Advocate - January 25, 2013
Volume 19, Issue 1
(Print All Articles)

Watch the new EARTH Award preview video!

 
An interactive BOMA Bay Area EARTH Award workshop will be presented by the BOMA San Francisco Energy & Environment Committee to guide building owners and managers through the EARTH Awards application process.  If you have never submitted an Earth Awards application, or don’t think your property will qualify, bring your questions and doubts to the experts.
 


 

An interactive BOMA Bay Area EARTH Award workshop will be presented by the BOMA San Francisco Energy & Environment Committee to guide building owners and managers through the EARTH Awards application process.  If you have never submitted an Earth Awards application, or don’t think your property will qualify, bring your questions and doubts to the experts.

The free workshop will be at held at the Ferry Building Port Commission Hearing Room, 2nd Floor from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m on January 28, 2013.  BOMA San Francisco and Oakland/East Bay members may stop by at any point during this time frame.

The workshop will have a panel of experts from each EARTH Award category to review the application and answer your questions.  Panelists are from various organizations and vendors working together to promote sustainable practices, provide resources and promote practices that will guide the commercial real estate industry and answer questions regarding the EARTH Awards application.

The panel will also be reviewing the new Innovation Questionnaire.  The Questionnaire, an optional addendum, is a separate recognition opportunity for applicants that can be completed with or without the BOMA Bay Area EARTH Award Application.

Questions?  Please contact Zach Brown, BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards Chair at zachary.brown@cbre.com.  


BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards – What’s New for 2013?

Applications Due February 8, 2013

 
The greatest edition of the BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards application is now available on the BOMA San Francisco website.  The application, now in its seventh year, raises the bar on what defines sustainable Bay Area commercial real estate.
 

By Zachary Brown, Chair of the BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards Program

BOMA San Francisco Members:

The greatest edition of the BOMA Bay Area EARTH Awards application is now available on the BOMA San Francisco website.  The application, now in its seventh year, raises the bar on what defines sustainable Bay Area commercial real estate.

With over 60 active principal and associate members, the BOMA San Francisco Energy & Environment Committee lends its expertise annually to update the EARTH Award application to represent the newest and best practices in waste diversion, energy conservation, responsible purchasing, indoor environmental quality, alternative transportation, and tenant education.  This year, the Energy & Environment Committee made many notable changes to improve upon the 2012 EARTH Award program.  For example, the size categories have been updated to make them more consistent and competitive for applicants.

New for 2013 – Innovation Questionnaire

In addition to the application improvements, the Committee has drafted a new, separate Innovation Questionnaire. The Questionnaire, an optional addendum, is a separate recognition opportunity for applicants that can be completed with or without the 2013 EARTH Award Application.

The Innovation Questionnaire can be submitted by any BOMA member building regardless of obstacles or preclusions to enter the competition as an applicant. The Innovations Questionnaire addresses the issue of commercial property owners and managers that may not qualify for the auditing stage of the application process but have had an operational innovation or unique physical retrofit worth the attention of the greater BOMA membership.

Prior to the 2013 application, an interesting innovation would have been overlooked by the EARTH Awards auditors when evaluating the top-performing applicants. The 2013 Innovation Questionnaire addresses this issue by highlighting a specific 2012 innovation to be featured in the 2013 EARTH Award ceremony and associated BOMA San Francisco and Oakland/East Bay publications and marketing.

Moreover, regardless of how many points scored on the EARTH Award application, every unique operational program or retrofit can be submitted in the Innovations Questionnaire. Innovations will be considered and recognized for their own unique contribution to the Bay Area’s Sustainable Real Estate Industry. Also, for those high-performing buildings that may score well on the application, it behooves property owners and managers to submit at least one unique project using the Questionnaire as it will add a point to the total application tally.

If you are a BOMA member building, you should apply for the EARTH Award! Why?

  • The application has evolved since 2012 and features new and revised questions
  • This is a peer to peer competition; each year the field of competition changes 
  • For 2013, unique innovations will be recognized separately from the application and judged upon their own merit 
  • The BOMA Bay Area EARTH Award is the ONLY building competition celebrating the consummate in green and sustainable buildings 

Unsure if you have a unique innovation for the Questionnaire?  You probably have had at least one innovative project in 2012. 

