Advocate - August 31, 2015
Volume 21, Issue 8
(Print All Articles)

Legislation Introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang

Your Feedback is Requested

Please take a moment to review this important measure and email if you'd like to attend the meeting on Wednesday. 

BOMA staff and members have been monitoring legislation introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang: Mandatory Disability Access Improvements. Indeed, if you have concerns about his measure, feel free to attend a special meeting with Supervisor Tang on September 2nd. Please email John M. Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Industry Affairs, at for the details of the gathering.

The current draft (click here to review it), if enacted, should not affect most BOMA member although there may be an impact if any member of the association owns a smaller building that are not already ADA compliant.

This measure will mandate ADA improvements or require proof that the building owner can provide to tenants showing that the landlord received an ADA waiver due to a number of factors, e.g., technically infeasible or unreasonable hardship. Additionally, this legislation will establish a Disability Access Compliance Unit within the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI) to monitor this program, set fees to administer it, provide guidance and advice on specific situations, as well as issue determinations of technical infeasibility or unreasonable hardship.

Buildings built after January 1, 2002, are exempt from this ordinance, but must provide proof of that fact to DBI.

This ordinance will relieve tenants of any responsibility for accessibility improvements or documentation establishing a technically infeasible situation or unreasonable hardship and place it squarely on the building owners.

Click here to review the legislation.


Endorsed Candidates and Positions on Propositions

The BOMA SF-PAC is looking forward to the November 3, 2015 election and our members have already endorsed candidates for elected office and taken positions on the following propositions in San Francisco.


BOMA San Francisco's Political Action Committee's Slate Card

The BOMA SF-PAC is looking forward to the November 3, 2015 election and our members have already endorsed candidates for elected office and taken positions on the following propositions in San Francisco (click here to learn more about the various measures):

SUPPORT --- Proposition A - Affordable Housing Bond                                                            

NO POSITION --- Proposition B - Paid Parental Leave for City Employees                                      

SUPPORT --- Proposition C - Expenditure Lobbyists                                                                  

SUPPORT --- Proposition D - Mission Rock                                                                                

OPPOSE --- Proposition E - Requirements for Public Meetings                                                

OPPOSE --- Proposition F - Short-Term Residential Rentals                                                    

OPPOSE --- Proposition G - Disclosures Regarding Renewable Energy

SUPPORT --- Proposition H - Defining Clean, Green, and Renewable Energy

OPPOSE --- Position I - Suspension of Market-Rate Development in the Mission District

OPPOSE --- Proposition J - Legacy Business Historic Preservation Fund

SUPPORT --- Proposition K - Surplus Public Lands


Jim Collins with Shorenstein is leading the effort for BOMA San Francisco

Donate today!

Help BOMA Advocacy Leader, Jim Collins (pictured above), as he leads the effort for BOMA San Francisco to ensure that congressional seats are held by individuals who understand real estate’s issues and challenges and can have a positive impact on your livelihood.

BOMAPAC is BOMA International’s political action committee. It enables BOMA International’s advocacy team to raise money to re-elect political candidates for federal office who know and understand – and support – commercial real estate issues.

Whether or not you are politically aware, there is no better way to support the candidates and the issues that impact your professional and personal lives. Your contribution, combined with the donations from your BOMA colleagues from across the U.S., will help ensure that BOMA International has the power to back those members of Congress who show leadership and commitment to commercial real estate issues. So let your voice be heard!

Help BOMA Advocacy Leader, Jim Collins (pictured above), as he leads the effort for BOMA San Francisco to ensure that congressional seats are held by individuals who understand real estate’s issues and challenges and can have a positive impact on your livelihood.

Can we count on you to send a check or fill out this form with your credit card information? Members typically donate $100 to $250, but any amount would help the cause. Checks or credit card information should be sent to:
BOMA San Francisco
Attention to: Ken Cleaveland (
233 Sansome Street, Suite 800 
San Francisco, CA 94104
Your support of the BOMA International PAC enables them to pursue their vital effort to protect and enhance our industry in the following ways:
  • BOMAPAC is the only voice solely representing multi-tenant office building owners and managers in Washington, DC.
  • BOMA has been the lead organization in pressing for a permanent 15 year Leasehold Depreciation schedule with Congress.
  • BOMA has been a key leader in promoting tax credits for energy efficiency upgrades to commercial real estate.
  • BOMA was one of the key groups who lobbied Congress to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act coverage for commercial property owners, which was recently passed.
  • BOMA continues to lobby to retain the so-called carried interest tax obligation on real estate developments as a capital gains tax item rather treating it as ordinary income. 
  • BOMA International is the only commercial real estate organization that is active and effective in the international building codes writing and adoption process. New codes or amended existing codes can have a huge and long-lasting impact on our industry.
*Federal law requires political action committees to report the name, mailing address, occupation and employer of each individual who contributes in excess of $200 in a calendar year. Contributions are not tax deductible. Corporate contributions or contributions by foreign nationals are prohibited.

