Thursday, July 31, 2014

UPDATE: San Francisco Stormwater Management Ordinance

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.

UPDATE - Commercial Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) - New Phase III Implementation Postponed

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved postponing the implementation of the final phase (III) of the Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) for one year.  

This delay means that the owners of nonresidential buildings between 5,000 - 10,000 square feet will not have to comply with the energy disclosure requirements until July 1, 2015.

Thank you to BOMA members RiverRock Real Estate Group for this information.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

UPDATE - San Francisco Gross Receipts/Business Tax Outreach Evaluation Survey

UPDATE - July 30, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

In an ongoing effort by the City and County of San Francisco to measure the effectiveness of their Gross Receipts Tax outreach efforts, the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development has created a survey for businesses, merchant groups, merchant corridors, business groups, and associations to whom City representatives have presented to in person.

Please take a moment to participate in this survey.


UPDATE - May 29, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The recent BOMA San Francisco organized Gross Receipts Tax luncheon was quite informative.  Thank you to our guests, Manny Fishman, attorney at law with the firm of Buchalter Nemer, along with Greg Kato, Policy and Legislative Manager with the San Francisco Treasurer's Office.

Resources mentioned during the event:

Original Post - May 19, 2014

San Francisco's newly enacted Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) requires that building owners and managers keep detailed records of rents, operating expenses, taxes, and other revenues and costs associated with the ownership and operation of office properties and other business ventures. Investors in and syndicators of real estate doing business in San Francisco have reporting obligations as well.

Our own resident expert on the Gross Receipts Tax, Manny Fishman, attorney at law with the firm of Buchalter Nemer, along with Greg Kato, Policy and Legislative Manager with the San Francisco Treasurer's Office, will offer practical advice on the new forms being distributed by the Treasurer's Office to calculate the GRT as well as how and when your real estate firm needs to comply with the new business tax law. 

This is one BOMA luncheon program you can't afford to miss. Come prepared with your questions about San Francisco's Gross Receipts Taxes and new Business Licensing Taxes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Call to Action: BOMA California Needs Your Assistance to Defeat AB 2416 - Unproven Wage Liens

BOMA San Francisco Members:

There are currently two bills in the California State Legislature that could pull your business into disputes that do not have any association with the commercial real estate industry.  BOMA California, of which BOMA San Francisco is a member, is asking that BOMA members focus on the first of two bills, below, AB 2416,  and contact California State Legislators from your area to help deter the measure's passage.

BOMA California is also providing information on a related bill, AB 1897, also below, as a corollary; it may come up in your conversations with legislators' office staff members. 

AB 2416 (Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Unproven Wage Liens. This bill creates a precarious and unbalanced precedent in the wage and hour debate by allowing employees to file liens on an employer’s real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

AB 1897 (Hernandez; D-West Covina) Labor Contracting; Client Liability. This measure would oblige one company to essentially insure the wage and hour obligations, workers’ compensation coverage, and occupational health and safety duties of a separate employer’s employees, which will discourage the use of contractors and their employees.

Both bills will be considered when the California State Legislature returns from their recess on August 4th.  First in the California State Senate and, if both bills pass, then in the California State Assembly for concurrence.

BOMA California opposes both bills and is strongly urging all BOMA members statewide to get engaged locally on these measures.

To help you communicate with legislators, please find the following:
The first priority is to contact your State Senators and ask that they oppose AB 2416 on the Senate Floor. The second priority is to contact your State Assemblymembers and ask that they oppose AB 2416 if it moves back over to the State Assembly for concurrence.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Energy Department Invests $6 Million to Support Commercial Building Efficiency

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The Energy Department has announced up to $6 million in funding to deploy and demonstrate four emerging energy-saving technologies in commercial buildings across the country. These projects will help businesses cut energy costs through improved efficiency, while also reducing carbon pollution. Last year, commercial buildings consumed about 20 percent of all energy used in the United States at an estimated cost of nearly $180 billion, and are responsible for 18 percent of total U.S. carbon emissions.