Examples include:

  • Incorporated new, state of the art technology to an existing building system 
  • Used rebates and/or incentives to retrofit old equipment with high-efficiency units 
  • Found a unique path to achieve a LEED credit to certify or re-certify 
  • Collaborated on a sustainability program with a tenant 
  • Addressed a unique building feature or system with a equally unique solution and/or retrofit 
  • You can find more examples of innovations at the BOMA San Francisco Advocacy blog

Applications are due Friday, February 8, 2013. The EARTH Awards ceremony will be on May 16, 2013 at the Intercontinental Hotel, a certified LEED Gold facility. If you have any questions about the EARTH Award application please direct them to the BOMA SF Energy & Environment Committee.

 

We Need Your Feedback - Planning Code Amendments for Bicycle Parking

 
The new measure will target primarily new construction projects and existing buildings where building alterations increase the gross square footage of a structure by 20% or more.  There are a few issues that will affect a BOMA members' ability to facilitate bicycle parking in an existing building going forward.   Any feedback on the following is appreciated. 
 

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy team has been working with our partners at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) and the San Francisco Planning Department on an ordinance that will affect the way all property owners - including the City and County of San Francisco - administer bicycle parking on and adjacent to their premises.  This new proposal includes the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings law that our members worked on with the SFBC in 2011 and was signed into law in 2012.

The aim of this new measure is to streamline all references to bicycle parking and to provide for new requirements in the San Francisco Planning and Environment Codes.  The catalyst for these updates is the San Francisco Bicycle Plan adopted in 2009.  Please note that the Planning Department is still working on amending the proposal language to reflect stakeholder issues, including BOMA San Francisco's concerns mentioned below.  Please contact johnb@boma.com with any questions when you review the available proposal dated December 13, 2012.

About the San Francisco Bike Plan

The San Francisco Bike Plan set as one of its major goals to ‘ensure plentiful, high quality bike parking’ in San Francisco. In order to achieve this goal, this Plan asks that the existing Planning Code be amended to better address bicycle parking. The plan identifies changes that would expand and increase these requirements and also organize and consolidate the existing Code sections. The proposed legislation would help implement many of these actions specified in the adopted San Francisco Bike Plan.

Potential BOMA Member Issues - Your Feedback Is Requested

The new measure will target primarily new construction projects and existing buildings where building alterations increase the gross square footage of a structure by 20% or more.  There are a few issues that will affect a BOMA members' ability to facilitate bicycle parking in an existing building going forward.   Any feedback on the following is appreciated.  Please send to johnb@boma.com.

Bike Parking Facilities (Bike Rooms) - Grace Period Until August 2013

The aforementioned 2012 Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings law requires that commercial building owners allow bicycles to be brought into the tenant space/or into a bike room on site for tenant employees only.

If a BOMA member has elected to allow tenants to park their bicycles in a bike room and they have not built it by August 2013, they will have until that time to do so under the current Planning/Environment Code.  After August 2013, they will be subject to the new bicycle parking requirements including: new parking design standards, number of parking spaces based on square footage, path of travel (e.g., no stair or escalators may used to access parking) and parking facility location requirements that are included in the 2013 bike parking proposal.

 - Charging a Reasonable Fee for Bike Parking Facilities

If you charge a reasonable fee for use of your building's bicycle facilities, you'll need to provide the bike parking facility at no charge if you build it after August 2013.

 - Existing Bike Parking Facilities 

According to the Planning Department, if a property owner has an existing bike parking facility on site that meets the current code, they do not have to meet the new requirements (after August 2013) unless they have building alterations that increase the gross square footage of the structure by 20% or more.

- Allowing Full Tenant Employee Bicycle Access

If a property owner or manager allows all tenant employees bicycle access into the building without restriction, they are not impacted by the new proposal.

We'll update this post once we receive the next draft of the proposal outlining these changes.  Please email johnb@boma.com with any questions you may have.

 

UPDATE: Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Law

 
Our members' work with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition on the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance was recently mentioned in The Atlantic.
 

UPDATE - December 19, 2012

Our members' work with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition on the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance was recently mentioned in The Atlantic.

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UPDATE - August 30, 2012

The Department of Environment has published  information regarding the Tenant Bicycle Access in Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance online.  Click here to access the webpage.  Click here to access the Bicycle Access Plan form.

If you would like to file for a qualified exemption under the law, the DOE is still developing that form.  Feel free to contact the Department for questions regarding exemptions and the process to file for one until the online form is available.

