Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Here is the update from our orignial post on this issue today:
TRACTEL: If you have a Tractel scaffold and Tractel or Tyrack hoist-winder installations, the recent Cal-OSHA letter does NOT alter how maintenance is done on those scaffolds given the manufacturer’s clarification to Cal-OSHA. Thus, these hoist motors DO NOT have to be removed for the annual maintenance and there should be NO measurable change in cost to your annual maintenance, unless there are real wear and tear issues that are uncovered during the annual maintenance.
SPIDER: If you have a Spider scaffold, you have to follow the OEM requirements for maintenance and care. In the case of Spider, they do not support their systems and do not sell parts to third party providers, so it may be tough for you to fix a problem if something substantial goes wrong.
OTHER BRANDS: Building owners and mangers will be required to adhere to the Cal-OSHA standard and have the hoist motors removed from the building for the annual maintenance requirements.
Thanks to contractors like Scaffold Inspection Testing and Tractel, some necessary and appropriate clarification has been brought to light to help BOMA members understand this issue. However, requirements are requirements; it behooves you to assure that your scaffolds are being maintained in a compliant and dependable condition.
So what's the bottom line to building owners and managers? Site inspections are no longer adequate. Annual maintenance will include removing hoists from the building to be shop tested—to the manufacture's specifications—and to have routine maintenance performed. A detailed account of this maintenance will need to be documented in the building's records.
As such, there is a need for BOMA San Francisco members to be aware of the possible increased maintenance costs from the Cal-OSHA requirements. Scaffold Inspections & Testing (S.I.T.) companies may charge more for inspections, and some manufacturers have started restricting sale of parts to other S.I.T. licensed contractors, which might require a hoist manufacturer to travel from outside the Bay Area to service the particular type of equipment. If you plan to start the bidding process for a new exterior building maintenance system, make sure your RFP includes a line item for maintenance that included the new additional maintenance requirements.
- American Institute of Architects convention will be held in San Francisco from April 30 to May 2. Attendance is expected to be lower, but the numbers are still impressive. 'Green' buildings is one theme of the convention. From the article: "In San Francisco alone, 30 building projects as of January had received a stamp of approval from the U.S. Green Building Council and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
- Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's opinion of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's May ballot initiatives can be found here (hint: he doesn't like them).
- A mathematical analysis suggests that Senator Dianne Feinstein might make a run for California governor in 2010. Click here for the details.
- Mayor Newsom is good at traversing through Mayor Villaraigosa's turf.
- AB 23, a California measure to expand the COBRA subsidy, is making its way through the legislative process in Sacramento.
Monday, March 30, 2009
…owners of commercial buildings located in the downtown and their tenants to turn off all lights in unoccupied areas after business hours except for lights required by the Building Code to be illuminated for emergency exiting unless the lights are controlled by occupancy sensor control devices or located in areas where after hours cleaning and other maintenance staff are required by their service contract to illuminate areas only while providing services within the area. This Ordinance also requires building owners to submit reports about their buildings.
Please click here to read the ordinance.
Please click here to read the legislative digest.
Mission: BOMA San Francisco’s Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) meets with those who propose or decide public policy, analyzes existing or proposed legislation and/or regulations to determine the impact on BOMA members, and recommends for BOMA Board approval what position the association should take on such matters. GAPAC educates and informs BOMA members, elected and administrative officials, and the public about issues of significance to commercial real estate, and BOMA’s positions on those issues.
Goal: The Committee will aid the Association in seeking the enactment of legislation and codes which encourage high standards of industry development and efficient, economical office buildings.
For information or to join the committee, please contact Susan Court at email@example.com.
“You can’t just at five o’clock turn out the lights. I was a janitor, I worked at 235 Montgomery [and] I worked at 1 California—I was there until 2 a.m. We were cleaning [and] vacuuming all up and down. You have to keep the lights on.”
Click here for the full KCBS report.
- Supervisor David Chiu feels that the lack of tougher sentences for Graffiti offenders demonstrates the City's priority of the issue.
- San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong may delay retirement. Click here to read all about it.
- Hybrid taxi's in San Francisco are doing just fine, thank you.
- Commercial real estate outlook Q1 of 2009: it will be tough to refinance loans - where will the funds come from? Click here for a summary of the report.
