Wednesday, October 7, 2015

UPDATE: REGISTER NOW - BOMA San Francisco's Emergency Preparedness Seminar on October 14, 2015 at the Ferry Building

UPDATE - October 7, 2015

Please note that we’ve confirmed SFFD Chief Joanne Hayes -White who will kindly provide the opening remarks at the October 14th seminar. If you haven’t registered, please do so soon. BOMA’s preparedness leaders are putting the finishing touches on this event that will deliver valuable information to you and your company.

Original Post - October 2, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Members and Partners:

BOMA’s Annual Emergency Preparedness Seminar has an all-new format for you and your entire team of building professionals to become better prepared for an emergency. Whether you are a building owner/property manager, engineer or part of a building’s security team, you’ll get information relative to your position and how you can better prepare for emergencies with the building staff.

Highlights include:
  • Super Bowl City preparedness tips from BOMA members affected by the weeklong event in early 2016;

  • The best practices and lessons learned from BOMA’s recent Emergency Preparedness Drill with the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments at the Ferry Building. The exercise simulated an improvised explosive device event during the weekly farmer's market.

  • So much more!

The program is presented as part of BOMA's Emergency Preparedness Committee’s commitment to educate members on the best emergency preparedness strategies and will show how simulated emergencies can strengthen your entire building teams' response to a critical incident.

The BOMA San Francisco Emergency Preparedness Committee's 2015 Annual Emergency Preparedness Seminar is generously sponsored by (in alphabetical order):

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BOMA Has Answers to Your ADA Compliance Questions

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Have you scheduled alterations, renovations, tenant improvements or are planning a new construction project? Did you know your project may be impacted by the ADA regulations that took effect in March 2012? The Guide to the 2010 ADA Standards details the requirements (and exceptions) for ensuring that your building is within ADA compliance.

This essential guidebook covers all of the updated ADA standards for:

1. Accessible routes
2. Employee work spaces
3. Restrooms
4. Reach ranges
5. Parking garages
6. Restrooms
7. Recreation facilities
AND … It includes updated ADA policies and practices impacting: 

8. Service animals
9. Power-driven mobility devices
10. Communication services (including remote video interpreting)

Save yourself time and headaches by skipping the Internet search and going straight to BOMA International, the leading source of in-depth, accurate information for commercial property managers and owners for over 100 years.

Save 20% when you order BOMA International’s ADA Guidebook before the end of October 2015.

Monday, October 5, 2015

UPDATE: San Francisco Stormwater Design Guidelines

UPDATE - September 30, 2015

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s (SFPUC) Urban Watershed Management Program (UWMP) has been working over the past year to implement regulatory-driven updates to the 2010 Stormwater Design Guidelines (Guidelines). We are pleased to present you with the Final Draft of the newly named Stormwater Management Requirements and Design Guidelines (SMR) and the associated appendices for your review. Some of the major changes include:
  • The threshold at which projects must comply with the SMR has been redefined. In the 2010 Guidelines, projects disturbing 5,000 square feet or more of the ground surface were subject to the requirements. In the revision, projects creating and/or replacing 5,000 square feet or more of impervious surface are subject to the requirements.
  • Small Projects are regulated in separate sewer areas under the 2015 SMR. Small Projects (those creating and/or replacing 2,500-5,000 square feet of impervious surface) must implement one or more Site Design Measure(s). Projects of this size were not regulated in the 2010 Guidelines.
The changes above have been made for regulatory compliance. There are additional changes throughout the document that reflect the knowledge gained through five years of implementation of the Stormwater Design Guidelines. Our goal is to provide a resource that outlines the stormwater management requirements clearly while providing technical assistance and inspiration for green infrastructure design that is beautiful and functional.

The team would appreciate feedback on the technical content of the text, its general clarity, and the overall completeness of the document. Understanding that we all have busy schedules, this is merely an opportunity to comment and comments are not required. Feel free to concentrate your review on relevant sections.

Please submit your comments via email using the Stormwater Management Requirements Comment Sheet, included in the linked folder below. Comments are due to Polly Perkins ( by COB Friday, Oct 9th.

The documents can be downloaded from:

Thank you in advance for your help in making the Stormwater Management Requirements and Design Guidelines clear, useful, and inspiring.
UPDATE - July 31, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members

Please click here to view a Stormwater Design Guidelines presentation to BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee members recently. Also discussed at the gathering was the SFPUC Non-Potable Water Guidebook, as several BOMA members have expressed interest in non-potable water reuse.

