Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu Announces $7.8 Billion Increase in Value of Property Roll

Carmen Chu City Hall

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu announced that the City and County of San Francisco’s property roll value grew to $177 billion, which is an increase of 4.61% or $7.8 billion over the previous fiscal year. The assessment roll is a summary of the assessed value of all secured and unsecured real property and business personal property in San Francisco.

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu stated, “The Office of the Assessor-Recorder has worked hard to ensure that both residential and commercial properties are valued fairly and equitably, while continuing to generate revenue to help fund major city services.”

All neighborhoods in San Francisco saw an increase in total assessed value from the previous fiscal year, averaging 4.69% for a total amount of $7.38 billion. The top five neighborhoods with the largest increase were Pacific Heights, Financial District South, Mission Bay, Inner Mission, and the Financial District North.

Assessor-Recorder Chu added, “We are seeing a lot of construction activity, an increase in residential transactions from years past, and increased business activity throughout San Francisco. These three factors contribute greatly to the health of the real estate market, which plays a major role in San Francisco’s economy.”

Property owners in the City and County of San Francisco will receive their annual letter soon notifying them of their property’s 2013-2014 assessed value, which serves as the basis for the property tax bills property owners will receive from the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office.

San Francisco's Formula Retail Use Restrictions - Study of Proposed Changes

Formula Retail Chain Stores header

BOMA San Francisco Members:

In an effort to "protect San Francisco's vibrant small business sector and create a supportive environment for new small business innovations," Section 703.3 of the San Francisco Planning Code mandates specific controls on formula retail uses.

Formula retail uses are commonly referred to as chain stores.  Under Section 703.3 of the San Francisco Planning Code they are defined as “a type of retail sales activity or retail sales establishment which, along with eleven or more other retail sales establishments located in the United States, maintains two or more of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized facade, a standardized decor and color scheme, a uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark or a servicemark.” In other words, retail stores with multiple locations and a recognizable appearance.

Study of Proposed Changes to Formula Retail Use - Public Comment Opportunity

The San Francisco Planning Commission held a hearing on formula retail recently. You can review the materials that were before the commission here.  In response, the Commission passed a resolution authorizing a study of the issue and seeking public comment on the scope of that study. 

Click here for the draft scope. To provide comment on the scope of work for this study, please reply to  BOMA members are encouraged to comment on this scope by August 12, 2013.

Due to the multiple proposals pending to amend the City’s formula retail controls, the City seeks to secure a consultant and complete the study by this fall so that the pending proposals to change formula retail can be informed by data and public comment. The Department will schedule a hearing on the draft study prior to completion of the study. After completion of the study, the Department will use the study to make policy recommendations to the Planning Commission. Ultimately and with benefit of public comment, the Commission will make policy recommendations to the Board of Supervisors.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Committee Update - Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC)

BOMA San Francisco Members,

The members of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) have been active reviewing local policy measures that relate to the commercial real estate industry and meeting with those who determine public policy for all San Franciscans.  The following is a brief report of their activities over the last few months.  

Public Policy Issues Reviewed
BOMA Member Involvement 
Recent Presentations to the GAPAC 

If you have any questions or would like to join the committee please email John Bozeman at and GAPAC Chair Elaine Dell’Aquila at

About the BOMA GAPAC

BOMA San Francisco’s Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee  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.

San Francisco Giants' Mission Rock Development Proposal

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) met with Jack Bair, the San Francisco Giants' Senior Vice President and General Counsel to discuss the organization's Mission Rock development proposal.

Please click here to review the plan and to lend your individual support for the proposal, if you so desire.

About Mission Rock

Mission Rock Park will be San Francisco's next great open space for our families. A sweeping 5.5 acre waterfront park will be the cornerstone of the network of open spaces along the central and southern waterfronts known as the Blue Greenway. Mission Rock Park will offer a variety of experiences from outdoor recreation and water-oriented activities to art festivals and open-air concerts.

Supervisor Scott Wiener's CEQA Appeals Reform Legislation Passes the Board of Supervisors

Photobox for Supervisor Wiener

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Supervisor Scott Wiener's California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) appeals reform legislation recently.  This legislation will, for the first time, establish clear and predictable deadlines, prevent multiple appeals on the same project, and prevent projects from being appealed mid-construction. 

BOMA San Francisco was in support of the measure.