Our Department of Environment partners can be reached at (415) 355-3727 or CommuteSmart@sfgov.org

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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:

  • Allow bicycles to be brought into the tenant space/or into a bike room on site for tenant employees only.
    • A building owner and manager will have to allow bicycles in the building without restriction (e.g., no prescription on path of travel, elevator use), but if they choose to restrict full access in anyway, they must fill out a Bicycle Access Plan (BAP)  provided by San Francisco Department of Environment. The form does not have to be submitted to the City. NOTE: as previously mentioned, the San Francisco Department of Environment is currently developing the BAP. 
      • For example, if a building owner and manager chooses to restrict bicycle access to a secure bike room they must detail the location of the parking area and access to it in a BAP.
  • OR a building owner and manager can fully restrict bicycle access to the building based specific exceptions as detailed in the new law.  
    • If the building owner wants to file an exception to bicycle access to the building, there are two allowable exceptions in the law: 1) building elevators not available due to unique safety risks or 2) alternate no-cost secure parking is available within a prescribed distance.  More details in the ordinance. 
    • The Department of Environment will have to review and approve an exception application based on recommendation from - referencing the aforementioned exceptions - 1) The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (SFDBI) OR 2) the San Francisco Municipal Transpiration Agency. 
      • NOTE: There may be a fee for the SFDBI to conduct an inspection assessed the building owner or manager requesting the exemption.  

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 johnb@boma.com or (415) 686-9652 x 116.  Our Department of Environment partners can be reached at (415) 355-3727 or CommuteSmart@sfgov.org

 

UPDATE: San Francisco Mobile Food Facilities Permits

Legislation Introduced to Address Current Issues

 
The San Francisco Examiner published an article recently that details the ongoing stakeholder discussion regarding Mobile Food Facilities.  BOMA San Francisco members and staff have been at the table advocating for respectable concessions for our members' ground floor tenants.
 

UPDATE - January 4, 2013

The San Francisco Examiner published an article today that details the ongoing stakeholder discussion regarding Mobile Food Facilities.  BOMA San Francisco members and staff have been at the table advocating for respectable concessions for our members' ground floor tenants.

If you have any questions regarding Mobile Food Facilities, please email kenc@boma.com.

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UPDATE - November 6, 2012

Please click on the links below review to measures that Supervisor Scott Wiener has introduced at the Board of Supervisors regarding Mobile Food Facilities.

These measures, in aggregate, will amend existing regulations for Mobile Food Facilities (MFF or food trucks) to eliminate the current 'like food' consideration for appeals to MFF permit applications.  Indeed, it's the only consideration for a permit appeal at present - i.e., a food truck selling like food that is similar to an adjacent brick and mortar establishment.  The ordinance will also specify distances between trucks, the parking duration and add significant areas throughout San Francisco for MFF operators to sell food. 

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy team urges you to review these documents and critique them for content and effectiveness.  Send your comments to kenc@boma.com and johnb@boma.com.  The measure will be sent to the Board of Supervisors' Land Use and Economic Development Committee for a minimum of 30 days before being further considered or amended.

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Original Post - May 21, 2012

Click here to go to an interactive real-time map of approved and requested Moblie Food Permits 

BOMA San Francisco Members:

NOTE - the San Francisco Department of Public Works (SFDPW) has been updating interested parties regarding approved and requested (i.e., Notices of Intent) Mobile Food Facilities permits.  Please bookmark the following webpage and continue to review it for updated information on the status of requested permits near your property: http://bsm.sfdpw.org/mobilefoodpermits/.

Notices of Intent (NOI) detail locations, hours of operation, and menus for a proposed Mobile Food Facility permit.  In addition to the interactive map, you can also download a list of NOI Mobile Food Facility permits by visiting the SFDPW webpage and clicking on NOI - Status.

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy team is continuing to work tenaciously with BOMA members, Supervisor Scott Wiener and his staff and the SFDPW staff to assuage the various issues that BOMA members have had with regard to the proliferation of Mobile Food Facilities in the Financial District and adjacent Districts.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email Ken Cleaveland at kenc@boma.com and John Bozeman at johnb@boma.com.


UPDATE: Disability Access (ADA) Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations

 
Effective January 1, 2013, commercial property landlords have the obligation of making disability access improvements and providing required notifications when entering into or amending a lease of a property up to 5,000 square feet of space. Effective June 1, 2013, the requirement is expanded to properties up to 7,500 square feet of space.
 

Effective January 1, 2013, commercial property landlords have the obligation of making disability access improvements and providing required notifications when entering into or amending a lease of a property up to 5,000 square feet of space. Effective June 1, 2013, the requirement is expanded to properties up to 7,500 square feet of space.

