Thursday, December 15, 2016

UPDATE - San Francisco Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance Deadline for Compliance on January 1, 2017 - Affidavit Required

UPDATE - December 15, 2016

BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members heard from representatives with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) recently regarding this law. 

With the upcoming compliance deadline of January 1, 2017, the SFPUC has introduced the Plumbing Fixture Replacement Program (PREP) where they will provide free toilets and urinals for residences and businesses in San Francisco.



You're encouraged to apply online now to determine if their property qualifies for this program. To get started, read the Eligibility Criteria below.

Looking for rebates? Apply to the SFPUC's high-efficiency toilet and urinal rebate programs ending 12/31/2016.

Eligibility Criteria

The PREP Program will offer free high-efficiency toilets and/or urinals, plus free installation. It will be available to residential and non-residential properties in the SFPUC's retail service area that meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Have existing toilets that use at least 3.5 gallons per flush (gpf) (toilets rated 1.6 gpf or less are not eligible) and/or urinals that use more than 1.0 gallon per flush. 
  • Accommodate installation of new high-efficiency models without major plumbing alterations or repairs. Properties with abnormal site conditions (e.g. rotted flooring, atypical plumbing configurations, etc.) will not be eligible for the PREP Program until conditions are improved.
  • Install showerheads, faucets and/or faucet aerators that comply with the California Plumbing Code by the time PREP installations are complete.

UPDATE - August 31, 2016

Please be aware that state and local measures require all building owners in San Francisco replace old, water-wasting plumbing fixtures and repair leaks. Commercial properties have until January 1, 2017 to comply

By that date, building owners must submit a Commercial Conservation Affidavit to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI), verifying that all fixtures currently installed at time of their self-inspection are water efficient and code-compliant. Commercial property owners must replace any existing fixtures that exceed the following maximum water use rates:
  • Showerheads must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm)
  • Faucets and faucet aerators must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 2.2 gpm
  • Toilets must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf)
  • Urinals must not exceed a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf
For more information on how to comply with San Francisco’s Commercial Conservation Ordinance, visit or or call DBI’s Plumbing Inspection Division at (415) 558-6058.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) continues to help properties save water through fixture rebates for the replacement of non-compliant toilets and urinals (program ends December 31, 2016); free water-efficient showerheads and aerators and standard toilet leak repair parts; free Water-Wise Evaluations; and other assistance. Visit or call (415) 551-4730 for more information about the SFPUC’s conservation services.

Original Post - August 5, 2014

Working with BOMA San Francisco, the City of San Francisco enacted a Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance in 2009 that requires all commercial property owners to provide certain water conservation measures for their buildings by January 1, 2017. The intent of this law is protect natural resources, address increasing demand for water, and cut greenhouse gas emissions through reduced water use. The required improvements also will reduce water and sewer costs for commercial properties.

It is advantageous for all commercial property owners to comply with the requirements now. Even though the  statutory deadline is in 2017, the savings in water and sewer costs typically pay for themselves within one to three years.  The following information is a summary of the requirements found in Chapter 13A of the San Francisco Building Code (SFBC).

Who Must Comply?

On or before January 1, 2017, all owners of:
  • Commercial buildings;
  • Any portion of a residential building, which is used for commercial purposes;
  • Any portion of a residential building converted to a tourist hotel;
  • Any portion of a residential building which is occupied as a hotel or motel unit and which has a certificate of use for tourist occupancy;
  • Any building or portion thereof which is a live/work occupancy
  • Mobile homes.
Owner’s compliance is also required when one of the following situations occurs:
  • Building Additions
    • If a building addition will increase the floor area of the building by more than 10 percent, the entire building must comply as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy.
  • Building Alterations and Improvements
    • If the cost estimated in a building permit for an alternation or improvement is greater than $150,000, compliance is required in all facilities that serve the specific area of alteration or improvement and is a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
  • Alternations or Improvements to Rooms with Water Conservation Devices
    • If an alteration or improvement of any cost is located in a room that contains a faucet, shower, water closet (toilet), or urinal, compliance is required in that room as a condition for issuance of a Certificate of Final Completion and Occupancy or final permit sign off.
Please click here for more information about what the law requires.  If you have any questions, please call SFDBI's Plumbing Inspection Division at (415) 558-6570.

