Advocate - June 29, 2012
Leah Shahum, Executive Director for the Bicycle Coalition; Meade Boutwell, President of BOMA SF
The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition honored BOMA San Francisco members at their 20th Annual Golden Wheel Awards on June 5, 2012. Meade Boutwell, President of BOMA San Francisco, accepted the award on behalf of BOMA members.
Golden Wheel Awards: Standing Room Only!
From the SFBC:
For leading the business community in support of groundbreaking local legislation that will significantly expand bicycling as an option for employees in San Francisco. We were proud to partner closely with BOMA on the Employee Bicycle Access Bill, which was signed into law this year and ensures secure bicycle parking for San Francisco Employees. Thanks to BOMA’s support, San Francisco has the strongest bicycle access legislation in the country.
Thank you BOMA for building bridges and partnering with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition for a stronger economy and a healthier workforce.
BOMA San Francisco's building owners and managers understand a bicyclist's continuous pursuit of sustaining the environment and promoting health-continuous commuting by bicycle. Our association shares that commitment and we will continue to be a partner with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
This award would not have been possible if it hadn't been for the prudence of Supervisor John Avalos, as well as Leah Shahum and her staff. Indeed, the SFBC's early outreach to BOMA members and willingness to work collaboratively is proof of the Bicycle Coalition's Commitment to bike riders in San Francisco.
Supervisor David Campos
BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) welcomed Supervisor David Campos recently. Mr. Campos provided an update of this work in District 9, City Hall and on other issues that are of concern to BOMA members:
About David Campos
Supervisor David Campos is a native of Puerto Barrios (Izabal), Guatemala, who came to the U.S. (with his parents and two sisters) when he was 14. Although he did not speak the language, David excelled in school, graduating at the top of his class from Jefferson High School, in South Central Los Angeles. David earned scholarships to Stanford University and Harvard Law School, from which he graduated, respectively, in 1993 and 1996.
After a few years of private practice in some of the most prestigious law firms in the country, David became a Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco. As a Deputy City Attorney, David handled a variety of important legal matters and cases. Prior to his election as Supervisor, David served as General Counsel to the San Francisco Unified School District and as a member of the San Francisco Police Commission. Since 2004, David has been an elected member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee.
UPDATE - June 7, 2012
Your BOMA Advocacy Team held a conference call with the staff of the San Francisco Department of Environment (DOE), the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and Supervisor John Avalos' office this afternoon. The purpose of the call was to discuss the development of the Bicycle Access Plan (BAP) as required by the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Law and clarifications to DOE guidelines. BOMA thanks all of the stakeholders for their time today.
Once the BAP has been approved by the DOE, your BOMA Advocacy Team will publish it on the blog, the www.bomasf.org website and our social media channels for you to fill out and distribute to your tenants. At that time, we will also include instructions on notifying your tenants of this new law and the availability of the BAP.
Supervisor Avalos is planning to introduce follow-up legislation to amend language in the current law. Specifically, references to planning code sections that will be updated by the Planning Department this year and to remove references to subtenants - all stakeholders have agreed that this legislation is intended for only commercial building tenants of record that request bicycle parking.
We published the 'next steps' for BOMA members, below, on the blog recently. Please take a moment to re-review this information as some of it has been updated:
What are the next steps for BOMA San Francisco Members?
Please click here to access a FAQ sheet to review what this ordinance now requires of commercial building owners and managers. BOMA members (and non-BOMA members) will, at a tenant’s request, now have to:
The new law does not require building owners to build a bike room or dedicate a specific space for bicycle parking. It allows the tenant’s employees to bring their bikes inside their rented space or provide an alternative. If a building owner chooses to build a bike room, this legislation does not prohibit charging a reasonable fee for use.
If you have any questions please contact John Bozeman at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 686-9652 x 116. Our Department of Environment partners can be reached at (415) 355-3727 or CommuteSmart@sfgov.org
Click to enlarge. Image from SPUR's guide to POPOS
The San Francisco Planning Department has approved an ordinance introduced by Supervisor David Chiu that would change the signage requirements for privately owned publicly accessible open spaces (POPOS). The Board of Supervisors must still review and vote to approve the ordinance.