If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to:

Mike Adamow
Urban Watershed Management Program
Wastewater Enterprise
San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
525 Golden Gate Ave., 11th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102 | 415-934-3904


Original Post - April 14, 2010

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Thank you for your feedback on the San Francisco Stormwater Management Ordinance that would amend the San Francisco Public Works Code to require the development and maintenance of stormwater management controls for specified activities that disturb 5,000 square fee or more of the ground surface including, but not limited to, the construction, modification, conversion, or alteration of any building or structure and associated grading, filling, excavation, change in the existing topography, and the addition or replacement of impervious surface.  The measure will also create a Stormwater Management Plan to verify that no additional run-off will be created by a new development/project, and that any such new run-off is being properly treated or mitigated in an approved fashion.

UPDATE! - As of April 14, 2010

After reviewing the ordinance, your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Team and Codes and Regulations Committee members have determined that this measure--approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on April 13, 2010--will have a minimal  impact on the BOMA San Francisco membership.   

You can download a copy of the ordinance, here, and the stormwater design guidelines, here.

What are Stormwater Design Guidelines?

The Port of San Francisco (Port) and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) are developing the San Francisco Stormwater Design Guidelines (“Design Guidelines”).  The Design Guidelines will improve San Francisco’s environment by reducing pollution in stormwater runoff in areas of new development and redevelopment. The Design Guidelines will be applied in areas of San Francisco served by separate storm sewers that discharge directly to local lakes or San Francisco Bay.  Given current trends in development, at this time mostly Bay waterfront parcels will be affected.

Please click here to review the Stormwater Design Guidelines.

What is stormwater runoff and why is it a concern?

Stormwater runoff is rainwater that flows over the land surface and through collection pipes.  In vegetated areas such as forests, fields and wetlands, rainwater seeps slowly into the ground, limiting runoff.  However, when rain falls on paved concrete and other hard (impervious) surfaces such as those found in most of San Francisco, it runs off quickly and is conveyed by pipes and other drainage features.  Though starting as relatively pure rainwater, stormwater runoff collects pollutants as it flows over impervious surfaces.  For example, runoff from parking lots picks up oil and grease from leaking engines, copper from worn brake linings, and zinc from tires. Although most runoff in San Francisco flows into the combined sewer system and receives treatment at the city’s two sewage treatment plants, there are a few areas in the city that discharge directly into  San Francisco Bay or other surface water such as Lake Merced without receiving any treatment.  These polluted stormwater flows can be detrimental to aquatic and other life.  The Design Guidelines will help improve San Francisco’s environment by reducing pollution in water that runs to the bay or other waters from newly constructed facilities.

How can San Francisco help reduce the detrimental impacts of stormwater runoff? 

One way to help reduce the detrimental impacts of stormwater runoff is by changing the way we approach new construction.  New development and redevelopment projects can be designed to minimize pollutant exposure within the project area.  Through careful pre-construction planning and designing, new development and redevelopment projects can be built to:

  • Minimize impervious surfaces, which would allow more rainfall to soak into the ground
  • Reduce the volume and intensity of storm water runoff, which would reduce flows that end up in the receiving waters 
  • Convey and treat storm water runoff using landscape features and other “green” systems  to provide treatment to the pollutants in the runoff

Studies performed around the world show that proactive site planning and design is the most cost-effective approach for reducing stormwater pollution.

What is San Francisco doing to address stormwater impacts associated with new development and redevelopment projects?

As the owners and operators of San Francisco’s storm drain systems, the Port and the SFPUC have teamed to develop the San Francisco Stormwater Design Guidelines.  The  Design Guidelines will apply to new development and redevelopment in areas of San Francisco served by separate storm sewers (e.g., storm sewers that discharge directly to receiving waters).   The Port and the SFPUC invite you to participate in the development of the Design Guidelines.

Is San Francisco required to develop Stormwater Design Guidelines?

Yes - a Clean Water Act discharge permit administered by the State Water Resources Control Board requires local agencies to develop programs for the control of stormwater runoff for the life of a project (“post-construction control” of stormwater).  The Design Guidelines will comply with the mandate of this permit, while at the same time providing a vehicle through which planners, designers, engineers and developers can work together toward a more sustainable city.

Friday, October 2, 2015

REGISTER NOW - BOMA San Francisco's Emergency Preparedness Seminar on October 14, 2015 at the Ferry Building

BOMA San Francisco Members and Partners:

BOMA’s Annual Emergency Preparedness Seminar has an all-new format for you and your entire team of building professionals to become better prepared for an emergency. Whether you are a building owner/property manager, engineer or part of a building’s security team, you’ll get information relative to your position and how you can better prepare for emergencies with the building staff.