For more information on financing options, efficient toilet and urinal rebates, and free water-efficient device which can help achieve compliance with the water conservation ordinance, please contact the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission at (415) 551-4730 or click here.

San Francisco's Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project - Two Upcoming Workshops for BOMA Members

You may be aware that BOMA San Francisco members in the South of Market area of San Francisco  have provided input on the possible changes as part of the Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project.

The Folsom-Howard Streetscape Project is an effort to prepare for continued growth in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood.

The SFMTA feels that demand on SoMa’s streets is increasing and will only continue to rise. The City estimates a 212% increase in SoMa residents and a 140% increase in SoMa workers by the year 2040. As such, there is a need to prepare thoughtfully for the coming growth that will place more demand on the neighborhood’s transportation network.

This project will focus on updating and upgrading the Folsom-Howard couplet. It will prioritize traffic safety, community livability and enhancing the neighborhood’s existing character. The initiative will also improve transit access and examine traffic circulation modifications. It will include bicycle, transit, pedestrian, curbside management, and traffic improvements on Folsom and Howard streets while addressing safety needs and future transportation demand in the growing South of Market Neighborhood.

The SFMTA are in the early planning stages and will be hosting two open houses so that BOMA members and other stakeholders can provide their comments. These events are an opportunity for the public to learn about the project goals and possible improvements, as well as provide ideas and feedback on the future of Folsom and Howard streets.

Two open house events will accommodate those with scheduling conflicts. Both open houses will be similar, hosting the same materials, information and opportunity to provide feedback.

For more information, please feel free to email the project manager, Paul Stanis, at

Thursday, December 8, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

SoMa Recreation Center (Gene Friend Recreation Center)

270 6th St (between Howard and Folsom)

Saturday, December 10, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

SoMa Recreation Center (Gene Friend Recreation Center)

270 6th St (between Howard and Folsom)

UPDATE: Transportation Demand Management Ordinance Impact to Non-Residential Space

UPDATE: December 6, 2016

The Planning Code Amendment for the TDM Ordinance was heard at the Board of Supervisors Land Use and Transportation Committee on Monday, November 28. The Committee voted to continue the item to December 5th (Board of Supervisors File #160925), and some amendments to the Ordinance were proposed. They include, among others, language regarding the phasing in of the TDM Program.

At the December 5th meeting, the Committee voted again to continue the Ordinance to January 23rd due to a need to review additional issues raised at the meeting. 

In addition, The San Francisco Planning Department identified changes to the TDM Program Standards based upon feedback received over the last two months. Those changes are described in a memo distributed to the Land Use and Transportation Committee on November 28th and posted on Planning’s website. It is expected that these changes to be proposed for adoption by the Planning Commission in the near future.

Please note that two tools are now available online: The previous version, dated October 12, 2016, and an updated version containing the proposed changes described in the aforementioned memo, dated November 28, 2016. Staff is currently working on a web-based version of the Excel file tool and will notify you as soon as it is released.

Please email and with any feedback you may have.


UPDATE: July 29, 2016

There is a change being proposed to the Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance that will now - if passed - impact existing buildings who change the use of 25,000 sq. ft. or more of non-residential space and require the building owner to do an assessment on the traffic impacts the change will generate. The Planning Commission is set to hear it August 4, 2016.

About TDM

The Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program is designed to work with developers to provide more on-site amenities that will encourage smarter travel options so people can get around more easily without a car. These choices are better for the environment, help manage congestion, help to reduce risks to pedestrians and cyclists, and improve the overall efficiency of our transportation network.