The projects announced today will generate data, case studies, and information intended to help commercial building owners adopt new energy efficient technologies, including advanced ventilation, building energy use optimization software, more efficient commercial refrigeration fan motors, and advanced lighting controls. The selected projects include:
  • enVerid Systems (Houston, Texas) - enVerid will retrofit building ventilation systems with modules that remove indoor air pollutants such as carbon dioxide. This enables the indoor air to be recycled while greatly reducing the amount of outside air ventilated into the building and reducing the loads on the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Facilities could experience significant energy savings with this retrofit technology. Ten separate commercial building demonstrations will be conducted over 3 years. 
  • BuildingIQ, Inc. (Foster City, California) – BuildingIQ will optimize HVAC energy use across commercial buildings using Predictive Energy Optimization (PEO), a cloud-based software application that runs on top of existing building automation systems. PEO uses data from weather forecasts, utility tariffs, demand response event signals, and occupant schedules to automatically adjust energy-consuming building systems. These adjustments are based on building-specific modeling that PEO uses over time employing building use data, as well as predictive algorithms and advanced control strategies. Sixteen separate building demonstrations will be conducted.
  • QM Power, Inc. (Lee’s Summit, Missouri) - QM Power has developed high efficiency 7-16 watt fan motors that are often used in commercial refrigeration systems. QM Power intends to install and demonstrate approximately 12,000 high efficiency fans in more than 50 grocery stores throughout the U.S., focusing on open display case retrofits that could result in significant efficiency improvements. If fully adopted, the motor application has the potential to achieve more than 0.6 quads in energy savings and reduce energy costs by $1 billion. 
  • Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (Lexington, Massachusetts) - The project is designed to further the implementation of advanced lighting controls (ALCs), which turn off or dim lights when they are not in use. The project will demonstrate and evaluate two or more ALC technologies in 10 buildings, which should experience significant energy savings compared to a traditional lighting retrofit without controls. Designers and installers will be trained to use the technologies. The demonstration results will be used to support development of utility incentive programs to help further drive adoption of ACLs.
The Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. For more information on building technologies, visit the Building Technologies Office website

San Francisco's Market Street: Red Carpet Lane Project

BOMA San Francisco Members:

As part of its ongoing effort to improve transit service, the SFMTA will be installing a new red carpet on the existing transit-only lanes on Market Street.

The red carpet treatment makes the dedicated transit-only lanes more visible to motorists to ensure the lanes are kept clear for Muni and taxis. The Market Street red carpet lane will be similar to ones already installed on Church Street, 3rd Street, Geary Street and O’Farrell Street. Part of the Customer First Program, red carpet lanes have proven effective in providing better and more reliable Muni service.

When and Where Will Construction Occur?

  • Construction starts July 25, 2014;
  • Location: Market Street between 5th and 12th streets;
  • Duration: Tentative completion date is November 2014;
  • Time: 11 p.m. – 5 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays;
  • No disruption in Muni Service, buses will be stopping at the curb;

For more information, questions or concerns please contact:
Jonathan Kibrick
Phone: 415.701.5438

For more on red carpet lanes go to:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Amendments to the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance - Effective July 26, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please be aware that recent amendments to the City’s Lobbyist Ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors will take effect on July 26, 2014.  Some of the key changes to the Lobbyist Ordinance are summarized below. Please note that this summary is for general informational purposes only, and that you should refer to the new law (available here) or contact the Ethics Commission for more complete guidance if you feel that you may qualify as a lobbyist.

Lobbyist Qualification Threshold

The new rules change the lobbyist qualification threshold, which is now based entirely on the number of compensated lobbying contacts an individual has with a City officer. More specifically, an individual must register and report as a lobbyist if he or she makes:
  • one or more compensated lobbying contacts in a calendar month with a City officer on behalf of a client, or 
  • five or more compensated lobbying contacts in a calendar month with City officers on behalf of the individual’s employer (unless the individual owns 20 percent or more of the employing entity).
Covered City Officials

The new rules expand the list of those City officials with whom compensated lobbying contacts will trigger lobbyist registration and reporting. These new officials include members of the following boards and commissions:
  • First Five Commission 
  • Health Authority Board 
  • Housing Authority Commission 
  • Law Library Board of Trustees 
  • Local Agency Formation Commission 
  • Parking Authority 
  • Relocation Appeals Board 
  • Workforce Investment San Francisco Board
  • Successor Agency to the former Redevelopment Agency of the City and County of San Francisco
  • Oversight Board of the Successor Agency 
  • Successor Agency Commission 
Also included is any person appointed as a department head by any City board or commission.