For years, the City and County of San Francisco functioned without clear procedures regarding CEQA appeals and relied on informal and overly complex interim procedures. Now, after ten years and previous unsuccessful attempts by three other Supervisors, Supervisor Weiner's legislation has established codified rules around San Francisco's CEQA Appeals process including setting an appeal deadline of 30 days after the first approval of a project.  Thiswill end the bad practice of allowing late CEQA appeals, sometimes even during mid-construction, long after a project has been approved. 

BOMA International Advocacy Update - BOMA Hosts Congressional Real Estate Briefing on Capitol Hill

On July 23, 2013, BOMA International, in conjunction with the Congressional Real Estate Caucus and the National Real Estate Organizations (NREO), hosted a State of the Real Estate Industry luncheon briefing on Capitol Hill.  The briefing was designed to provide Senate staff with information on current real estate market conditions and suggested policies that can help the real estate industry grow.

The event, moderated by BOMA International President Henry Chamberlain, began with remarks by Senate Caucus Co-Chairs Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who both stressed the importance of a healthy real estate market to the economy and noted the industry’s slow, but steady, economic improvements. As Senator Isakson stated, “Real estate is out of the ICU, but it’s still in the hospital. Real estate is breathing on its own, but we still have a long way to go.”

Following comments by the senators, David Crowe, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders, and Kevin Thorpe, chief economist with Cassidy Turley, provided an overview of the current state of the residential and commercial real estate markets, respectively. According to Thorpe, the industrial and multi-family sectors are “red hot,” with demand exceeding pre-recession levels, but office and retail continue to lag behind, meaning it is still largely a tenant’s market for all but trophy buildings in primary markets. Per his calculations, commercial real estate is about 12 to 24 months away from sustained rent growth, as commercial real estate historically tends to be one of the last markets to recover from a recession. He believes that a long-term, transparent federal budget would go a long way towards helping the industry thrive again. His sentiments echoed those of Senator Cardin, who asserted, “The number one thing we need to do to help real estate is to create an economic blueprint for this country.”

Monday, July 29, 2013

PLEASE REVIEW - Bike Sharing Pilot Program for Downtown San Francisco - LOCATIONS

BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - July 29, 2013

The Bay Area Bike Share pilot program will commence soon.  Please click on the map above or here to review where the proposed bicycle stations may be situated.  If you own or manage property adjacent to a station and have not been contacted by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), email Matt Lasky at


Click image to enlarge.

UPDATE - June 3, 2013

The Sustainable Streets Division of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is proposing the placement of 35 bicycle sharing stations in San Francisco as shown in this map.  Please review it and forward the image to other interested parties.  Responses should be sent to Matt Lasky at if you wish to receive more details about specific station information including the size and location.

Stations shown as green on the map will be presented at an SFMTA public hearing on Friday, June 14, 2013, at 10:00 a.m., in Room 416 (Hearing Room 4), City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102.

Stations, which require no physical connections for its operation, will house a payment kiosk powered by a solar mast and battery backup, a map panel for system information and station sponsorship, and docks to hold bicycles for public use. Station locations were selected in close proximity to transit connections, bicycle facilities, and employment and residential centers and where there is the best access to potential users of the system.

Opinions on the proposed placement may be filed in writing prior to the hearing by email to Matt Lasky or with the subject line 'Public Hearing'.  Submitted opinions will become part of the official public record and will be brought to the attention of the person(s) conducting the hearing. For additional information about San Francisco’s bicycle sharing program, please visit


UPDATE - May 20, 2013

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will be hosting the first local open house for Bay Area Bike Share on Thursday, May 30. 2013 at the North Light Court in San Francisco’s City Hall, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about and discuss bicycle sharing, the regional pilot, and planning and implementation details for San Francisco. The public is invited to share ideas for pilot and expansion station locations for the new bike share system.


UPDATE - March 18, 2013

On February 26, 2013, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a notice to Alta Bicycle Share authorizing them to deploy and operate a pilot regional bike-sharing system in the cities of San Jose, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Redwood City and San Francisco. The first phase of the project will deploy a fleet of approximately 350 bicycles and 35 kiosk stations in San Francisco and is anticipated to launch by August 2013.

For the system to reach its full potential in the region and San Francisco, additional funding will be needed to grow the system and the partners are actively seeking sponsors. In the short term, once additional funding is secured, the pilot system will be expanded to deploy at least an additional 150 bicycles at 15 kiosk stations in San Francisco. Longer term, a system size of up to 10,000 bikes regionally with several thousand bicycles in San Francisco is envisioned.