A series of development-focused TDM measures are intended to “shift” more typical car-dependent travel practices by providing reliable alternatives, such as:

Delivery services
Bicycle amenities
Subsidized transit passes

The TDM Program would apply to nearly all types of new development and changes of use. The end result: more sustainable transportation options for a building’s tenants, employees, residents, and visitors, which benefits not only the local neighborhood, but the City as a whole.

Frequently Asked Questions


UPDATE - April 21, 2016

On March 3, 2016, San Francisco Planning Commission adopted a new resolution to immediately update the environmental review process with the state-proposed guidelines that modernize the way city officials measure the transportation impacts of new development projects.

For decades, environmental analysis of transportation impacts focused on how quickly cars moved through a given intersection, a flawed approach that was expensive to calculate, did little to benefit the environment and promoted urban sprawl rather than smart infill growth. The new approach is more comprehensive, looking at the method of travel, how far the person is going, and how many other people are in the vehicle to determine the impact on the environment.

The resolution to take immediate action represents the Align component of the Transportation Sustainability Program, a three-part citywide policy initiative to help transportation keep pace with growth in the city.

More Updates

Introduction of Transportation Demand Management: SHIFT

On February 11, 2016, Planning Department staff provided a brief overview on the Transportation Sustainability Program’s SHIFT component, the proposed Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Ordinance. TDM describes strategies or measures that incentivize sustainable ways of getting around. These types of travel choices are good for the environment, help manage congestion and improve the efficiency of the transportation network. The City is working on shifting travel choices as San Francisco grows, making it easier for new arrivals to take transit, bike or other efficient travel methods rather than moving to the city with a car.

On April 28, 2016, Planning Department staff will initiate a Planning Code Amendment for the TDM Ordinance. In addition, the TDM project team will be presenting the Ordinance to various neighborhood Citizen Advisory Committees this spring. Please see below for a list of the upcoming meetings before the Ordinance will be introduced at the Board of Supervisors.

Visit our Shift page for the executive summary and a copy of the presentation that was provided at the February 11th Planning Commission hearing. We intend on updating this page soon with more information related to the TDM Ordinance, so please stay tuned.

San Francisco Business Tax Updates

As the year comes to a close, the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector has a number of updates for the local tax preparation community.

New Business Registration Videos Posted

In our ongoing efforts to make tax reporting accessible to all San Franciscans, we have produced videos on how to register a business using our online form. The videos are in English, Spanish, Tagalog, and Cantonese. You may view them here. Please share with your networks, particularly if you work with small businesses where English is not the first language of the proprietors!

Simplifying New Business Registration – Consolidation of Assessor and Tax Collector Forms

Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu and Treasurer José Cisneros have announced a simpler way for new businesses to register in San Francisco. Businesses who register with the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector are no longer required to register separately with the Office of the Assessor-Recorder. The enhancement was made possible through an innovative data-sharing agreement between the two offices to improve taxpayer experience, and increase tax compliance. The press release announcing this change will be posted here. It will also be posted here.

Proposed Ordinances

The Treasurer has submitted proposed legislation to the Board of Supervisors. These items will be heard in January 2017. The two items that most directly affect the gross receipts tax and payroll expense tax are:

File 161264, which proposes to modify the quarterly filing and payment requirements for payroll expense taxes and gross receipts taxes, clarify the requirements for requesting an extension, and expressly permit taxpayers to apply refunds of the business registration fee, the payroll expense tax, and the gross receipts tax to subsequent tax periods.

File 161225, which proposes to remove the $100 minimum penalty from one of the penalties for failing to register with the Tax Collector; and to remove the fee and administrative requirements for obtaining a duplicate registration certificate.

Both of these proposed ordinances were guided by feedback from the business community about simplifying quarterly installment payments, applying refunds to subsequent tax periods, and reducing penalties and fees on small businesses.

Small Business Enterprise Thresholds Increase

The San Francisco Tax Collector has announced increased small business enterprise thresholds for tax year 2016 and retroactively increased thresholds for 2015. You can find more information as well as the 2016 tax rates here.