The landlord can fulfill the access improvement obligation by:

  • Making existing public restroom, ground floor entrances and ground floor exits accessible by removing all architectural barriers to disability access, to the extent the improvements are required by and 'readily achievable' within the meaning of any applicable provisions of Title 28, Section 36.304 and 36.305, of the Code of Federal Regulations; 
  • OR providing a written notice to any prospective tenant that the property may not meet all applicable construction-related accessible standards. 

In either case, before entering into or amending a commercial lease, the landlord is also required to provide a written Disability Access Obligations Notice, which has established language the landlord must use. In addition, the landlord must provide an Accessible Information Notice obtained through the Office of Small Business.

Click here for full details of the new law.

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At the head of the table (L to R): Regina Dick-Endrizzi and David Chiu 

UPDATE - February 15, 2012

Supervisor David Chiu agreed to meet with BOMA San Francisco leaders and members of the San Francisco Business Community recently to discuss his Disability Access Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations legislation.  Also attending to provide her perspective was Regina Dick-Endrizzi, Executive Director of the San Francisco Office of Small Business.

It was a fruitful discussion and one that helped all stakeholders understand the intent of the legislation and possible amendments that would make it more effective.

BOMA San Francisco members suggested that the legislation be amended to, at a minimum and among other issues discussed, reflect the following:

  • Education 
    • Commercial property owners would provide an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disclosure to tenants/potential tenants to help educate them on the requirements of the ADA.
  • Compliance 
    • Allow a commercial property owner/tenant the time to correct ground floor entrance(s) and exit(s) to ADA specific requirements in a tenant space within a reasonable time frame.  That is, set a due date for absolute compliance sometime in the future (e.g., 5-10 years) with a requirement to update the ground floor entrance(s) and exit(s) before the due date if new tenant occupies the space.
  • 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 for ground floor tenant space entrance(s) and exit(s).

More information to follow in a future blog post - stay tuned!

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Original Post - January 20, 2012

Please take a moment to review an ordinance recently submitted by Supervisor David Chiu - Disability Access Improvements for Small Businesses and Landlord Obligations.  BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members and Advocacy team have been meeting with the Supervisor and his staff to understand its potential impact on the aggregate commercial real estate industry.  We'd like to thank Supervisor Chiu for his early outreach to BOMA San Francisco to enlist our feedback.

The Disability Access legislation would mandate commercial property owners make their first floor entrances handicap accessible before they could lease/release their, usually, first-floor retail spaces to tenants. It places the burden of non-compliant entrances squarely on the landlord. If signed into law, this ordinance will have a particularly large impact on small commercial property owners in San Francisco.

This is where your assistance is needed.  Please review the ordinance by clicking here and the legislative digest, here.  Please send your feedback to Ken Cleaveland at kenc@boma.com and John Bozeman at johnb@boma.com.


UPDATE: New Signage Requirements for Privately Owned Public Open Spaces (POPOS)

 
Please note that Supervisor David Chiu's legislation updating the signage requirements for Privately-Owned Publicly Accessible Open Spaces (POPOS) has been enacted.
 

Click to enlarge.  Image from SPUR's guide to POPOS

BOMA San Francisco Members:

UPDATE - December 19, 2012

Please note that Supervisor David Chiu's legislation updating the signage requirements for Privately-Owned Publicly Accessible Open Spaces (POPOS) has been enacted.

The measure updated signage controls, requiring additional information be provided about the POPOS and regulating the size, design, and content of the plaques. A new well-designed logo brands these POPOS to help the public understand the individual spaces as part of a larger network. Installing the plaque at every pedestrian entrance will direct the public to interior and rooftop spaces.

ENFORCEMENT

Beginning January 2013, the Planning Department Zoning and Compliance Division will begin reviewing POPOS sites that were approved subject to the Downtown Plan (darker green icons on this map) for compliance.  Property owners of POPOS that are not in compliance with signage AND other Conditions of Approval related to open space requirements will be notified followed by a courtesy compliance period. Following the courtesy period, POPOS that are not in compliance will be subject to further enforcement action which may result in penalties per Section 176 of the Planning Code.

Please click here for more information.  Please email your BOMA Advocacy Team at kenc@boma.com and johnb@boma.com if you have any questions or feedback.

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UPDATE - October 22, 2012

Your BOMA San Francisco Advocacy team has been in communication with Board President Supervisor David Chiu’s office regarding legislation to update the signage requirements for Privately-Owned Publicly Accessible Open Spaces or POPOS. The measure was heard today and passed unanimously at the weekly meeting of the Land Use & Economic Development Committee.  It will now go to the Board of Supervisors for their consideration.