The SFMTA is prioritizing locations for the first 35 stations and will be reengaging with the public and contacting properties adjacent to these locations.

If you have any questions please contact Matt Lasky at

Original Post - July 14, 2011

Bike sharing is coming to San Francisco! A regional pilot program led by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) in partnership with the SFMTA will bring approximately 50 bike share stations and 500 bikes to San Francisco’s downtown core beginning in spring 2012. The SFMTA is working with a regional team to implement this pilot along the Caltrain corridor in San Francisco, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City and San Jose and shown in this Regional Bike Sharing System map. The project is funded through a combination of local, regional and federal grants with major funding coming from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Innovative Bay Area Climate Initiatives Grant Program (BACI).

What is bike sharing?

Similar to car sharing, bicycle sharing is a term used to describe a membership-based system of short-term bicycle rental. Members can check a bicycle out from a network of automated bicycle stations, ride to their destination, and return the bicycle to a different station. Bicycle sharing is enjoying a global explosion in growth with the development of purpose-built bicycles and stations that employ high tech features like smartcards, solar power, and wireless internet and GPS technologies.

Who is involved with launching the San Francisco bike sharing system?

The BAAQMD is the overall regional project lead, coordinating the planning and implementation efforts of the local partners: the City and County of San Francisco, the Cities of San Jose, Mountain View and Palo Alto in Santa Clara County and the City of Redwood City in San Mateo County. The SFMTA is leading the project in San Francisco, and we are working in cooperation with our City and County partners, including the Planning Department, Department of Public Works, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department and the Port of San Francisco. The regional partners will be selecting a contractor in fall 2011 to install, operate, and manage the system.

Where will bike sharing be located in San Francisco?

As the San Francisco Bicycle Sharing Pilot Service Area map (PDF) presents, in San Francisco, the pilot service area will be centered in San Francisco’s employment- and transit-rich Downtown/SOMA corridor between the Financial District, Market Street and the Transbay and Caltrain terminals. This area is notably flat, has the densest bikeway network coverage in San Francisco and enjoys the highest levels of cycling, yet those who commute by transit from cities to the east and south encounter difficulties bringing a bicycle with them on BART or Caltrain. Much of San Francisco’s densely urbanized northeastern quadrant is similarly well-suited to bicycle sharing.

When will bike sharing launch in San Francisco?

The regional partners will be selecting a vendor to install, operate, and manage the bike sharing system in 2011 with the goal of a system launch in Spring/Summer 2012!

Further Information

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about bike sharing, contact the SFMTA
Pilot Area

Thursday, July 18, 2013

CALGreen Building Code Changes Seminar in San Francisco - Wednesday July 31st


BOMA San Francisco Members:

A seminar will be held in San Francisco on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 that has been designed to bring you up to date on the 2013 edition of CALGreen, as well as changes in the accessibility requirements of the California Building Code, bringing them into alignment with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Click here to register.  Discounts available if you choose to attend both seminars. Lunch is included with your registration.

The CALGreen seminar offers three AIA continuing education credits and .3 ICC CEUs. The accessibility session offers two AIA credits and .2 ICC CEUS. For session details, speaker bio and additional continuing education credits, click here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Commercial Building Energy Data Access Webinar - August 6, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The Better Buildings Initiative and the SEE Action Network would like you to join them for a presentation on the underlying barriers affecting access to building energy data, and the solutions currently underway across the country.

The upcoming webinar will be held on August 6, 2013, and will highlight the successful collaboration between building owners, utilities, regulators, and policymakers in Philadelphia, as well as provide information on new resources that can help you replicate this model in your community. Presenters will discuss the status, barriers and solutions to data access for energy performance benchmarking including the SEE Action Network’s Utility Regulator’s Guide to Data Access for Commercial Building Energy Performance Benchmarking, which was released in May 2013.

Sign up for the webinar today!