Highlights include:
  • Super Bowl City preparedness tips from BOMA members affected by the weeklong event in early 2016;

  • The best practices and lessons learned from BOMA’s recent Emergency Preparedness Drill with the San Francisco Police and Fire Departments at the Ferry Building. The exercise simulated an improvised explosive device event during the weekly farmer's market.

  • So much more!

The program is presented as part of BOMA's Emergency Preparedness Committee’s commitment to educate members on the best emergency preparedness strategies and will show how simulated emergencies can strengthen your entire building teams' response to a critical incident.

The BOMA San Francisco Emergency Preparedness Committee's 2015 Annual Emergency Preparedness Seminar isgenerously sponsored by (in alphabetical order):

Your Feedback is Requested - Mandatory Disability Access Improvements

BOMA members have been monitoring legislation introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang: Mandatory Disability Access Improvements.

This ordinance, if passed, would relieve tenants of any responsibility for accessibility improvements or documentation establishing a technically infeasible situation or unreasonable hardship and place it squarely on the building owners.

Additionally, this legislation would establish a Disability Access Compliance Unit within the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) to monitor this program, set fees to administer it, provide guidance and advice on specific situations, as well as issue determinations of technical infeasibility or unreasonable hardship.

Click here for the legislative digest.

Our Government Affairs Policy Analysis Committee (GAPAC) recently met with Supervisor Tang and here are the concerns our members have regarding the measure, as proposed:
  • San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) Staffing
    • Ordinance compliance by SFDBI might be an issue due to workflow demand increase if this measure were to pass.
      • How can building owners be assured that the turnaround time will be a fast one?
  • Lease Negotiation
    • Our members are concerned that allowing SFDBI to be the arbiter of ADA issues in private buildings will impede the lease negotiation process. 
    • This was also an issue in 2013 when we worked with then Supervisor David Chiu on his ADA legislation:
      • Note that the same suggestions our members had in 2013, below, apply to this proposal:
        • Education 
          • Commercial property owners provide an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disclosure to tenants/potential tenants to help educate them on the requirements of the ADA implications of non-compliance.
        • Compliance 
          • Allow a commercial property owner/tenant MORE time to correct primary entries/path of travel to ADA specific requirements in a tenant space. That is, set a due date for absolute compliance sometime farther into the future (e.g., 5-10 years) with a requirement to update primary entries/path of travel before the due date if new tenant occupies the space. 
            • This suggestion was based on the San Francisco High Rise Sprinkler Ordinance passed in 1993 that had similar requirements for compliance with regard to sprinklers in high-rise buildings. 
        • 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. 
  • Building Owner is Fully Responsible for ADA Repairs 
    • From our GAPAC meeting, it’s clear this is a major source of contention with our small building owners. 
    • As mentioned above, our members need to have the leeway to negotiate who pays for the tenant improvement. 
    • Perhaps any mention of the owner paying for upgrades can be amended to include owner and/or lessee. 
  • Technical Infeasibility 
    • Readily achievable should be the term used - in other words, easily accomplished and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense for the tenant/owner. 
  • Post 2002 Building Exemption(Pg. 6; lines 11-15 – Chapter 11D; Sec. 1101D) 
    • Building owner/owners authorized agent must provide a written notice of exemption that provides a construction permit application dates on or after January 1, 2002. 
    • SFDBI should already have this information on file. 
As always, our members are appreciative of Supervisor Tang's early outreach to BOMA regarding this ordinance, and look forward to the continued discussion.

If you have concerns about this measure please email John M. Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Industry Affairs, at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

BOMA San Francisco Advocacy Leaders Meet with Supervisor Mark Farrell

From R to L: Marty Smith, Debbie Shea, Supervisor Farrell, Manuel Fishman, and John Bozeman
BOMA's Government Affairs Committee members have been meeting with public officials recently to represent your interests.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, Mark Farrell, spoke to BOMA members recently at San Francisco's City Hall.

Supervisor Farrell's Background

Elected November 2010 for term January 2011 to January 201
Elected November 2014 for term January 2015 to January 2019


Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee
Member of the Transportation Authority
Member of the State Legislation Committee
Member of the Health Service System Board
On the Department of Emergency Management Disaster Council
And, on the 2016-17 Super Bowl Bid Committee

Legislative History


This meeting was held to update Supervisor Farrell on the fast-paced commercial real estate market in San Francisco. Meeting attendees informed Farrell of the economic benefits for all of San Francisco, i.e., taxes and jobs generated, from our industry and from the tenants that lease space from BOMA building members.

Our members' effort to address an imminent labor shortage via the BOMA Foundation and our partnership with San Francisco State University was detailed. The Foundation's effort to introduce underprivileged youth to the commercial real estate industry through our partnership with Juma Ventures was also discussed.