- United States Senator Dianne Feinstein suggests that she will not support the Employee Free Choice Act. Click here for the details.
- What affect does the long-term budget problem in California have on the private sector? Click here for an economist's take on the issue.
- According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Tom Campbell has a chance at becoming California's Governor.
- The White House is going 'green', again.
- California has restarted it's daily electricity auction.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs, talks to Mayor Gavin Newsom about Earth Hour
Your BOMA advocacy team was at the Ferry Building last night for Earth Hour 2009. Thank you to the BOMA members--as well as the individual businesses and San Francisco citizens--who participated in this symbolic gesture, echoed worldwide, to help fight global warming and raise the saliency of making practical changes in reducing energy consumption. Indeed, over 100 commercial buildings participated in the event!
And, although it wasn't safe for the entire City to go dark, many well known San Francisco landmarks turned off the lights including the Ferry Building, The Pyramid Center and the Bay Bridge.
BOMA San Francisco was proud to be a part of Earth Hour 2009!
Friday, March 27, 2009
- Commercial real estate leads the U.S. financial sector down in stock trading today. The message here is that commercial tenants are having a hard time paying the rent due to slower consumer spending and a sour economy. Click here for the story.
- If our Governor can fix the problems in California, then he can do anything, apparently.
Please note that the Earth Hour 2009 event is part of a larger effort, the Earth Hour 24 x 7 Challenge, to make everyday changes that reduce energy consumption and combat global warming. Click here to learn how you can help with this new San Francisco initiative.
- BOMA San Francisco gets some ink in today's Examiner with regard to our support of energy efficient light bulbs.
- The hardworking Clerk of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors takes the blame for not enforcing the anti-corruption campaign finance law. Click here for the story.
- San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has created a Stimulus Spending Task Force. Read about it here and here.
- Mayor Gavin Newsom is looking to expand the SF Energy Watch program to help assist more small businesses with saving energy. Please click here to read all about it.
- If you're looking for higher taxes, then California is the state for you! Click here for the story.
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger starts a task force as well: the California Federal Economic Stimulus Task Force.
- If you are lucky enough to have the money (and a job) to purchase anything, now might be the time to do it before the April 1 statewide sales tax increase.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
On The Budget:
On the Special Election:
On Set-Aside Reform:
In the Supervisor's opinion, the Charter amendment will, most likely, not be on the November Ballot.
On Supervisor Chiu's 'Lights Out' Ordinance:
On His Own Efforts in City Hall:
- Legitimizing secondary units, or working on bringing residents up to code. At present the Supervisor is looking for pilots for secondary units in the City that might lead to City-wide code amendments, and
- Crime reduction in the Western Addition (e.g., foot patrols in disadvantaged communities). In fact, he mentioned that the City has as 11-12% resolve rate when it comes to crime cases!
The topic: Supervisor Chiu's 'lights out' legislation. As quoted from the article:
"It's putting building owners in the position of being light police. We don't control tenants and we don't want to control tenants," he said. "It also makes us liable for drive-by lawsuits. ... I can see someone in Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill sitting up there with binoculars and reporting buildings to the Department of the Environment."
Ken is, indeed, back in town.
- Click here if you are a business that would like some tax relief from City Treasurer Jose Cisneros.
- Those who know commercial real estate are skeptical of the plan by the U.S. Treasury and Fed to purchase/subsidize $2 trillion in toxic mortgage assets. You can read the article here.
- California State Senator Fran Pavley, the author of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, is back with SB 31 . The measure, if adopted, will require that the money collected under AB 32 be deposited in the Air Pollution Control Fund. You can read all about it here.
- Click here to view an interactive graphic of California's unemployment rate by County since January 2008.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
BOMA San Francisco Members Attend BOMA International's National Issues Conference in Washington D.C.
Ken Cleaveland, Director, Govt. and Public Affairs, BOMA SF Nancy Gille, Chair, BOMA SF PAC Bruce Schilling, Member, BOMA SF PAC Margot Crosman, President, BOMA San Francisco Stephany Cull, Member, BOMA SF Environment Committee
Lastly, here is a picture of our team meeting with Sen. Feinstein's senior policy advisor for energy and transportation issues, Matthew Nelson. Our group pushed for larger financial incentives for energy upgrades in commercial real estate and suggested the rest of the country should be brought up to California's Title 24 energy standards before any arbitrary new energy reduction goals were adopted nationally.