Exemptions From Lobbyist Registration

Under the new rules, lobbyist registration and reporting requirements are not triggered by communications by an officer or employee of a 501(c)(3) non-profit nonprofit organization (or any organization it fiscally sponsors), when the officer or employee is communicating on behalf of that organization. Also exempt are such communications by officers and employees of 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations that file either an IRS Form 990-N or an IRS Form 990-EZ.

The new rules also narrow the current exemption for communications in connection with bidding on a City contract, negotiating the terms of a City contract, or administering a City contract. The exemption for communications by a “party or prospective party” to a contract no longer applies to a City contractor’s outside consultants or independent contractors.

Developer Disclosures

The new rules require developers of major City real estate projects to file reports with the Ethics Commission disclosing donations of $5,000 or more to nonprofit entities that have lobbied the City regarding the developers’ projects. The filing requirement applies to real estate development projects costing over $1,000,000 and is triggered by the certification of an environmental impact review or the adoption of a final environmental determination under the California Environmental Quality Act.

Permit Consultants (aka Permit Expediters)
To bring greater transparency to the City’s permitting process, the new rules create registration and reporting requirements for “permit expediters.” These new requirements are similar to, but not exactly the same as, those for lobbyists and will take effect on January 1, 2015.

* * * * * * * * * *

Ethics Commission staff is in the process of drafting implementing regulations as well as updating its Lobbyist Manual and its online training, and will provide more detailed guidance regarding the recent amendments in the near future. In the meantime, you may contact the Ethics Commission if you have any questions at (415) 252-3100 or

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Now Available - The San Francisco 2013 Downtown Plan Annual Monitoring Report

The San Francisco Planning Department's Downtown Annual Monitoring Report for 2013 is now available online.

It summarizes business and development trends affecting downtown San Francisco as required by SF Administrative Code, Chapter 10E, and reviews data for 2013. It notes changes in the amount of commercial space, employment, housing production, parking supply, collection and use of fees and other revenues relative to the objectives of the Downtown Plan and mandated monitoring requirements.

In summary, the report found that Downtown San Francisco continued to be a resilient district for the city and the region in 2013, largely because of Downtown Plan polices. Adopted in 1985, these policies have enhanced Downtown San Francisco’s physical qualities and strengthened its position as a regional commercial center. The annual changes in Downtown land use, employment and transportation trends are summarized in the first four pages of the report, in the section entitled “2013 Summary & InfoGraphic.”

In addition, the report indicated that the downtown and citywide economy continues to recover as evidenced by increasing development and rents, declining vacancy rates, and growing employment, tax revenue and use fees. The report indicates that the economy is recovering downtown and citywide as evidenced by rebounding development, declining vacancy rates, increasing rents, stabilizing employment, growing tax revenue and use fees, high transit use, and stable mode share.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

UPDATE: BOMA SF-PAC June Election Primary Update

UPDATE - July 1, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The June 3rd primary election yielded interesting results for San Francisco.

With regard to BOMA SF-PAC's endorsements (as detailed in our previous blog post, below):
  • Proposition A  passed overwhelmingly, with the support of both the business and labor communities;
  • Proposition B also passed and the voters' decision that may restrain future development on Port of San Francisco property, a limitation that BOMA and many  business and labor organizations opposed;
  • BOMA was pleased that San Francisco Board President David Chiu finish strongly in his run against San Francisco Supervisor David Campos for the California Assembly.  Your BOMA SF-PAC will continue to support Supervisor Chiu in November for the final round against his colleague at the Board of Supervisors.