This legislation, if enacted, will not immediately affect existing POPOS signage. This has been accomplished via a reasonable approach to update the existing signs based on certain requirements. You can reference that information on page 15 of the current version of the measure, lines 15-22 [SEC 138 (i)(E)].  

If your property has a POPOS, please take a moment to review the new signage requirements, e.g., standardized height positioning, measurements, among others.

With regard to the contact information stipulation, SEC 138 (i)(A)(4) on page 14, a few BOMA members questioned the requirement to provide the email address of the person responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the open space.  Supervisor Chiu’s office and the Planning Department agreed to remove the email address at BOMA's request. Omitting the email address will allow the current code referencing the contacting information requirement to remain unchanged.

Please email your BOMA Advocacy Team at kenc@boma.com and johnb@boma.com if you have any questions or feedback.

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Original Post - June 8, 2012

BOMA San Francisco Members -

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.

This San Francisco Examiner article summarizes the issue nicely.  As the article and the SPUR guide to POPOS details, many of the spaces are in or around BOMA San Francisco member buildings.

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 kenc@boma.com and John Bozeman at johnb@boma.com.

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.


SFMTA Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee

 
BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) member Jeff Spicker with Parking Concepts Inc. will volunteer his time and expertise as BOMA's representative on the SFMTA Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee.  Mr. Spicker will provide updates on the group's discussions and actions to members of the GAPAC when warranted.
 

BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) member Jeff Spicker with Parking Concepts Inc. will volunteer his time and expertise as BOMA's representative on the SFMTA Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee.  Mr. Spicker will provide updates on the group's discussions and actions to members of the GAPAC when warranted.

The Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee will review and make recommendations regarding on-street accessible parking policies, including those governing disabled placards and blue zones. These issues affect access and mobility for people with disabilities in San Francisco, whether they travel by car, paratransit, or public transit.

Accessible parking policies affect all transportation in the city: when parking is crowded, drivers circle the block and double-park, congesting the streets, slowing transit, and decreasing pedestrian safety. When parking is difficult to find, access is reduced, especially for those with disabilities.

To improve access, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) would like to assess and improve how it manages accessible parking. The problem of too much demand for too few spaces is critical: San Francisco has 29,200 metered on-street parking spaces but 60,750 disabled placards have been issued in San Francisco as of November 2012, with an additional 453,830 issued in the surrounding eight Bay Area counties. With these numbers, it is important to gather stakeholders to assess accessible parking policies and consider solutions.

Please click here to review the Accessible Parking Policy Advisory Committee summary.

 

UPDATE: CAPSS - Community Action Plan for Seismic Safety Meeting

 
If you are interested in attending a CAPSS meeting, the next gathering will be on Monday, January 28, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at San Francisco City Hall, Room 34.  
 

UPDATE - December 19, 2012

If you are interested in attending a CAPSS meeting, the next gathering will be on Monday, January 28, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at San Francisco City Hall, Room 34.  

BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee member Will Grogan will be in attendance and will provide a report on the CAPSS meeting discussion at the February 27, 2013 Codes meeting.

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Original Post - November 26, 2012 

The CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program continues to work toward a more resilient San Francisco. Here is a very brief update on their activities:

  • Patrick Otellini appointed Director of Earthquake Safety
  • Soft-story building program final review
  • Private School Earthquake Safety Working Group progress
  • Upcoming CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program Public Meeting

A Message from Laurence Kornfield

Dear Friends,

Big news! The Mayor has appointed Patrick Otellini to be San Francisco’s Director of Earthquake Safety. We are fortunate to have such a qualified and enthusiastic new Director. Patrick comes to the CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program from the private sector where has spent over a decade working across the spectrum of San Francisco’s building community – he is intimately familiar with the City’s permit approval and inspection processes, building owner and user concerns, the pragmatic construction issues of costs, scheduling, and financing. He has been closely engaged in the CAPSS earthquake safety work, including serving as a committee chairperson on the 2010 Mayor’s Soft Story Task Force. Patrick, who will be working directly under City Administrator Naomi Kelly, brings passion, vitality and commitment to the position of Director of Earthquake Safety. I am thrilled that we are fortunate enough to get Patrick Otellini in this role.

I will continue to work on the CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program (ESIP) both on our ongoing programs and as an advisor to Patrick and his staff, as we embark on our challenging 30-year implementation program. I am extraordinarily grateful to have Patrick join me in the leadership of our crucial earthquake safety programs. Patrick’s commitment, the overwhelming support of the City leadership, and your continued involvement mean that we will succeed in making San Francisco a safer and more resilient city.