There is much to be done to improve this ordinance so that it is workable, rather than disruptive. Meanwhile, from comments posted on City Insider, SFExaminer.com, and SF.Curbed.com, local sentiment is mostly unfavorable.
BOMA San Francisco has long been the leader in promoting sustainable practices in office buildings:
Our High Rise Recycling Program began in 1987 and helped bring the city to a nearly 70% waste diversion rate
BOMA San Francisco’s Earth Awards program grades building performance across critical domains such as Recycling, Composting, Waste Reduction, Toxics and Air Quality Management, Environmentally Preferable Purchasing, Energy Conservation, Water Conservation, Energy Efficient Transportation, and Tenant Education. Our April 22 Earth Awards luncheon ceremony will be held at the Hotel Nikk0.
BOMA San Francisco hosted a major Sustainability Fair this January to showcase products and practices leading to improved environmental practices in office buildings.
BOMA has created a green lease, written to engage tenants in taking more responsibility for conserving energy use within their leased premises.
BOMA’s Energy Performance Contract, designed to stimulate investment in energy saving equipment, was developed in concert with the Clinton Climate Initiative.
BOMA’s 7-Point Market Transformation Challenge was designed to reduce energy consumption in commercial buildings 30% by 2012.
Our local partnership with the US Green Buildings Council encourages our members to obtain individual LEED Accredited Professional certification, as well as to get their buildings LEED Certified.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Mr. Bonowitz discussed San Francisco's seismic resilience--the ability for the City to bounce back after an earthquake. Indeed, the types of buildings that are most vulnerable in an earthquake are:
- Unbraced cripple walls
- Hillside houses
- House over garage
- Unreinforced masonry buildings
- Parking garages
- Pre-Northridge earthquake steel frame
- Non-ductile (pre-1980) concrete frames
- Soft-story woodframe
There are also non-structural risks (i.e., pieces of a building):
- Water tanks
And lastly, contents risk (not in the building code).
So what is the City's priority for resilience? Where do we start?
Traditional approaches to resilence, at the low-end of the priority ladder, were the killer buildings (unreinforced masonry buildings), and at the high-end, essential facilities (hospitals, etc.). What about the mid-range? That is, what about combining occupancy and vulnerability?
The City's priority for resilience depends on building's stock and occupancy.
Recommendations on where to start:
- Soft-story mulit-unit buildings
- Shelters (e.g., schools used for shelter)
- Recovery phase services (private social services and medical services)
- Non-ductile concrete buildings
- Gas lines and equipment (bracing them/installing shut-off valves)
- Unreinforced masonry buildings
Please refer to the SPUR article for the details.
The mission of BOMA's Codes & Regulations Committee is to provide technical support on code-related issues to the Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC), educate BOMA members about construction industry codes, standards, ordinances and regulations and their impact on the commercial real estate industry; and provide input into the code-making process at the state and local levels consistent with BOMA’s policy positions.
If you are interested in joining the committee, please contact Jeff Palmer @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Helping BOMA helps you, and our industry.
You can watch the hearing here.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Workers compensation rates may increase 24.4%. The details can be found here.
Employers with 20 or more employees will need to notify those employees who have been involuntarily terminated from September 1, 2008 or after. This applies only to those employees that had health insurance through your company. You will be required to pay 5% of your employee’s premium and will receive a refund from the Federal government. For those employers with 2 to 19 employees, your insurance carrier will be sending notices and you will not be required to advance the 65%.
Please contact Scott Hauge, President of Small Business California for more information at email@example.com. You can also visit the COBRA website.
San Francisco Healthcare Ordinance
It looks as if the San Francisco Healthcare Ordinance isn’t going away any time soon: a request by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association was recently denied by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Click here for the details.
UPDATE (March 23, 2009): Some restaurants are not in support of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association's lawsuit.
The Bay Area Energy Efficiency Occupations Report, produced by the San Francisco Bay and Greater Silicon Valley Centers of Excellence, can be viewed here.