Webinar Information 

Commercial Building Energy Data Access: A Success Story and New Resources
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. EDT 
Click here to register

Presenters: Laurie Actman (EEB Hub), Tom Bonner (PECO), Jim Gallagher (SEE Action, New York State Smart Grid Consortium), Darren Gill (PA PUC), Marla Thalheimer (LPT)

About the Guide
The Utility Regulator’s Guide to Data Access for Commercial Building Energy Performance Benchmarking was published this past May. It addresses topics related to commercial building energy performance benchmarking, including: 

  • The value of commercial building energy performance benchmarking as a driver of energy and cost savings
  • The key barriers and challenges related to energy data access for commercial customers seeking to benchmark their properties
  • How regulators can take a more active role in driving customer data access solutions
  • Key decision points and considerations for regulators when reviewing utility data access solutions

Read the full Guide

More information on the SEE Action Network can be found on its webpage. You can also sign up for email alerts for program news, events, and activities.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

UPDATE: Planning for Implementation of the San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax

UPDATE - July 16, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The San Francisco Treasurer's Office has posted the summary of the Gross Receipts Tax on their website.  You can also access the information below:

Summary of GRP Ordinance
February 2013 GRP Presentation

The Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance (2012 Proposition E) was approved by San Francisco voters on November 6, 2012. It does not apply to the 2013 tax year or prior years. The first taxpayer filings affected will be the Business Registration Fees due May 31, 2014. The changes to the Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax commence January 1, 2014. The Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector will provide taxpayers with instructions about changed business registration fees and tax filings in 2014.


UPDATE - April 18, 2013

Please review the following advisory from BOMA San Francisco member Manuel Fishman with Buchalter Nemer to help you plan and implement the upcoming San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax.  

The San Francisco Gross Receipts Tax is a reality. It will be phased in over the course of the next 5 years (beginning in 2014), and gradually replace the current 1 ½% payroll tax as the principal method for taxing persons engaged in business in San Francisco.  

Many questions remain unanswered, including the scope of various exemptions and the characterization of various services and charges routinely included as part of a lease. For example, is a security deposit a gross receipt to the landlord when paid or when a default occurs? Is an improvement allowance a gross receipt to the tenant or simply an advance that is repaid as rent to the landlord? Will vendors pass through the gross receipts tax to building owners? 

With less than nine months remaining in calendar year 2013, and with property owners and managers beginning the budget planning process for 2014, there are several action items that owners and managers of commercial properties should consider:

1. The new Ordinance taxes business activities that generate gross receipts “in the City”. While the Ordinance is complex, as an owner of a commercial building, the determination of whether a gross receipt is “in the City” is simple: “gross receipts from the sale, lease, rental or licensing of real estate are in the City if the real property is located in the City”, and gross receipts from services are in the City “to the extent the purchaser of the services received the benefit of the services in the City.” The Ordinance defines a “gross receipt” broadly, and in the context of real estate, the term includes all rent and the “payment for any services that are part of the lease or rental … paid to, on behalf of, or for the benefit of” the landlord. This should be the starting point for your consideration.

2. The rate of taxation is based on the dollar amount of gross receipts that you receive, and there is a $1,000,000 gross receipts small business exemption that may be applicable to you (but if your gross receipts exceed this exemption, the tax is payable from the first dollar earned).   Please click here for the rate chart.

3. Review your standard form lease to determine whether your lease allows you, as the landlord, to pass through the full amount of the gross receipts tax to your tenants as additional rent. Discuss with your legal counsel the best way to address this issue in your lease form. Stay attuned to changes in the market place as tenants seek to shift this cost to their landlords.

4. Discuss with your listing agent changes in the way brokerage commissions should be paid to separately allocate the commission earned by the listing agent to the listing agent and the commission earned by the procuring agent to the procuring agent, in order to avoid a “double dip” of a gross receipt to the listing agent (meaning that one party pays a gross receipt on money it receives that it simply pays over to a second party). Similarly, discuss with your property management and construction management team the way to address “tenant reimbursements” for build out of improvements to leased premises so that the money is actually paid to the contractor performing the work and does not result in a double dip to the landlord for money that is simply paid over to the contractor.

5. Discuss with your controller and finance officer how to maintain separate charges for real property taxes, parking taxes and gross receipts taxes that you, as the landlord pay. Develop an accounting system that can be incorporated into and shown on the monthly rent statements and annual reconciliation statements. The Ordinance provides an exclusion from gross receipts for “any federal, state or local tax imposed upon a person for which that person is reimbursed by means of a separately stated charge to a lessee” [i.e. think real property taxes] and for taxes that a taxpayer collects “from or on behalf of a taxpayer’s customers and remits to the appropriate governmental entity” [i.e. think parking taxes]..

6. Investors in real estate need to give consideration to how gross receipts are determined in the context of distributions and sale proceeds from a building.

7. Remember that over the next 5 years, landlords will need to keep records for both gross receipts and payroll taxes, and pay a certain amount under each of these taxes until the end of the phase-in period.