BOMA San Francisco members appreciate Supervisor Farrell's time and are honored to be a resource for him and his constituents.

UPDATE: BOMA SF-PAC Slate Card for the November 3, 2015 San Francisco Municipal Election

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card

The BOMA SF-PAC is looking forward to the November 3, 2015 election and our members have already endorsed candidates for elected office and taken positions on the following propositions in San Francisco (click here to learn more about the various measures):

SUPPORT --- Proposition A - Affordable Housing Bond

The need for additional housing, especially “affordable” housing is not in dispute. This measure will wisely divide up the funds into several different pots which will then fund the needs of the various housing-challenged populations. It is in our interest as owners and managers of commercial real estate to support bonds that will provide more housing for the employees of our tenant companies while not raising property taxes.

NO POSITION ---Proposition B - Paid Parental Leave for City Employees

This measure will increase the paid parental leave for city employees from 12 to 16 weeks without losing less than 40 hours of accrued sick time. BOMA SF PAC did not take a position on its merits.

SUPPORT --- Proposition C - Expenditure Lobbyists

BOMA SF PAC supported this measure because it will also require non-profits and unions to report the expenditures they incur for political activity at City Hall.

SUPPORT --- Proposition D - Mission Rock            

BOMA SF PAC supports increasing the heights of certain buildings in this impressive development project behind the AT & T ballpark on what is now mostly surface parking lots. The project will provide jobs and increase the city’s tax base which are always key considerations for BOMA’s endorsement of singular projects.

OPPOSE --- Proposition E - Requirements for Public Meetings

This proposal is deeply flawed while its intentions are good. It would require the Board of Supervisors and all City Commissions to broadcast meetings live on the internet, would allow members of the public to submit virtual public comments, and would allow members of the public to request that certain agenda items be discussed at a certain time. Having all city commissions and boards be required to be televised and accessible to the public via a live internet streaming sounds good but could wreak havoc with the scheduled meetings’ agendas and potentially disadvantage people who are physically attending those same meetings. It could also introduce many responses from viewers who do not live in the City, further delaying the end of these commission or board meetings.

OPPOSE --- Proposition F - Short-Term Residential Rentals 
This measure is a harsher version of the ordinance recently passed by the Board of Supervisor regulating short-term rentals from websites such as AirBNB. Current law allows unlimited rentals, when properly registered with the City, and payment of the hotel tax, of rooms with the owner present and it allows whole residences to be rented out for up to 120 Days. Proposition F reduces that to 75 days for any type of short-term rental and requires public notice to neighbors of the intent to rent short term to tourists and allows interested parties to sue owners who do place their units on the short term rental market. Equally troubling is the fact that passing this proposition would not allow for any changes needed to reflect current or future economic conditions without going back to the voters for approval, an extremely cumbersome way to administer the city’s laws.

OPPOSE --- Proposition G - Disclosures Regarding Renewable Energy

Prop G supported by PG & E’s utility workers’ union, and Prop H, placed on the ballot by the SF Board of Supervisors’, came to a compromise on how the city defines “clean power” and what environmental impacts the city’s power has had and must disclose to customers of Hetch Hetchy power. The original supporters of G are now supporting Prop H, opposing their own measure, thus allowing the BOMA-SF-PAC to also oppose G and support the compromise Prop H.

SUPPORT --- Proposition H - Defining Clean, Green, and Renewable Energy

OPPOSE --- Proposition I - Suspension of Market-Rate Development in the Mission District

This citizen initiative would impose an 18th month moratorium on any housing project containing five or more units in the Mission District. Only so-called “affordable housing” would be allowed. This moratorium could also be extended an additional 12 months. The BOMA SF PAC completely disagrees with the premise that not building any market rate housing is going to slow down evictions, or build more affordable housing for the residents of the Mission. Rather, fees from market-rate developers helps fund the construction of affordable units.

OPPOSE --- Proposition J - Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund

This proposition would create a fund to assist so-called “legacy businesses” which have been in operation for at least 20 years and have been so certified by the City. It would allow the city to grant up to $500 per full time employee per year and up to $4.50 per square foot to landlords who agree to lease or extend a lease for a minimum of 10 years. The BOMA SF PAC did not see the usefulness of using taxpayers funds to help keep so-called Legacy businesses in business, if they were not making it on their own. Further, market conditions could actually work to the disadvantage of the small business tenant if market rate rents dipped due to harder economic times, but the tenant was saddled with an above market rental rate due to the long term lease.
SUPPORT --- Proposition K - Surplus Public Lands

This proposition was amended to make it more reasonable, allowing for any city property that was sold to be used for affordable housing unless the Board of Supervisors voted another purpose. The BOMA SF PAC Board agreed that if the Board of Supervisors was allowed to repurpose the funds if needed, then it was a measure that could be supported.