With much thanks,

Laurence Kornfield

Click here to download the Mayor’s Office press release.

Soft-Story Building Final Review

All of the pieces are now in place to move forward with a program to dramatically improve the safety of many of San Francisco’s most hazardous buildings. Over the next few months the Earthquake Safety Working Group will work to determine the best ways in which to implement the proposed regulations for earthquake upgrade of vulnerable soft-story buildings, focusing on buildings having five or more dwelling units and three or more stories (ESIP Task A.3.a). Much of the groundwork for these regulations was laid under the 2010 Mayor’s Soft Story Task Force. The CAPSS team is looking forward to a collaborative, consensus-based effort to make San Francisco’s housing stock more resilient and safer. More details on this in the near future.

Private Schools Earthquake Safety


A Private Schools Earthquake Safety Working Group, under volunteer chairperson Laura Samant, is studying the technical and policy issues related to the earthquake risk of private schools in San Francisco, and will propose ideas for how the City may best address private school safety (ESIP Task A.6.f). The group is exploring challenging issues such as community expectation for school safety, evaluation of earthquake risk, and potential building improvement opportunities. A report on the findings of this Working Group is to be delivered to the City Administrator and the Mayor in late 2013. If you would like to receive information about the activities of the Working Group by email or to participate in the Working Group, please contact Micah Hilt, micah.hilt@sfgov.org.

The next meeting will be in City Hall, Room 370, on December 6, 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Click here to download our notice to the private schools.

Upcoming CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program Public Meeting

December 10, 11:00 a.m. until 1: 00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 370.

Please join the CAPSS team for an update on their many CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation programs. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and to learn how you can get further involved in their activities.

Building Rating Systems

The CAPSS recommendations for improving San Francisco’s earthquake resilience were founded on an ability to evaluate or rate building earthquake performance and to effectively communicate about building performance with the public (ESIP Task A.6.h). Building rating systems for buildings of all types, from older homes to new high rises, are now being developed. The CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program staff is working with the groups preparing these rating systems to assure that proposed rating systems will meet San Francisco’s needs. Expect to see one or more rating system proposals within the next few months.

Update to the Community Safety Element Adopted

The Board of Supervisors, following the lead of the Planning Commission, unanimously adopted an update to the Community Safety Element of San Francisco’s General Plan that incorporates many earthquake resilience goals, including those outlined in the CAPSS work. Thank much to Planning Department and Department of Emergency Management staff for their help in preparing this document.

Shelter-in-Place and Neighborhood Support Center update

The Shelter-in-Place and the related Neighborhood Support Center concepts focus on keeping San Franciscans in their homes, in their neighborhoods, and informed and supported after an earthquake. This will empower communities, reduce the demand for emergency housing, and facilitate a more rapid recovery. The Department of Emergency Management, SF SAFE, the Neighborhood Empowerment Network, SPUR, CAPSS/Earthquake Safety Implementation Program and many other groups and agencies have worked together to prepare demonstration programs, work which is actively continuing (ESIP Task A.4.b). More details on this coming soon!

A few of the other CAPSS/ Earthquake Safety Implementation Program programs underway:

  • Demonstration of one- and two-family home earthquake improvements (ESIP Task A.6.b)
  • Focus on earthquake improvements for economically-disadvantaged San Franciscans (ESIP Task A.6.e)
  • Provide information and assistance about renter’s insurance and other insurance (ESIP Task A.1.b)

Thank you for your continued support of CAPSS and our Earthquake Safety Implementation Program.

Laurence Kornfield

Special Assistant to the City Administrator

laurence@kornfield.org

Patrick Otellini

Director of Earthquake Safety

patrick.otellini@sfgov.org

Micah Hilt

Earthquake Safety Implementation Program

micah.hilt@sfgov.org

 Click to follow the CAPSS Program on Facebook!

 

San Francisco HOPE Director Bevan Dufty Speaks to BOMA San Francisco Members

 
Former District 8 San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty spoke to the members of BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) recently.  Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mr. Dufty in 2012 as the Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE).
 

 Former District 8 San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty spoke to the members of BOMA San Francisco's Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) recently.  Mayor Ed Lee appointed Mr. Dufty in 2012 as the Director of Housing Opportunity, Partnerships and Engagement (HOPE).

As Director of HOPE, Mr. Dufty will lead the City and County of San Francisco's efforts to help those in need.   Click here to read a HOPE Status Report detailing Mr. Dufty's vision for HOPE.