Quarterly Installment Filing Online Form Available Through November, Filing Period Ends December 1
The deadline for submitting quarterly installments for the third quarter was Monday October 31. We will continue to have the online form available for taxpayers to amend their third quarter installment payment amounts through the end of November. As of December 1, we will be taking down the online form to prepare for the 2016 filing period. If taxpayers wish to make installment payments when the form is unavailable they should include the payment when they file their annual return in February 2017. The quarterly installment online form is available here.

Combined Groups of Related Entities – 2016 Annual Return Functionality Enhancements

If you or the taxpayer you are filing for is filing on behalf of a combined group of related entities, or was part of a combined group for a portion of the tax year, we have added online functionality so most combined groups do not have to file by mail and can more easily report your group members. Combined groups of related entities will need to report their group members in the annual return (rather than through Account Update), including the dates the entities were part of the group, and the extent they are unitary with the group. Tax preparers should have this information ready when filing to facilitate their filing process. For information about what constitutes a combined group of related entities, please see our instructions for the 2015 return here.

Secured Property Tax Deadline December 12

Finally, a reminder that the deadline to pay secured property taxes is December 12 (since December 10 falls on a Saturday). After the deadline a 10% penalty applies. You can look up your bill here.

RESULTS: BOMA SF-PAC Voter Guide for the November 8, 2016 Election

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Voter Guide
November 8, 2016 Election

BOMA San Francisco has an active Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) that campaigns for candidates and issues that promote the economic vitality of the industry and the City and County of San Francisco. Here is a brief report of results of the November 8th election.

The BOMA SF-PAC did well. Our members managed to elect sensible representatives to the California State Senate, the California State Assembly, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. They were also able to defeat most of the ineffectual measures on the local ballot. Indeed, there were 25 measures for the San Francisco electorate to vote on, including the $3.5 billion regional bond measure for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). 

There were a number of propositions that were important for BOMA San Francisco members:
  • Proposition Q, the no tents on public sidewalks measure. BOMA supported that effort and it passed. 
  • Propositions D, H, L, and M would have limited the Mayor’s powers of appointment, ability to promote economic development and new housing in the city, and would have created a new Office of Public Advocate, adding another layer of bureaucracy to our already costly city government. BOMA opposed these four measures and they failed. 
  • Proposition RR. BOMA supported the BART bond, which would update and modernize the transit’s computer and signalization systems. The BART bond passed. 
  • Proposition W. Lastly, our industry lost Proposition W, a transfer tax hike measure that increases the top rate from 2.5% to 3% on sales over $25 million. 
    • This tax increase was proposed to the public as a means of making San Francisco City College tuition free. 

BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card - November 8, 2016 General Election

Candidates Endorsed

SUPPORT --- Proposition C - Loans to Finance Acquisition and Rehabilitation of Affordable Housing                                      
OPPOSE --- Proposition D - Vacancy Appointments    
SUPPORT --- Proposition E - Responsibility for Maintaining Street Trees and Surrounding Sidewalk
OPPOSE --- Proposition H - Public Advocate
SUPPORT --- Proposition J - Funding for Homelessness and Transportation 
OPPOSE --- Proposition L - MTA Appointments and Budget  
OPPOSE --- Proposition M - Housing and Development Commission
SUPPORT --- Proposition O - Office Development in Candlestick Point and Hunters Point
SUPPORT --- Proposition Q - Prohibiting Tents on Public Sidewalks
SUPPORT --- Proposition RR (Regional Proposition) - BART Safety, Reliability and Traffic Relief