We will have a discussion of Market Street automobile restrictions at BOMA San Francisco’s Government & Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) on May 6, 2009 in the BOMA Conference Room, 233 Sansome Street, 8th Floor, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mayor Gavin Newsom, who in 2008 signed the San Francisco Green Building Ordinance requiring new buildings to meet green building standards, now has his sights set on making existing buildings more sustainable. Yesterday, the Mayor announced that he has organized an Existing Buildings Task Force to work with public and private interests in making San Francisco’s existing structures more energy efficient.
You can read all about it here and here.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
But wait! The state is still $8 billion short?
- Revenue and spending trends show the General Fund has grown from $2.4 billion to $4 billion in the last ten years;
- 60% (!) of the General Fund spending growth has come from Public Health, Human Services, Police, and Fire with the majority of spending going to improve employee wages and benefits;
- San Francisco provides a vast array of services at costs that exceed other cities and counties in California;
- The two most volatile revenue sources for the General Fund are the real estate transfer tax, and the use of the prior year fund balance;
- San Francisco's revenue base is more diversified and, therefore, more stable in comparison to peer cities and counties in California.
All this and more can be reviewed in the report.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke at the Commonwealth Club recently to promote the California budget reform measures on the ballot on May 19th. Your BOMA advocacy team was in attendance and listened assiduously to Gov. Schwarzenegger’s commentary. The Governor spoke about the Legislature’s recent budget compromise which included reform measures (for the budget to work as planned, all six budget reform measures must be approved by voters), his support for changing the initiative process, the fact that he has never looked into the split roll tax issue with regard to Proposition 13, and many other issues. You can listen to the entire program here.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Your BOMA advocacy team attended the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce's Supes for Lunch with Eric Mar event on March 18, 2009. Here is a brief synopsis of what transpired:
Supervisor Mar, who represents the Richmond District (District 1), mentioned that protecting working families, children and seniors is a top priority. On the issue of land use, the Supervisor understands the need for new development and supports job growth. Indeed, he is holding a Land Use & Economic Development Committee Green Jobs Hearing on March 23rd at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the economic stimulus package and green job development that will benefit low-income community members in City of San Francisco. The hearing will attended by representatives from labor, small business, and community groups.
In addition to job growth, Supervisor Mar wants to protect small business and cultivate diversity in the Richmond District. The Supervisor does not favor a formula retail ban for the Richmond District, and strongly supports conditional use scrutiny of all chain store applications. Lastly, he supports homeownership especially for working families but, at the same time, is sensitive gentrification and to the concerns of the Tenant Union.
The San Francisco Small Business Network held their "Meet The New Supervisors" event last night at the Old Mint. As events go, this one was one of the best. Indeed, in attendance were small business owners, business associations (including your BOMA San Francisco advocacy team), and community organizations. Of course, City Hall was well represented with the four freshmen Board of Supervisors: Board President David Chiu, John Avalos, David Campos, and Eric Mar all at the event. Also in attendance were veteran Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Sean Elsbernd.
Congratulations to Mr. Art Swanson (pictured with the freshmen supervisors—from left to right: David Campos, David Chiu, John Avalos, and Eric Mar), President of the Small Business Network, for hosting a very successful event!
Monday, March 16, 2009
In a KCBS In Depth interview this weekend, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu (District 3) stated that he is not supportive of any immediate or short-term implementation of congestion pricing. Mr. Chiu is, however, open to studies of the long-term affects of the proposition. BOMA San Francisco opposes congestion pricing and we are pleased with Mr. Chiu's commentary on this issue. Please click here for the details.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Welcome to the all-new BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Blog!
This all new communication medium (well, new to BOMA) will allow you to stay in touch with BOMA San Francisco's advocacy work as it happens. We'll be updating the blog with information and pictures from our meetings with San Francisco politicians, our dealings with the movers and shakers in the City's government departments, and issues that affect the commercial real estate industry.
In short, this is your window into the wild world of San Francisco politics, and how we advocate for commercial real estate interests (you!).
Of course, we would love your feedback on our blog entries. Please feel free to email John Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Legislative Assistant, at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions or comments.
Remember, if you aren't at the table, you could be on the menu!