 

BOMA California Legislative Issues

2013 Preview

 
Although it's early in the legislative session in Sacramento, our partners at BOMA California have previewed the issues that may affect the commercial real estate industry.  Stay tuned for more information on how these measures progress over the course of 2013 through future blog posts. 
 

Although it's early in the legislative session in Sacramento, our partners at BOMA California have previewed the issues that may affect the commercial real estate industry.  Stay tuned for more information on how these measures progress over the course of 2013 through future blog posts. 

  • Homeless Bill of Rights  
    • This bill, Assembly Bill 5, would protect homeless people and give them certain rights to access and occupy public areas.
  • Parcel Taxes
    • Several bills have already been introduced to lower the vote threshold needed to pass parcel taxes to 55% or lower.
  • Parcel Tax Application
    • A push is on the Legislature to allow different property types to be assessed different parcel taxes.  This could create a de facto split roll property tax by allowing residential parcels to be kept low (assessing per parcel) while hitting commercial property (e.g., assessing per square foot).
  • Split Roll Property Tax
    • Several legislators and advocacy groups are pushing for an outright split roll property tax.
  • Greenhouse Gas/Energy Legislation
    • Expect another busy session with bills aimed as ratcheting down greenhouse gas emissions and energy policy.
  • Water Efficiency Bill
    •  BOMA is considering moving forward with a bill to amend the state’s existing water efficiency law that is causing problems with retrofitting toilets in high rise buildings.

Code-Related Issues for the Next 2-3 Years

  • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)/Air Filtration
    • There needs to be a requirement for all filters to have the minimum efficiency reporting valu, or MERV, specified on the product.
    • While IAQ has been the focus of intensive research for decades, the emergence of “green building” has once again prompted increased focus on IAQ via HVAC filters with higher MERV ratings without consideration for impact on corresponding fan power. 
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
    • Construction specifications/guidance needs to be provided to help with the myriad of installation issues that will arise in commercial occupancy retrofit jobs (including electrical code, locational and utility-impact issues).  Lots of trial and error going on right now, especially in California. 
  • Solar Photovoltaic Energy Systems
    • A host of fire safety issues need to be resolved (including minimum clear-space specifications allowing for fire service access during emergencies).   Once again, California is working on this, but there is lack of uniformity within local jurisdiction application/enforcement. 
  • Building Commissioning
    • Industry needs access to a reasonable (and verified) building commissioning guidance program.  There is a lot of trial and error going on in the field these days and the need for uniform and accepted practices/program needs to be established.
  • Disabled Accessibility
    • It would be useful to have access to a listing of the most common ADA violations for  existing buildings and new construction.
  • Green Building Code
    • Continue moving forward with mandatory statewide Green Building Code (CalGreen) work.
  • Mandatory Benchmarking
    • Work with industry to implement CA Mandatory Benchmarking regulations.
  • Water Savings Devices  
    • California has a law to require that all buildings must meet certain standards for water saving devices must be implemented and written into building code language.  Issues relating to high rise buildings have emerged that must be fixed.  Lower flow toilets in many older Class A office buildings are unable to meet flow requirements.
  • Zero Net Energy
    • Many issues related to reaching the state’s Zero Net Energy goals remain to be worked out, from strategic issue to how to implement it in code.  Envelope vs. Plug-Load is a huge issue that needs to be resolved.
 

BOMA International Advocacy Update

Fiscal Cliff Averted, Energy Tax Incentives and Lead Paint Safety

 
Please take a moment to review the most recent advocacy updates from BOMA International: BOMA Priority Issues Pass Congress as Fiscal Cliff is Avoided; Senate Holds Hearing on Energy Tax Incentives; and, EPA Announces Public Hearing on Lead Paint Rulemaking.
 

BOMA Priority Issues Pass Congress as Fiscal Cliff is Avoided

Congress passed legislation to address the looming tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to go into effect starting in 2013. On New Year’s Day, the American Taxpayer Relief Act was passed, which, among other items, addressed two key issues for BOMA International and its members: The bill extended for 2012 and 2013 the 15–year timeline for depreciating leasehold improvements, a policy that had expired at the end of 2011; the measure also permanently enacted a 15–percent tax rate on capital gains for those individuals with taxable income below $400,000 and for couples earning under $450,000. Those with income over those levels will pay 20 percent on capital gains. The bill also raises tax rates for these higher income earners from 35 to 39.6 percent, but keeps the lower President George W. Bush–era rates for all others.