8. Remember that San Francisco business registration license fees will start to increase significantly in 2015. Check the new rates by visiting the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office web site:

9. The tax will be payable in quarterly installments (based on the concluding quarter’s gross receipts). Check the web site of the San Francisco Treasurers office for updates on the availability of the 2014 business tax reporting form. As of now, a tax reporting form is not available

BOMA has held one member update program on the implementation of the gross receipts tax, and will schedule a second program later this summer. Stay in touch with BOMA for additional updates.

This Advisory has been prepared as a matter of general information on behalf of the BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee by attorney Manuel Fishman. This Advisory is not considered legal advice, and members should consult with legal counsel before acting on the information contained herein. Mr. Fishman can be reached


Manuel Fishman speaking to BOMA Members

UPDATE - February 27, 2013

The sample lease language to use during the interim period before the Gross Receipts Tax phase in begins in 2014 and the presentations from the briefing on February 15th, are now available:

Click here to view sample lease language to use during the interim period.
Click here to view the presentation overview.
Click here to view the presentation from the San Francisco's Treasurer's Office.


UPDATE - February 15, 2013

Today's Gross Receipts Tax briefing was well-attended.  Thank you to the BOMA San Francisco member organizers and presenters Manuel FishmanKathy Mattes and Tom Gille.  A special thanks to San Francisco City Controller Ben Rosenfield, Treasurer Jose Cisneros and to Greg Kato with the Treasurer's office for presenting to BOMA members.

Please click here to 'like' our facebook page and view pictures of the event.

Original Post - February 15, 2013

BOMA San Francisco will hold a briefing for members only on Friday, February 15th to relay pertinent information on how the Gross Receipts Tax structure will impact the industry.

This event will feature the following representatives:

City and County of San Francisco
  • San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros
  • San Francisco Controller Ben Rosenfield 
BOMA Industry Representatives
  • Manny Fishman, Buchalter Nemer
  • Kathy Mattes, CBRE 
  • Tom Gille, CAC Real Estate Management Co., Inc.
Collectively, the representatives will go over the necessary record keeping that will be required to satisfy the Tax Collectors requirements for this new law. In addition, they will explain the details of the requirements for owners, property managers and third party providers of property management services 

You will leave this briefing prepared for the switch to this new tax system when it begins to phase in starting in 2014. 

Seating IS limited and registration required.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lucas Cultural Arts Museum Presentation and Other Proposals for Presidio Trust Site

BOMA San Francisco Members,

Government Affairs Public Advisory (GAPAC) committee members recently enjoyed a presentation on the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum proposal (one of three contenders) in the Presidio of San Francisco.  Details of the project can be reviewed here.

Thank you to our presenters David Perry and Melanie Blum for their time.  

The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum is based in George Lucas’ passion for education and the role art can play in inspiring young people. Visual storytelling is a significant part of our cultural heritage. This museum will provide the Presidio community with a state-of-the art interactive facility that will nurture curiosity, ignite imaginations and broaden the spirit of adventure for children and families, schools and educators, as well as visitors from around the world.

Other Proposals

In November 2012 the Presidio Trust issued a Request for Concept Proposals. Sixteen responses were submitted. After considering public comment and engaging with a number of the teams directly, the Trust invited three teams to continue in the process via a Request for Proposals (RFP) that was issued in May 2013. Final proposals are due September 16, 2013. The teams are listed below.

Individual BOMA members can learn more about these proposals, including the timeline for final approval by clicking here.

UPDATE: Supervisor David Chiu's San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

UPDATE - July 12, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Members,

Supervisor David Chiu's San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance was heard at the San Francisco Small Business Commission and the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee recently.

San Francisco Small Business Commission Hearing

There have been a number of amendments to the measure as it moves through the legislative process at San Francisco's City Hall.  Please click here to review the latest draft of the proposal and email and with any questions you may have.


Original Post - June 19, 2013

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu visited the BOMA San Francisco office to discuss his newly introduced proposal, the San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance.  This initiative would do two things: provide San Francisco employees who are caretakers or parents the right to request predictable and flexible workplace schedules, and it would prohibit employment discrimination based on an employee's status as a caretaker or parent.

BOMA's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee will review the proposal to determine its impact, if any, to the commercial real estate industry and report their findings in a future blog post. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

BOMA California Advocacy Update - Electric Vehicle Charging Station Standards

BOMA San Francisco Members:

With support from both the commercial and residential real estate sectors, AB 1029 is moving through the California State Legislature.