Including an Update to the Transportation Impact Development Fee Structure

Your Feedback is Requested

Please take a moment to review important information regarding the TSP and TSF. 

BOMA staff met recently with representatives from the City and County of San Francisco regarding the upcoming Transportation Sustainability Program (TSP) and Transportation Sustainability Fee (TSF). 
The Transportation Sustainability Program is about keeping people moving as the City grows. Smart planning and investment will help ensure that San Franciscans are able to arrive safer and more comfortably at their destinations now and in the future.  
The proposed Transportation Sustainability Fee will help fund upcoming transportation changes (see below) by:
  • Creating a citywide transportation fee on new development;
  • Update to existing Transportation Impact Development Fee (TIDF) – expands applicability to include market-rate residential development and certain large institutions;
What Will the TSP Do?
The Transportation Sustainability Program is made up of three components:
  • Enhance Transportation to Support Growth
    • Fund citywide transportation improvements, like more Muni buses and trains, to help accommodate new residents and jobs. Find out more.
  • Modernize Environmental Review
    • Make the review process align with the City’s longstanding environmental policies by changing how we analyze the impacts of new development on the transportation system under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The new practices will be more reliable and emphasize travel options that create less traffic. Find out more.
  • Encourage Sustainable Travel
    • Make it easier for new residents, visitors and workers to get around through methods other than driving alone by integrating environmentally friendly travel into new developments. New practices will provide on-site amenities so people have better options than driving their car by themselves, such as car sharing and shuttle services. Find out more.
Representatives from the City and County of San Francisco will be presenting this information to BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee on November 4th. If you are interested in attending, please email for the meeting details.

New Assistant Deputy Chief, Division of Fire Prevention and Investigation

Dan de Cossio

Chief Hayes-White has announced the selection of Captain Daniel de Cossio as Assistant Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal of the Division of Fire Prevention and Investigation.

Please take a moment to review this message from San Francisco Fire Department Chief, Joanne Hayes-White:
I am pleased to announce the selection of Captain Daniel de Cossio as Assistant Deputy Chief / Fire Marshal of the Division of Fire Prevention and Investigation. Captain de Cossio is a 24 year member of the SFFD and has served in various capacities in the Division of Fire Prevention and Investigation for over 18 years.

Additionally, in order to support the City’s unprecedented and continuing growth, the need for additional resources in the Bureau of Fire Prevention became apparent. As such, I am pleased to advise the Department of the approved creation of a Temporary Exempt Assistant Fire Marshal Position. Since the Department recently conducted a selection process for Fire Marshal, I am pleased to announce the selection of Lieutenant Richard Brown for the position of Assistant Fire Marshal. 

I look forward to Captain de Cossio’s and Lieutenant Brown’s leadership, and trust in their abilities to collaboratively address, improve and advance the current and future operations of the Division. 

Congratulations to both in their new roles. 

Joanne Hayes-White
Chief of Department

To represent your interests, BOMA San Francisco Codes and Regulations Committee members will regularly interact with Assistant Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal Daniel de Cossio. It is an important position within the SFFD Division of Fire Prevention and Investigation that promotes efficient fire prevention practices, code enforcement, fire investigation, and public education. 

About Daniel de Cossio

Dan de Cossío is Fire Marshal & Assistant Deputy Chief  for the City and County of San Francisco. 

During his 24-year tenure in the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD), Dan has held positions in both suppression and prevention in San Francisco proper and in recent years, has served as Inspector, Lieutenant and Captain of the  Bureau of Fire Prevention at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), beginning with the 950 Million dollar SFO International Terminal (ITB) project - part of a $2.5 billion airport master.

Most recent projects include Terminal 2, Boarding Area "D", Terminal 3 expansion, Boarding Area "E" and the Air Traffic Control Tower. Dan participated in the end-to-end construction process (pre-application, design review and field inspection to completion---Certificate of Occupancy) and worked cross jurisdictionally with local, state and federal agencies.

Dan holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dan was appointed to his current position of Fire Marshal & Assistant Deputy on August 11, 2015.

AB 1103 Re-Write, ADA Bill Advances,Water Fixture Replacement Mandate

Please take a moment to review this important advocacy update from BOMA California.

AB 1103 Mandatory Benchmarking Law Potential Fix

As part of late breaking discussion on a bill relating to energy efficiency, BOMA California members are currently working on a potential deal that would re-write the AB 1103 Mandatory Benchmarking Law. 
Many in the commercial real estate industry have found the benchmarking law to be cumbersome and expensive to undertake on multi-tenanted buildings. The law also forces properties to benchmark event when a building has been vacant and a benchmark would not produce particularly helpful information. Under the framework of language, benchmarking would still be mandatory in California, however, time-of-sale/lease triggers would be removed and the Energy Commission would have more flexibility to promulgate regulations across the different building types that make more sense than a mandate on “all buildings.” Keep your fingers crossed.