Please take a moment to review the Planning Department's Executive Summary of the planning code amendments, examples of current and possible updated signage requirements and send your feedback to Ken Cleaveland at email@example.com and John Bozeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Executive Summary
The Way It Is Now
Privately-owned public open spaces (POPOS) are publicly accessible spaces in forms of plazas, terraces, atriums, small parks, and even snippets that are provided and maintained by private developers. In San Francisco, POPOS mostly appear in the Downtown office district area. Prior to 1985, developers provided POPOS under three general circumstances: voluntarily, in exchange for a density bonus, or as a condition of approval. The 1985 Downtown Plan created the first systemic requirements for developers to provide publicly accessible open space as a part of projects in C-3 Districts. The goal was to “provide in the downtown quality open space in sufficient quantity and variety to meet the needs of downtown workers, residents and visitors.The Downtown Plan also established guidelines that define eleven types of open spaces in Downtown. These guidelines prescribe detailed standards regarding each open space type size, location, access, seating, landscaping, food service, sunlight and wind, and public accessibility. Section 138 of the San Francisco Planning Code (herein after the “Code”) refers to these guidelines and establishes required amount of open space in C-3 Districts. It also regulates POPOS signage which is the focus of the proposed Ordinance. The Planning Department designed a customized plaque template for POPOS featuring a distinctive logo and required project sponsors to install the plaque at the space. However, while the Code specified what information to include in the plaque, it did not identify the location and the size of the plaque. As a result, many of these sites do not include proper informational signage, which has created a deficiency in informing the public about the existence of open space. Section 135 and 135.3 also provide provisions for POPOS in other Districts such as Downtown Residential and Eastern Neighborhood Mixed Use Districts. Some provisions in these two Sections regarding POPOS are not in consistence with provisions in Section 138.
The Way It Would Be
The proposed Ordinance would amend Section 138 to include more specific requirements and standards for the informational plaques of POPOS. In order to maintain consistency in the Code, Section 135 and 135.3 of the Code will also be amended to match the same standards.
Please take a moment to review the following update from our advocates at BOMA California. The following list includes measures BOMA California supports and opposes:
SB 1186 - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Reform
This bill prohibits an attorney or any person from issuing a demand for money to a building owner or tenant for a violation of a construction-related accessibility standard, and prohibits an attorney or any person from receiving any payment, settlement, compensation or other remuneration pursuant to a demand for money in cases alleging a violation of a construction-related accessibility standard.
Status: Awaiting committee assignment in the Assembly
SB 1436 - Automatic External Defibrillators (AED) Training and Liability for Building Owners
This bill makes permanent the existing protections that provide general immunity from civil damages in connection with the use of automated external defibrillators.
Status: In the Assembly Judiciary Committee
SB 1130 - Commercial Building Energy Retrofit Financing Act
This bill creates the Commercial Building Energy Retrofit Financing Program, administered by the California Energy Commission, to help provide benefits from alternative energy and energy efficiency improvements to participating owners of commercial buildings.
Status: In Assembly Natural Resources Committee
AB 2226 - Holder of Title Owns Property in Public Proceedings
Provides that the owner of a legal title is presumed to be the owner of the full beneficial title in proceedings before state agencies, cities, counties, or city and counties.
Status: In Senate Judiciary Committee
Although there are still many bills in the legislature that will have a negative impact on the commercial real estate industry in California, our advocates have focused on one bill that targets all of the members of BOMA California:
AB 2265 Management Decisions of Investment Districts
This bill unnecessarily restricts revitalization activities by limiting individuals and entities that can help set-up then manage community investment districts (BIDS/PBIDS).
Status: Awaiting Committee Assignment in the Senate.
Legislation strongly supported by the industry, authored by Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D–Sacramento) and Sen. Bob Dutton (R–Rancho Cucamonga), to stop the seemingly unfettered issue of abusive Americans with Disability Act (ADA) lawsuits against small businesses in California, cleared the Senate Floor this week with unanimous bipartisan support of the members.
The bill, SB 1186, garnered a bipartisan 36–0 vote and is aimed to help California businesses comply with the requirements of the ADA without facing the threat of frivolous lawsuits.
Senator Dutton stated, “The issue of shakedown lawsuits is affecting every county in this state and the fact that we have gotten unanimous bipartisan support of this legislation as it moves forward is proof that the issue has caught the attention of the entire Senate. I look forward to working with Senator Steinberg in the weeks ahead in finalizing legislation that will put an end to these predatory lawsuits, while protecting access of the disabled community.”
BOMA California representatives are at the table and working very closely with both authors and other stakeholders.
Landlord–Tenant Collaboration Guide, Code Hearings, Regulation of Lead, and More!
Landlord–Tenant Collaboration Guide Conquers the Split–Incentive
BOMA International in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute has released "Working Together for Sustainability: The RMI–BOMA Guide for Landlords and Tenants," a free e–book filled with resources to help landlords and tenants collaborate on energy efficiency goals for buildings. The guide outlines five steps both tenants and landlords can initiate that impact and addresses green lease and split incentive issues. The e–book also includes dozens of online resources across the five major "steps" of collaboration.