Currently, there are no statewide building standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.  There are, however, many local jurisdictions have either adopted mandates, or are moving in that direction, to require parking lots provide access to EV charging stations. In order to avoid a patchwork of requirements throughout the state, this bill directs the Building Standards Commission to provide standards in order to plan for EV infrastructure. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

San Francisco Business Leaders Urge BART and Union Leaders to End Strike

BOMA San Francisco Members:

San Francisco's business organizations sent a letter, below, to BART and Union leaders urging them to end the BART strike.  

July 2, 2013

Tom Radulovich
Bay Area Rapid Transit
President, BART Board of Directors
P.O. Box 12688
Oakland CA 94604-2688

Antonette Bryant
President, BART Chapter, ATU Local 1555
132-9th St, Suite 100
Oakland, CA 94607

Des Patten
President, BART Chapter, SEIU Local 1021
100 Oak St.
Oakland, CA 94607

Dear Tom Radulovich, Antonette Bryant and Des Patten,

San Francisco’s business leaders are pleased that Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555 and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 are headed back to the bargaining table. The BART strike is hurting Bay Area mobility, productivity and commerce, and we urge you to reach a swift, fair and reasonable contract that will put an end to the strike.

The sustained BART strike is not only impacting hundreds of thousands of workers; it is costing millions in lost productivity. According to estimates from the Bay Area Council, the regional economy stands to lose more than $73 million per day in lost productivity for each day the strike persists. Additional economic impacts are expected on commerce from people who don’t buy meals and other goods and services because they don’t come to work. The strike will also have an effect on holiday traffic, as many people reconsider their plans to visit the region and attend various Independence Day events and celebrations.

Just as important, when California and the region have aggressive goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a public transit strike in the heat of summer has huge impacts on the environment. Every vehicle added to the roads adds more than 5.5 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day.

On behalf of the more than 3,000 Bay Area employers and hundreds of thousands of employees our organizations represent, we urge you to reach a swift resolution that will get the Bay Area moving again.


Bob Linscheid
President & CEO
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Marc Intermaggio, CAE
Executive Vice President
BOMA San Francisco

Kate Sofis
Executive Director
SF Made

Henry Karnilowicz
San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations

Kevin Carroll
Executive Director
Hotel Council of San Francisco

Gail Maderis
President and Chief Executive Officer

Rob Black
Executive Director
Golden Gate Restaurant Association

Scott Hauge
Small Business California

Leslie Milloy
San Francisco Small Business Network

UPDATE - Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee Hearing Regarding Amendments for Bicycle Parking

Legislative Changes banner

UPDATE - July 2, 2013

The San Francisco Board of Supervisor's Land Use and Economic Development Committee will hear the proposed planning code amendments for bicycle parking on Monday July 15, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.   Please email if you have any comments regarding the measure.  Details below.


UPDATE - May 14, 2013

The San Francisco Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the proposed planning code amendments for bicycle parking on Thursday, May 16, 2013 commencing at 12 Noon.  BOMA San Francisco members and your BOMA Advocacy Team have been working with the Planning Department staff on this proposal over the last few months.  We will be reviewing the latest draft of the proposal (also below: Exhibit G) to determine if our member's concerns have been addressed as noted in the last  blog post on March 29, 2013.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes, please email

UPDATE - March 29, 2013

BOMA leaders met with Planning and Department of Environment staff regarding this proposal recently.  Code development is an issue that members take seriously so this additional meeting was fruitful for all stakeholders.  The gathering produced the following suggested amendments/issues of concern to BOMA members:
  • Planning, Environment Codes - Bicycle Parking; In Lieu Fee 
    • References to No Cost Bicycle Parking in the Proposal 
      • BOMA members ask that the commercial property owner and tenants negotiate the reasonable amount to charge for bicycle parking, if required, in an existing commercial building or parking garage. Based on BOMA member interactions with tenants, charging for bike parking will incentivize tenant employee cyclists to ride their bicycles to work and care for their bike investment (i.e., they won’t want to damage their costly bicycle as well as the commercial property). 
    • Applicability (pg. 26) 
      • New Entitlements 
        • Planning Department staff suggested strongly that the new bicycle parking requirements in the proposal affect entitlements for new developments, not existing buildings.  
      • State Law California Title 24, Part 11, Sec 5.701.6.2 
        • We spoke about BOMA members’ concerns about ‘code creep’ which is a colloquial term to explain the unintended consequences of a code proposal at any level of government. BOMA members interpret and implement existing code and work closely with San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, San Francisco Fire and the Planning Department when pulling permits for Tenant Improvements and other projects for existing buildings. 
          • (5) where DBI determines that an addition or alteration meets the bicycle parking thresholds set in the State Law California Title 24, Part 11, Sec 5.701.6.2 
            • Planning Department staff mentioned that this new addition to the Applicability section of the proposal is required by State law. They also stated that Barry Hooper with the Department of Environment would be the correct person to speak with.  BOMA staff has reached out to Mr. Hooper but have yet to receive his comments.
  • Tenant Bicycle Parking in Existing Commercial Buildings Environment Code 
    • BOMA staff has communicated member concerns to the Department of Environment and are awaiting a response.  Most importantly, as detailed in the January 24, 2013 update below, is that the new bike parking requirements may affect existing buildings and parking garages based on specific criteria. 
We are awaiting an updated draft of the proposal before it is heard at the Planning Commission later in April.  Thank you to the staff from the Planning and Environment Department for listening to our member's concerns.