NO POSITION --- Proposition A - School Bonds - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition B - City College Parcel Tax - PASSED 
NO POSITION --- Proposition F - Youth Voting in Local Elections - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition G  - Police Oversight - PASSED
NO POSITION --- Proposition I - Funding for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities - PASSED
SUPPORT --- Proposition K - General Sales Tax - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition N - Non-Citizen Voting in School Board Elections - PASSED
SUPPORT --- Proposition P - Competitive Bidding for Affordable Housing Projects on City-Owned Property - DID NOT PASS
SUPPORT --- Proposition R - Neighborhood Crime Unit - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition S - Allocation of Hotel Tax Funds - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition T - Restricting Gifts and Campaign Contributions from Lobbyists - PASSED
SUPPORT --- Proposition U - Affordable Housing Requirements for Market-Rate Development Projects - DID NOT PASS
NO POSITION --- Proposition V - Tax on Distributing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition W - Real Estate Transfer Tax on Properties Over $5 Million - PASSED
OPPOSE --- Proposition X - Preserving Space for Neighborhood Arts, Small Businesses and Community Services in Certain Neighborhoods - PASSED

Thursday, December 1, 2016

FEEDBACK DUE By December 2, 2016: Bay Area Air Quality Management District New Draft Rule 11-18 to Reduce Health Risks

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Click here review a presentation offered by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

The draft rule proposes to ensure that emissions of Toxic Air Contaminants (TACs) from existing facilities do not pose an unacceptable health risk to people living and working nearby. Air District Staff estimates that hundreds of facilities throughout the Bay Area could be impacted by this new rule.

The Air District will continue to accept public comment until Friday, December 2, 2016. To submit public comment electronically, contact Victor Douglas at


Rule 11-18 would apply to all facilities whose emissions of toxic air contaminants may result in a significant risk to nearby residents and workers – this would include petroleum refineries. The purpose of Rule 11-18 is to set caps on risk from toxic air contaminants for those facilities causing the highest health impacts across the Bay Area and to require these facilities to reduce that health risk.

Petroleum refineries are significant sources of harmful pollutants on both the global scale (greenhouse gases) and local scale (toxic air contaminants and criteria pollutants). Many Bay Area residents have expressed concern about the impact of this pollution on the environment and public health. Though refinery emissions have declined over time, it is possible that as refinery operations change in the future, emissions of these pollutants could increase. In response to these concerns, the Board of Directors of the Air District has directed staff to bring forward two draft rules for the Board’s consideration, one that reflects policy recommended by some environmental advocacy organizations, and an approach recommended by Air District staff. Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) and several associated organizations have recommended that the Air District adopt new Regulation 12, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining FacilityWide Emissions Limits (Rule 12-16). This rule would set numeric limits on specific refinery emissions. Rule 12-16 would apply to the Bay Area’s five petroleum refineries and three facilities associated with the refineries. The staff of the Air District has developed a different approach that directly addresses concerns about community health risks. 

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District staff recommendation is that the Air District adopt a new Page 2 Regulation 11, Rule 18 (Rule 11-18): Reduction of Risk from Air Toxic Emissions at Existing Facilities. 

FEEDBACK REQUESTED BY December 5, 2016: San Francisco Legislation Requiring Choice in Internet/Communication Providers for Tenants of Commercial and Residential Properties

You may have read about a proposal from Supervisor Mark Farrell that would allow internet access from any communications service provider for any tenant that asks for it – in both commercial and residential buildings. Thanks to the quick work and expertise of Manuel Fishman and Marty Smith, your Government Affairs Committee Chair and Vice Chair, the measure - while not addressing all of the industry's issues - is still workable for BOMA San Francisco members.

Your feedback is requested no later than December 5, 2016. 

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on the measure on December 6, 2016.

It has been moving quickly through the legislative process at San Francisco's City Hall and BOMA members thank our San Francisco business community partners for their input. We also thank Supervisor Farrell for allowing our members the opportunity to suggest practical changes to the legislation that allows the tenant to choose their internet/communications service provider AND protects the commercial property owners ability to feasibly accommodate the request.

In fact, our BOMA members already do this. The commercial real estate industry is a tenant driven business and the relationship between a building owner/manager and their tenants is paramount.

Commercial building owners understand that tenants should have the ability to ask for communications access and, like most agreements between a building owner and a tenant, they are considered unless the building owner’s property cannot safely and efficiently accommodate the request. In other words, one of the major considerations by the building owner is if the request is feasible based on the real-world constraints of the built environment.

Please send your comments to and