on company employees not the actual number on site.

SOLUTION: Clarify occupancy load pertains to the onsite employees only.

ISSUE 5. Technical issue. “Daily occupancy” language is not a common term used in law. There are fire marshal standards for max occupancy but there are not statewide standards for occupancy load.

SOLUTION: Work with the Local Building Officials Association to determine now local building officials would determine how many employees will be on premises daily.

ISSUE 6. Technical/Governance issue. We think the building code references are unneeded. The provision of lactation accommodation is a “service” as opposed to a physical occupancy. Meaning that the “service accommodation” will be triggered at some point post-initial construction and will be dependent on the staffing needs of individual tenants in the building. So, the appropriate response to this will be the provision of lactation accommodation by the employer (as opposed to the building owner).

SOLUTION: Strike the building code references and provide direction through the Labor Code and or to local government inspectors.

We are suggesting a simpler way to write the bill would be to take the Labor Code provisions in current law and just require as part of that accommodation the table, chair, refrigerator, etc. be available. We will keep you posted.


Last year the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in a case we have been closely following and, in California, have helped drive much of the discussion. The South Dakota v. Wayfair decision overturns the outdated Quill decision from 1992 and clears the way for states to collect sales taxes from retailers that do not have a physical presence in their state.

This was a massive win for companies that own buildings that provide shopping services to the public and corrects a decades-long loophole that allowed online retailers to avoid charging sales tax just like physical retailers, which created a perverse incentive to not build in certain states.

At the national level we congratulate both International Council of Shopping Centers and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) for their years of dogged work on this issue.

However, in California we had to write implementing legislation. That bill, AB 147 (Burke; D-Los Angeles) was recently signed into law, in another victory for the commercial real estate industry. AB 147 establishes a comprehensive and more equitable set of post-Wayfair tax collection rules that make sense for consumers, small businesses, and the state.

This bill is designed to modernize California law consistent with the holding in Wayfair, which allows California to impose a use tax collection duty on retailers with specified levels of economic activity in California, even though they do not have a physical presence here.

This bill also seeks to ensure that small businesses are not unduly burdened by the default expansion of the duty to collect use tax resulting from Wayfair's interaction with California's long-arm statute. Finally, this bill recognizes the realities of today's e-commerce economy by requiring marketplace facilitators (e.g., Amazon and eBay) to collect sales and use tax (SUT) on behalf of their third-party retailers. For those remote retailers that sell to California consumers exclusively through these platforms, this provision will alleviate the need to collect and remit SUT on their facilitated sales.


A bill that will gut the Proposition 13 protections property owners have in this state was has moved through two policy committees on party line votes and just passed off the Senate Suspense File.

We strongly Oppose SCA 5, a bill which would allow school districts to increase property taxes with a 55 percent approval of the voters participating in the election – instead of a two-thirds vote of the district’s electorate as currently required under the State Constitution – if the proposition is approved by the school governing board and includes certain requirements, as specified. The measure also would facilitate various local tax increases by lowering the minimum voter approval to a percentage of the voters participating in the election instead of the district’s qualified voting electorate.

This bill would gut Prop 13 by removing the longstanding protections of that landmark measure that requires a 2/3 vote to increase property taxes for certain activities.