UPDATE - February 28, 2013

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please click here to review the most recent draft of the executive summary and language for the Planning Code Amendments for Bicycle Parking.   We've received word that the proposal will be continued at today's Planning Commission meeting and will be heard in the near future.

In the meantime, please continue to send in your feedback to  The Planning Department and San Francisco Bicycle Coalition have been gracious partners in this process.  Collectively, we feel that most BOMA member issues have been addressed.

What is the major issue identified in the proposal at this time?

As present, BOMA members and other commercial property owners will have an August 2013 deadline to build a bike room to current standards or the NEW standards after August 2013.  The new layout/design requirements may impact existing building property owners that file for a specific exemption under the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Buildings Law.

Your BOMA Advocacy team and members are working on a compromise to extend the deadline.

What are the next steps?

We will recommend that the Planning Department/Commission consider reviewing future existing building bicycle parking facility build outs by square footage.  More details on this as the dialogue continues.

Once the Planning Commission approves the amended code changes at an upcoming meeting it then goes to the Board of Supervisors and relevant committees (most likely Land Use and Economic Development) for review. BOMA members and other stakeholders can suggest amendments at the appropriate time.


This large scale update to San Francisco’s Codes that relate to bicycles is based entirely on the 2009 Bicycle Plan that was adopted unanimously by the Board of Supervisors on August 11, 2009.

I want to know more. Where can I review this proposal?

Take a moment to review the Executive Summary of the Planning Code Amendments. Specifically:
  • Triggers for Bike Parking Requirements in Existing Uses (p. 4) 
  • Bike Parking as an Active Use (p. 5) 
    • Related to bike parking rooms/facilities.  
  • Bike Parking Requirements for Existing Garages (p. 6) 
  • Bicycle Parking in the Environment Code (p. 7) 
  • Public Comment (pp. 8-9) 
    • BOMA feedback 
    • Department of Environment feedback 
    • San Francisco Bicycle Coalition 
    • City and County of San Francisco Department of Real Estate 
If you’re so inclined, please review the language of the Planning Code Amendments. Specifically:
  • Standards for Location of bicycle parking spaces – Class 1 (p. 19-20 of the ordinance)
    • These are the bicycle parking requirements AFTER August 2013 if you want to build or expand your bike room.
  • Effective Date (p. 26 of the ordinance)
  • Note the language that identifies bicycle parking rooms (or facility) and the effective date for new bicycle parking requirements as August 1, 2013


UPDATE - February 13, 2013

The San Francisco Planning Commission will hear this measure on February 28th.  Please email if you have any questions or concerns.


Original Post - January 24, 2013

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy team has been working with our partners at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) and the San Francisco Planning Department on an ordinance that will affect the way all property owners - including the City and County of San Francisco - administer bicycle parking on and adjacent to their premises.  This new proposal includes the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings law that our members worked on with the SFBC in 2011 and was signed into law in 2012.

The aim of this new measure is to streamline all references to bicycle parking and to provide for new requirements in the San Francisco Planning and Environment Codes.  The catalyst for these updates is the San Francisco Bicycle Plan adopted in 2009.  Please note that the Planning Department is still working on amending the proposal language to reflect stakeholder issues, including BOMA San Francisco's concerns mentioned below.  Please contact with any questions when you review the available proposal dated December 13, 2012.

