Tuesday, June 6, 2017

BOMA International Advocacy Update: BOMA Submits Comments to EPA on Regulatory Reform

In April, the Trump administration directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek public input on the potential repeal, replacement or modification of certain regulations. These regulations include two issues important to the commercial real estate industry: lead renovation and repair rules for commercial buildings and Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations. This request came after Executive Order 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda, was issued to “alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens” that may be hurting the economy.

BOMA International, alongside a coalition of real estate groups, has submitted comments outlining the industry’s stance on these issues. The coalition also used this opportunity to reiterate its strong support for continued funding for the ENERGY STAR® program. While ENERGY STAR is not a regulatory issue, it does play a critical role in the commercial real estate industry. Protecting funding for this program is a top priority for BOMA, and the BOMA International advocacy staff will continue to work with the administration and Congress to ensure the program’s survival.

FEEDBACK REQUESTED: Transit Center District Plan Exterior Signage Interim Controls - May Become Permanent

UPDATE - June 6, 2017

We've been monitoring this issue and, recently, there is word from San Francisco's City Hall that the Transit Center District Plan exterior signage interim controls may become permanent. The details in the post below are still relevant so please take a moment to review them.

If you own a building in the District and have comments regarding this potential proposal, please email johnb@boma.com.

Original Post - October 4, 2016

Supervisor Jane Kim recently held a hearing about the Transit Center District Plan exterior signage interim controls last week and permanent control of exterior building signage may be a next step.

BOMA San Francisco members should review the controls and please send your comments to kenc@boma.com and johnb@boma.com if you feel there are any impacts that the City and County of San Francisco should consider. 

The controls essentially do the following:

  • Require that signs be dimmable and turned off from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m
  • Restricts signs within 200’ of a park or future park to 50 sq ft or less and below 35’
  • Restricts signs within the City Park (roof of Transbay) on design, size and height.


The Planning Department has to do a study every 6 months of the interim controls:

Planning Study. Upon the imposition of interim zoning controls by either the Board of Supervisors or the Planning Commission, the Planning Department shall conduct a study of the contemplated zoning proposal and shall propose permanent legislation. As to any controls which are placed in effect for more than six months, the staff of the Planning Department shall report to the entity imposing the controls six months from the date of the imposition of the controls and at least every six months thereafter. The report shall inform that body of (1) the status of the planning study, (2) the findings and recommendations to date, and (3) the estimated time of completion of such study and proposed permanent legislation. These reports shall be considered in a public hearing duly noticed in accordance with the basic rules of the body that imposed the interim zoning controls.

The Planning Department is working on a draft of this study, and we wanted to check in with BOMA members to see if there had been any issues, complaints or concerns with the controls.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

UPDATE: San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance

UPDATE - May 31, 2017

Thanks to the involvement of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee members - led by BOMA San Francisco Board Member, and former president, Blake Peterson and Government Affairs Committee Vice Chair, Justin Sacco - we are pleased to announce that nearly all of our industry's suggested amendments to the San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance have been accepted by Supervisor Tang and her staff. 

The result is a much more realistic measure for the employer, the building owner and - most importantly - the employees who will be using lactation rooms in their respective workplaces.

Blake Peterson provided BOMA's comments at the most recent San Francisco Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing (pictured above) on May 22, 2017. Blake publicly thanked Supervisor Tang and her staff for working with BOMA members and our business community partners on this measure.

We are waiting for the updated draft of the legislation after its review by the San Francisco City Attorney's Office. There were numerous substantial amendments approved on May 22nd and we will summarize them all in a future post so please stay tuned! 

If you have any questions, please email johnb@boma.com. 

UPDATE - April 27, 2017

The BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee meeting with Supervisor Tang on April 5th was very productive. Our members provided essential feedback that reflected the good intent of the legislation with the reality of implementing the requirements, as written. 

We are working with the Supervisor and her staff, to amend the legislation to reflect the correct entity that should be in charge of permit approval for building a lactation room in new and existing buildings - the project sponsor who is generally the tenant - and continuing the discussion with our business community partners regarding the total number of rooms required based on occupancy of the tenant space. 

Stay tuned! We thank Supervisor Tang and her staff for understanding our members' concerns.

Original Post - April 4, 2017

BOMA San Francisco members, staff, and San Francisco Business Community members have been working with San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang (District 4 - Sunset) regarding her recently introduced proposal: Lactation in the Workplace.

Provide Your Feedback on April 5th!

NOTE that the BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee will be meeting with Supervisor Tang on April 5th to discuss this ordinance. Please email the Chair of the Committee, Marty Smith at msmith@alhousedeaton.com and johnb@boma.com if you'd like to attend and provide your feedback. The measure will be moving quickly through the San Francisco City Hall legislative process in April so your involvement is appreciated.

Why Was This Ordinance Introduced?

A similar law introduced by Supervisor Tang and enacted in 2016 created a policy to help city employees transition back to work after having a child. The Lactation Accommodation Policy for city workers provides new mothers with lactation accommodations and encourage flexibility in the workplace.

The Supervisor would like the private sector to follow San Francisco's lead and help mothers as they come back to work. BOMA members feel that employees should be supported in reasonable way that makes sense to the small business tenant, building owner, and to the employees.

What Would The Law Require?

The new 2017 law, if passed, would affect the private sector:

  • Requires employers to provide employees breaks and a location for lactation;
  • Have employers provide a policy regarding lactation in the workplace that specifies a process by which an employee will make a request for accommodation;
  • Defines minimum standards for lactation accommodation spaces;
  • Requires newly constructed or renovated buildings designated for certain uses include lactation rooms;
  • Amends the San Francisco Building Code to specify the technical specifications of lactation rooms for new or renovated buildings designated for certain use.
How Has BOMA Been Involved? 

We appreciate that Supervisor Tang and her staff allowed for our members, Blake Peterson, former BOMA San Francisco President and member of the Board, and Justin Sacco, Vice Chair of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee, to provide input on her proposal early in the legislative process. 

How Could This Legislation Affect My Commercial Property?

The legislation primarily targets private sector businesses (tenants). Even so, there are requirements for new and renovated buildings that could affect BOMA San Francisco members. 

We were successful in amending the language for adding a lactation room for new/renovated buildings from a square foot requirement to a much more reasonable occupancy load specification of a given renovation project. Even so, the triggers requiring a building owner/project sponsor to add a certain number of lactation rooms, specifically for renovated existing buildings, might still be a bit too high. This happens when:
  • There is a project to renovate the interior of the building;
  • The gross square footage of the interior space designated for employee only use (not public) and included in the renovation project is at least 10,000 square feet;
  • And, the estimated cost of the renovation project is over $500,000.
If these prerequisites are met, then the project shall include a lactation room(s) as follows:

On page 14 of the introduced measure, you'll notice that the project sponsor may fulfill the requirement above by merging the required rooms and provide one room with multiple lactation stations or multiple rooms with multiple lactation stations. 

There may be other concerns so we want to hear from our BOMA member community. Please send your comments to johnb@boma.com and plan to attend our next Government Affairs Committee meeting on April 5th. Details: https://members.bomasf.org/BOMASF/Event_Display.aspx?eventkey=GAPAC17APR