Tuesday, April 6, 2010

UPDATE: San Francisco Ordinance Prohibiting Smoking in Enclosed Areas and Certain Unenclosed Areas - EFFECTIVE DATE April 24, 2010

BOMA San Francisco Members:

We recently posted information on the blog in regard to a measure recently introduced by Supervisor Eric Mar that would, according to the legislative digest, amend the San Francisco Health Code to prohibit smoking in certain enclosed areas, certain unenclosed areas and sports stadiums.  The ordinance will have an impact on all commercial buildings in San Francisco.

The prohibited areas include:
  • Business establishments and bars regardless of whether owner-operated;
  • Unenclosed dining areas of restaurants;
  • Service waiting areas;
  • Areas outside entrances, exits and operable windows and vents of all buildings except at the curb of the nearest street, sidewalk or alley.
UPDATE! - As of January 22, 2010

Supervisor Mar has agreed to amend the measure, which you can read here, to address the signage requirements on pages 14-15 of the ordinance to now reflect these changes:
  • The sign will read: 'Smoking only at curb or at least 15 ft. from entrances, exits, operable windows.'
    • Letters will be 1/2" as opposed to 1".
  • No Smoking Symbol included
    • 3" in diameter as opposed to 6"
  • The sign will also include 'SF Health Code 19F.'
    • Letters 1/8"
  • The sign size will now be to 4" by 9"
UPDATE! - As of February 18, 2010

We recently invited Lin-Shao Chin, Legislative Aide to Supervisor Mar and representatives from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to talk with BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) and Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) members on February 12, 2010 about the ordinance's requirements--as they are currently written--and the impact they will have on BOMA San Francisco members.  

After a healthy discussion, GAPAC members suggested that the committee submit amendments to the ordinance to better reflect their concerns, and allow for reasonable compliance by the aggregate BOMA San Francisco membership.  A knowledgeable attorney member of the GAPAC, Horace Green of Green & Humbert, kindly drafted the suggested amendments for Supervisor Mar's review.  

The GAPAC and PAC members' immediate concern with the ordinance is the potential liability and fines building managers and commercial property owners might face if they do not personally interact with smokers outside of their properties and verbally tell them to cease and desist.  This scenario does not sit well for BOMA San Francisco members, due to the unpredictable behavior of strangers today--especially if you tell someone to stop smoking.  The committee members believe that posting a sign (as indicated in the last update on January 22, 2010, above) 15 ft. from entrances, exits and operable windows (or 25 ft. to earn a point towards LEED certification), is sufficient to cover BOMA members' responsibilities to help diminish the effects of second-hand smoke.

UPDATE! - As of February 22, 2010

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team attended the San Francisco Land Use and Economic Development Committee hearing on Monday, February 2010 where Supervisor Mar's measure was under consideration.  We were successful in submitting Mr. Green's amendments to the committee and spoke in support of striking the language that would require our members to become, in essence, smoking police (see our last update, above).  The committee was considering no less than 24 amendments to the ordinance at the committee meeting--most of which were focusing on language that did not directly affect the BOMA San Francisco membership.

The ordinance is currently being revised to reflect the amendments passed in the Land Use and Economic Committee meeting and the measure will, most likely, be voted on by the Board of Supervisors at their March 9, 2010 meeting.  In the meantime, we will continue to request that the members of the Board of Supervisors take our suggested amendments--the net effect of these changes is to require building owners and operators to give notice to tenants of the ordinance, but does not make them liable for failing to physically prevent people from smoking--and we'll  post the most recent version of the ordinance here once we receive it from Supervisor Mar's office for your input.

UPDATE! - As of March 22, 2010

At their regular meeting on March 16, 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the final version of Supervisor Mar's ordinance that expands on San Francisco's smoking ban that was passed in 1994.  Although this measure did not contain all of the amendments requested by BOMA San Francisco members, we appreciated the opportunity to work with Supervisor Eric Mar's office, as well as his staff's willingness to speak to BOMA's GAPAC and PAC members about their salient concerns on this measure.

Assuming the Mayor signs this ordinance, the effective date is 30 days after it was passed by the Board on March 16th.

UPDATE! - As of April 6, 2010

Mayor Newsom signed this legislation on March 25, 2010; the effective date is April 24, 2010.  Please click here to review the signed copy of this measure.

Please take a moment to review the ordinance and email Ken Cleaveland, Director of Government and Public Relations for BOMA San Francisco at kenc@boma.com with your comments.

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