BOMA Defends CRE in Building Code Hearings
BOMA’s building codes team recently attended the 12–day International Code Council (ICC) Hearings in Dallas to establish the requirements for the 2015 International Building Codes. In preparation for the meeting, BOMA staff reviewed and then testified on many of the 1600 code change proposals, many of which would have negatively impacted the real estate industry. This hearing was the first of two hearings; its purpose was to establish the recommendations by the ICC committees.
We had some major successes! Our opposition to mandatory firefighter air replenishment stations was moved to the appendix (where its adoption by states and localities will not be automatic); we harmonized the ICC with the revised 2010 ADA standards; and electronic water leak detection for all plumbing fixtures were not approved, based on our objection. A complete report of the results is listed on the iccsafe.org website.
The final action hearings on these recommendations will be completed this October in Portland, Oregon.
House Bill Would Limit EPA’s Regulation of Lead
On June 7, Rep. John Sullivan (R–Okla.) introduced H.R. 5911, the "Lead Exposure Reduction Amendments Act of 2012" to amend the Toxic Substances Control Act relating to lead–based paint renovation and remodeling activities. The intent of the legislation is to clarify some outstanding issues related to recent regulations that have already gone into effect for residential real estate, and to apply them to any future rulemaking for commercial buildings. The legislation would also prohibit The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing any new regulation applicable to target housing or commercial and public buildings until EPA conducts a study demonstrating the need for such an action. The bill has fourteen cosponsors. The Senate companion bill (S. 2148) was introduced March 1 by Sen. James Inhofe (R–Okla.).
Congress Likely to Face "Fiscal Cliff" at Year’s End
Should it fail to act prior to the November elections, Congress will have to address what has become known as the "fiscal cliff" during a lame duck session, as a wide array of temporary tax rates will expire and a variety of spending cuts will take effect that together total roughly $7 trillion. In addition, Congress must also consider how to handle the tax “extenders,” most of which expired at the end of 2011, including the 15-year leasehold depreciation provision. Among the tax provisions set to expire include the Bush era tax cuts, reduced rates on dividends and capital gains, the payroll tax break, reduced rate and exemption levels for the estate tax, and the patch to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). On the spending front, Congress must decide how to address automatic cuts to defense and domestic programs that were triggered as a result of the failed super committee, as well as reductions in Medicare reimbursements for doctors and emergency benefits for the long–term unemployed that will run out.
BOMA Protects Industry Interests at ASHRAE
BOMA staff has been very active at a variety of ASHRAE Standards meetings. Many of the proposed revisions to the standards continue to create major threats to the real estate industry. With the hard work of the Advocacy, Codes and Standards staff, BOMA has been successful in many areas. A few of those accomplishments include:
California's Goal of Recycling 75% of Solid Waste by 2020
In an effort to meet this goal, the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, or CalRecycle, was tasked with preparing a report - to be submitted to the Legislature on our before January 1, 2014 - which will focus on suggested strategies to achieve the state’s policy goal.
Click here for a copy of the draft work plan released by CalRecycle. This initial document has identified a number of strategies that CalRecyle deems as critical for reaching the 75% goal: increasing recycling infrastructure, increasing commercial recycling and extended producer responsibility.
CalRecyle is soliciting input on the major suggestions identified in this initial draft. Our BOMA California advocates have asked the Department for an extension of time to do so and have been given an extra 15 days to provide comments. Please share this document with your colleagues so that they may be able to review and provide guidance for our industry's position. Please have them submit their feedback to Matthew Hargrove at email@example.com by July 6.
The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Commerce have announced selections for three Centers for Building Operations Excellence that will receive a total of $1.3 million to create and deploy programs aimed at training current and incoming building operators. The Centers are part of the Obama Administration's Better Buildings Initiative, which is working to improve the energy efficiency of America's commercial buildings 20% by 2020 with the potential to reduce American business' energy bills by approximately $40 billion per year.
The three Centers for Building Operations Excellence will work with universities, local community and technical colleges, trade associations, and the Energy Department's national laboratories to build training programs that provide commercial building professionals with the critical skills they need to optimize building efficiency while reducing energy waste and saving money. The Department of Energy and Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technologies' Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) are jointly funding the Centers.
The Centers for Building Operations Excellence, chosen through a competitive grants process, utilize multi-organization partnerships and support from local and state governments.
The selected Centers are:
The Better Buildings Initiative program creates opportunities for current and future facilities staff of all levels to obtain valuable skills that support a clean energy economy. Specifically, the funding announced today will help the three Centers develop curricula and pilot training programs for building operators, managers and energy service providers, focusing on building re-tuning, energy management, and building operations in commercial, industrial, and educational buildings. The training will outline steps building operators can take to reduce energy consumption, save money and drive continuous improvement in a broad range of commercial buildings.