Other notable elements of the bill include a permanent patch to the alternative minimum tax (AMT), a permanent extension of the estate tax exemption amount at current levels and a two–month delay of the automatic spending cuts enacted in 2011 known as sequestration. Congress failed to include an extension of the payroll tax holiday, which was in effect the past two years.

Senate Holds Hearing on Energy Tax Incentives

On December 12, the Senate heard testimony on tax proposals to promote energy efficiency. Legislation to extend and improve the 179D tax provision for energy efficient retrofits was one of the bills discussed. The measure would increase the maximum available deduction for new construction from $1.80 to $3.00 per square foot, and up to $4.00 per square foot for retrofits to existing buildings. This new legislation also allows for energy savings to be calculated based on the building’s own pre–retrofit baseline instead of comparing it to a reference building that meets the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard.

Despite the fact that the committee held the hearing during the 112th Session of Congress, it was largely a placeholder for the 113th Session and legislation will need to be reintroduced. Unfortunately, the bill’s two main co–sponsors, Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D–N.M.) and Olympia Snow (R–Maine), have retired. BOMA and our coalition partners are actively engaged in identifying potential co–sponsors in both the Senate and the House to carry this issue forward in the 113th Session of Congress.

EPA Announces Public Hearing on Lead Paint Rulemaking

Under a settlement agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club and other environmental and children’s health advocates, EPA agreed to either sign a proposed rule covering renovation, repair and painting activities in public and commercial buildings, or determine that these activities do not create lead–based paint hazards by July 1, 2015. On December 31, EPA announced its plans to hold a public meeting on the issue on July 26, 2013 and solicited public comments due April 1, 2013, as the next part of that process.

EPA is specifically looking for information concerning: the manufacture, sale and uses of lead–based paint after 1978; the use of lead–based paint in and on public and commercial buildings; the frequency and extent of renovations on public and commercial buildings; work practices used in renovation of public and commercial buildings; and dust generation and transportation from exterior and interior renovations of public and commercial buildings. BOMA plans to submit comments and more information will be forthcoming. If you or your company has any information that would assist in this process, please contact Karen Penafiel at kpenafiel@boma.org.

 

FREE Energy Efficiency Training for Manufacturing Facilities and Commercial Buildings

 
The United States Department of Energy has developed a method for the calibration of buildings in order to improve their energy efficiency.  Previous studies on large scale commercial buildings have demonstrated energy savings of between 5 and 25 percent when this method is used by building operators/managers.
 

The United States Department of Energy has developed a method for the calibration of buildings in order to improve their energy efficiency.  Previous studies on large scale commercial buildings have demonstrated energy savings of between 5% and 25% when this method is used by building operators/managers.

The Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence (Manex), Energy Commercialization, Laney College, and Stationary Engineers Local 39 have teamed to train building operators on this methodology. The program is a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Energy.  Pacific Gas & Electric is one of the advisors to the program. Manufacturing facilities and commercial buildings are eligible to enroll their building/operating maintenance personnel in this training at no cost.

The program is designed for organizations with or without existing energy efficiency efforts. 

Please click here for more information.  

Training Program Highlights

  •  LECTURE COMBINED WITH ON-SITE INSTRUCTION 
    • Instruction by faculty experienced in building operation and controls 
  • DESIGNED FOR MAXIMUM IMPACT IN MINIMUM TIME 
    • Flexible 40 hour training program 
  • NO COST TO MANUFACTURERS AND COMMERCIAL BUILDING MANAGERS 
    • Part of a nationwide effort to reduce energy costs for manufacturers and commercial building operators 
  • BUILDS UPON YOUR CURRENT ENERGY COST REDUCTION 
    • Leverages previous and existing energy efforts within your organization

To enroll or obtain additional information, please contact: info@energycommercialization.com or (925) 969-0553.

 

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

 
Fueling equipment for natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2013, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. 
 

Fueling equipment for natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas (propane), electricity, E85, or diesel fuel blends containing a minimum of 20% biodiesel installed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2013, is eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost, not to exceed $30,000. Fueling station owners who install qualified equipment at multiple sites are allowed to use the credit towards each location. Consumers who purchased qualified residential fueling equipment prior to December 31, 2013, may receive a tax credit of up to $1,000. Unused credits that qualify as general business tax credits, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may be carried backward one year and carried forward 20 years. (Reference H.R. 8, 2013, Section 402, and 26 U.S. Code 30C and 38)

Point of Contact
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Phone: (800) 829-1040

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/law/US/10513