The candidate endorsements are:

Supervisor Christensen was appointed in January 2015 replacing David Chiu, who had been elected to the CA Assembly. She is a small business person who has been deeply involved in civic improvement projects within District 3 for many years and understands the fiscal impacts of legislative mandates on the private sector. Her opponent, former Supervisor Aaron Peskin, is a known opponent of development, and the business community in general. 

The Mayor has been a steadfast supporter of economic growth in the City, and has included BOMA when policies are developed that may impact our industry.

Vicki Hennessy served a 30 year career within the SF Sheriff’s Department before retiring and being appointed the head of the Dept. of Emergency Management. When the current Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi was suspended for domestic violence charges, Hennessy took over the Department as interim Sheriff. She is the true professional for this position and for that reason was supported by BOMA.

Re-Elect Dennis Herrera for San Francisco City Attorney

There is no opposition to Mr. Herrera. Nevertheless, Mr. Herrera has done an ostensibly good job as City Attorney so our PAC saw no reason not to support his re-election. 

There is no opposition to Mr. Gascon. Nevertheless, the BOMA SF PAC believed Mr. Gascon has conducted himself and his office in a professional manner and has taken a higher level of interest in prosecuting quality of life crimes.

There is no opposition to Mr. Cisneros. Nevertheless, Mr. Cisneros has also been very receptive to working with BOMA on the implementation of the city’s new gross receipts tax.

Mr. Randolph was recently appointed to the SF Community College board by Mayor Ed Lee to replace Natalie Berg, who retired for health reasons. Mr. Randolph is a bright, young, and moderate Democrat who faces opposition from two so-called Progressive candidates. Mr. Randolph’s background of accomplishments including service with GSA and in Mayor Newsom’s administration as well as his dedication to improving this vital educational institution, qualified him in the eyes of the BOMA SF PAC for our endorsement for a full term to this office.

UPDATE: San Francisco's Transportation Sustainability Program and Transportation Sustainability Fee

UPDATE - September 30, 2015

At a recent meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee, there was a debate regarding the proposal to change the current Transit Impact Development Fee (TIDF) into a Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF) and to apply it to all new developments except affordable housing projects.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) proposal would increase fees for a majority of new developments - including commercial projects where the fee would increase from $12.06 per square foot to $18.04 per square foot. Activists feel that this fee should be higher and the proposal incorporate other changes. 

The suggested amendments include reducing the discount for projects already underway and not allowing the SFMTA to specify that 60% of the proceeds from the new TSF go to maintenance of San Francisco's transit system. The SFMTA is concerned that raising these fees higher than proposed, both for commercial, residential, and other projects could stymie the growth in San Francisco.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email and BOMA developer members have been asked to provide their thoughts and we would appreciate your feedback if you feel that any increase in the TSF than what is proposed by the SFMTA, below, would affect your project - or future projects - adversely.

The SFMTA proposal will be heard again at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Transportation Committee on October 5th.

Original Post - September 24, 2015

BOMA staff met recently with representatives from the City and County of San Francisco regarding the upcoming Transportation Sustainability Program (TSP) and Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF). 

The Transportation Sustainability Program is about keeping people moving as the City grows. Smart planning and investment will help ensure that San Franciscans are able to arrive safer and more comfortably at their destinations now and in the future.  

The proposed Transportation Sustainability Fee will help fund upcoming transportation changes (see below) by:
  • Creating a citywide transportation fee on new development;
  • Update to existing Transportation Impact Development Fee (TIDF) – expands applicability to include market-rate residential development and certain large institutions.
What Will the TSP Do?

The Transportation Sustainability Program is made up of three components:
  • Enhance Transportation to Support Growth
    • Fund citywide transportation improvements, like more Muni buses and trains, to help accommodate new residents and jobs. Find out more.
  • Modernize Environmental Review
    • Make the review process align with the City’s longstanding environmental policies by changing how we analyze the impacts of new development on the transportation system under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The new practices will be more reliable and emphasize travel options that create less traffic. Find out more.
  • Encourage Sustainable Travel
    • Make it easier for new residents, visitors and workers to get around through methods other than driving alone by integrating environmentally friendly travel into new developments. New practices will provide on-site amenities so people have better options than driving their car by themselves, such as car sharing and shuttle services. Find out more.
Representatives from the City and County of San Francisco will be presenting this information to BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee on November 4th. If you are interested in attending, please email for the meeting details.