About the San Francisco Bike Plan

The San Francisco Bike Plan set as one of its major goals to ‘ensure plentiful, high quality bike parking’ in San Francisco. In order to achieve this goal, this Plan asks that the existing Planning Code be amended to better address bicycle parking. The plan identifies changes that would expand and increase these requirements and also organize and consolidate the existing Code sections. The proposed legislation would help implement many of these actions specified in the adopted San Francisco Bike Plan.

Potential BOMA Member Issues - Your Feedback Is Requested

The new measure will target primarily new construction projects and existing buildings where building alterations increase the gross square footage of a structure by 20% or more.  There are a few issues that will affect a BOMA members' ability to facilitate bicycle parking in an existing building going forward.   Any feedback on the following is appreciated.  Please send to

Bike Parking Facilities (Bike Rooms) - Grace Period Until August 2013

The aforementioned 2012 Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings law requires that commercial building owners allow bicycles to be brought into the tenant space/or into a bike room on site for tenant employees only.

If a BOMA member has elected to allow tenants to park their bicycles in a bike room and they have not built it by August 2013, they will have until that time to do so under the current Planning/Environment Code.  After August 2013, they will be subject to the new bicycle parking requirements including: new parking design standards, number of parking spaces based on square footage, path of travel (e.g., no stair or escalators may used to access parking) and parking facility location requirements that are included in the 2013 bike parking proposal.

 - Charging a Reasonable Fee for Bike Parking Facilities

If you charge a reasonable fee for use of your building's bicycle facilities, you'll need to provide the bike parking facility at no charge if you build it after August 2013.

 - Existing Bike Parking Facilities 

According to the Planning Department, if a property owner has an existing bike parking facility on site that meets the current code, they do not have to meet the new requirements (after August 2013) unless they have building alterations that increase the gross square footage of the structure by 20% or more.

- Allowing Full Tenant Employee Bicycle Access

If a property owner or manager allows all tenant employees bicycle access into the building without restriction, they are not impacted by the new proposal.

We'll update this post once we receive the next draft of the proposal outlining these changes.  Please email with any questions you may have.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Congestion Pricing Will Damage San Francisco's Economy

Congestion Pricing Will Damage San Francisco's Economy 

By Steven RingPresident of BOMA San Francisco and Marc Intermaggio, Executive Vice President.  Published in the San Francisco Examiner on June 30, 2013.

Charging fees for drivers entering and leaving San Francisco during rush hours would be an inefficient and economically damaging way to manage traffic. Effectively managing traffic flow is the problem, not banning cars. Better traffic management — especially at intersections leading to and from the bridges — and better enforcement — especially against double parkers and those who block intersections — would greatly reduce congestion. Allowing a full roll-out of the SFPark program will further improve traffic flow because drivers will know where to find on and off-street parking.

The economic growth our city is fortunate to be experiencing has brought new construction, temporarily constricting traffic. This isn't a permanent disruption and a new tax won't improve traffic flow.

We need a mass transit system that quickly and reliably gets people from one place to another. BART is already at maximum capacity during rush hours, and our number of dedicated transit lanes for buses is minuscule compared to the need. Muni is underfunded and has been under-maintained for years, thus leading to our current numerous Muni breakdowns, delays, and poor reliability. But have we really had a money problem or bad management decisions by those allocating our tax dollars? And could we be sure any new congestion tax would be used to improve Muni? And how much would be eaten up in administering this new "fee", as the bureaucrats like to call it?

San Francisco is not a city like London, or Stockholm or any of the cities that have implemented congestion pricing. We are not the only game in the Bay Area. If we tax people to come into San Francisco to work, play or shop, will we lose those jobs, those sales, and those customers to our surrounding counties that aren't so eager to tax their citizens? A congestion fee would also hurt the working poor, who can least afford another daily expense to keep their jobs. Others with children can't take transit, or work in jobs that require a car. And the Bay bridges have already implemented "congestion pricing" on their bridge tolls. Isn't that enough of a transit tax?

Of course, commuters would bear the brunt of any congestion tax, most of whom live outside of The City, so charging them is good for San Francisco, right? Wrong. How long would it take before similar barriers would be erected on their side of the Bay or border? And who would ultimately suffer? We all would suffer with reduced commerce, job loss, and even greater distrust of our local governments. In short, congestion pricing is an idea whose time has not come, and should never come for San Francisco.

Let's improve traffic flow with better traffic management and enforcement, new technologies to help drivers find available parking, and better mass transit service. Let's ditch this idea of congestion pricing in San Francisco once and for all.