Original Post - March 31, 2014

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The BOMA San Francisco Political Action Committee has been working diligently to promote good government in San Francisco.  The following is a brief update of the BOMA SF-PAC board members' efforts regarding the June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election.  
  • Proposition B - OPPOSE
    • Waterfront Height Limit Initiative
    • Rationale
      • The initiative undermines longstanding civic planning efforts to improve the waterfront and seeks to take away uniform protections of the bay and view from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 
      • It jeopardizes 3,700 housing units, most of which are apartments. The City and County of San Francisco is in need of more housing to accommodate demand and to reduce the upward pressure on rents for our workforce.
      • The measure risks shorting the City some $8 billion in tax revenues from development of the waterfront and may result in losing the opportunity to create 60,000 new jobs. 

BOMA San Francisco Members Meet With San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee

BOMA San Francisco Members,

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC), met with San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee recently.  Here are the highlights from the meeting:

Supervisor Norman Yee with GAPAC Chair Horace Green
  • Children’s education/supporting families (he was former chair of the SF Board of Education)
    • Developing a Task Force to keep them in San Francisco 
  • Housing + Job Creation 
    •  Feels that the economic gap needs to be addressed 
  • Participatory budget meetings with community input 
  • Pedestrian Safety 
    • Supports Vision Zero – an SF initiative to reduce traffic deaths to zero in 10 years 
  • Street Condition 
    • 1 complaint from voters he represents.

Small Businesses
  • Very supportive
  • District 7 needs more support for local small businesses
  • Only one Community Benefit District on Ocean Avenue
    • Only two merchant associations
    • Had a summit with the SF Chamber of Commerce to address these concerns earlier in the year.
Gross Receipts Tax
  • Businesses in his district do not understand it and don’t have time, in general, to learn more about it.
BOMA San Francisco thanks Supervisor Yee for his time and public service on behalf of all San Franciscans.

BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Members Meet with BART's General Manager - Grace Crunican

Grace Crunican, in the middle of the table at left, with BOMA GAPAC members

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee members met with Grace Crunican recently to discuss how a better BART makes for a better San Francisco.  Click here for her presentation.  Our members look forward to collaborating with Grace and her team on the organization's future-forward vision for BART.

About Grace Crunican

Grace Crunican was appointed General Manager of the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit by the BART Board of Directors on August 31, 2011. She oversees a staff of 3,137 full time employees and a $15 billion transportation infrastructure. The Board of Directors selected Ms. Crunican because of her 32 years of experience in the public transportation industry, her proven leadership abilities, and her focus on providing safe and reliable transportation services for all Bay Area Communities. She brings to BART a reputation for transparency and accountability.

Prior to coming to BART, Ms. Crunican was Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). She guided SDOT in meeting the goals of Bridging the Gap, Seattle’s transportation maintenance levy, and implemented the Transit Master Plan – Seattle Connections, Bike Master Plan, Freight Mobility Strategic Plan and Pedestrian Master Plan, aimed at building a system to move more people and goods with fewer cars and helping Seattle achieve the U.S. Kyoto Protocol goals.

Previously, Ms. Crunican was the Director of the Oregon Department of Transportation for five years where she implemented Community Solution Teams, integrated livability objectives into transportation planning and instilled a customer focus throughout the department.

Her Washington DC experience includes being the Deputy Administrator for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) from 1993 to 1996. Before joining the FTA, Grace led the Surface Transportation Project a nonprofit coalition dedicated to implementing the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, or ISTEA.

Her first transportation appointment was in 1979 to the Presidential Management Intern Program for the U.S. Department of Transportation followed by serving as Professional Staff for Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.Ms. Crunican has local level experience working as the Deputy Director of Portland’s Department of Transportation. She holds a B.A. from Gonzaga University and a MBA from Willamette University.

BOMA Emergency Preparedness Committee Members Meet with Patrick Otellini: San Francisco's - And The World’s - First Chief Resilience Officer

BOMA San Francisco Members:

BOMA's Emergency Preparedness Committee members met with Patrick Otellini, San Francisco's - The World’s - First Chief Resilience Officer.

Formerly the City and County of San Francisco's Director of Earthquake Safety, BOMA San Francisco members have been honored to work with Mr. Otellini over the years on the Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety (CAPSS) report and recommendations, and and look forward to continuing the relationship as he develops in his new role.

More details on Mr. Otellini, his new job, and his vision for a resilient San Francisco can be reviewed by clicking here.