Wednesday, February 15, 2012

UPDATE: Disability Access (ADA) Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations

At the head of the table (L to R): Regina Dick-Endrizzi and David Chiu 
BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - February 15, 2012

Supervisor David Chiu agreed to meet with BOMA San Francisco leaders and members of the San Francisco Business Community recently to discuss his Disability Access Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations legislation.  Also attending to provide her perspective was Regina Dick-Endrizzi, Executive Director of the San Francisco Office of Small Business.

It was a fruitful discussion and one that helped all stakeholders understand the intent of the legislation and possible amendments that would make it more effective.

BOMA San Francisco members suggested that the legislation be amended to, at a minimum and among other issues discussed, reflect the following:
  • Education 
    • Commercial property owners would provide an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disclosure to tenants/potential tenants to help educate them on the requirements of the ADA.
  • Compliance 
    • Allow a commercial property owner/tenant the time to correct ground floor entrance(s) and exit(s) to ADA specific requirements in a tenant space within a reasonable time frame.  That is, set a due date for absolute compliance sometime in the future (e.g., 5-10 years) with a requirement to update the ground floor entrance(s) and exit(s) before the due date if new tenant occupies the space.
  • Lease Negotiation Process
    • Commercial property owners need to have the ability to negotiate the costs associated with any tenant improvement with the tenant.  This includes any costs associated with ADA compliance for ground floor tenant space entrance(s) and exit(s).
More information to follow in a future blog post - stay tuned!


Original Post - January 20, 2012

Please take a moment to review an ordinance recently submitted by Supervisor David Chiu - Disability Access Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations.  BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members and Advocacy team have been meeting with the Supervisor and his staff to understand its potential impact on the aggregate commercial real estate industry.  We'd like to thank Supervisor Chiu for his early outreach to BOMA San Francisco to enlist our feedback.

The Disability Access legislation would mandate commercial property owners make their first floor entrances handicap accessible before they could lease/release their, usually, first-floor retail spaces to tenants. It places the burden of non-compliant entrances squarely on the landlord. If signed into law, this ordinance will have a particularly large impact on small commercial property owners in San Francisco.

This is where your assistance is needed.  Please review the ordinance by clicking here and the legislative digest, here.  Please send your feedback to Ken Cleaveland at and John Bozeman at

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