ADA Bill Advances 

SB 251 is a bill that BOMA California supports continues to move forward. 
Among other reforms, this bill enacts a tax credit for businesses that make accessibility improvements. The bill unanimously passed the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee and has also been passed by Assembly Appropriations. The bill is currently awaiting action on the Assembly Floor. 

Click here for press coverage of SB 251.

Water Fixture Replacement Mandated - Must Complete by 2019

As of January 1, 2014, SB 407 (Padilla; Chapter 587, 2009) requires non-compliant plumbing fixtures to be replaced with water conserving plumbing fixtures when a property is undergoing additions, alterations or improvements. Applicants seeking to obtain permits for any of these types of work will be required to replace non-compliant fixtures prior to final permit approval or issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the local building department.

This law applies only to properties built on or before January 1, 1994, and by January 1, 2019, ALL of those pre-1994 buildings must comply with these requirements, regardless of whether or not you are planning to renovate the space.

The California Association of Local Building Officials (CALBO) has worked with some of its local building official members to clarify the requirement. Here is an info sheet from the City of Santa Clara that will help you determine if your building is in compliance or not (but the general rule of thumb is that if it was built after 1994, or has been renovated since then, you will most likely be in compliance)

Plumbing Fixtures Replacement (SB407) for Existing Single/Multi-Family Residential and Commercial Buildings. 

The law does have the following exceptions; per Civil Code Section 1101.7, this article shall not apply to any of the following: a) Registered historical sites; b) Real property for which a licensed plumber certifies that, due to the age or configuration of the property or its plumbing, installation of water-conserving plumbing fixtures is not technically feasible; c) A building for which water service is permanently disconnected; d) Building was built and available for use on or after January 1. 1994

The original bill gave our industry 10 years to comply with this measure, at our request (the bill originally only gave five years to comply). We still believe that is a reasonable time horizon set by the state and continue to encourage our members to make sure you have completed this work within the allotted time frame.

California Senate Constitutional Amendment 5

A new effort to change Proposition 13 protections for commercial real estate has manifested. On June 10th, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 - a split roll property tax measure - was introduced. 

On June 10th, Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 - a split roll property tax measure - was introduced. 

With a two-thirds vote of the Legislature, SCA 5 would to amend the California State Constitution to allow for regular reassessments of commercial and industrial property to their fair market value, starting with the 2018-19 fiscal year. However, the constitutionally mandated 1 percent tax rate would be retained, and Proposition 13 protections would continue to apply to residential rental property and agricultural property. 

The measure would also provide for a five-year phase-in of regular fair market value reassessments for certain commercial and industrial property owners; and exempt from personal property taxes $500,000 of tangible personal property used for business purposes, beginning January 1, 2019.

If approved by two-thirds of the California State Legislature, the measure would be placed on the November 2016 ballot. The Governor’s signature is not required. 

BOMA California members are coordinating with Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes and allied groups such as the California Chamber, CalTax, and Howard Jarvis, to respond to this attempt to amend Proposition 13, through news media, social media, and direct contact with legislators. 

Regardless of what you may see or hear from the media, please know that BOMA California is pushing back. Click here for materials that can help you respond locally should you engage with the press or local opinion leaders.

Click here for the text of the split roll property tax measure SCA 5 (Mitchell & Hancock)


UPDATE - May 12, 2015

A new effort to change Proposition 13 protections for commercial real estate has manifested. 

Indeed, a group has formed to engender public opinion in support of changing Proposition 13 to include split roll and advance legislative efforts to introduce a bill in the California State Legislature to change existing property tax law. As leaders of the commercial real estate industry in California, please remain vigilant and conversant about the issue to help counter the political hyperbole. 

Sign-up for updates from Californians to Stop Higher Property Taxes - a BOMA California partner organization, to stay appraised of the latest news.


Original Post - May 16, 2014

L to R: Asm. Ammiano; Asm. Bocanegra

California State Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (San Francisco) and Raul Bocanegra (Pacoima), announced an agreement recently to amend the change of ownership rules under California’s Proposition 13 through Assembly Bill AB 2372. The amendments are supported by a diverse group of stakeholders including the California Business Roundtable, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Properties Association, which includes BOMA California, and the California Tax Reform Association.

Over the years, a few complex property purchase deals have given the appearance of an attempt to avert  the Proposition 13 change of ownership rules.  The transactions have been highlighted and used to commove the reform proponents of the property tax law.  This current agreement between stakeholders is meant to update some of the laws implementing statutes to address this viewpoint.

Currently, a property is reassessed when it is sold and/or changes ownership.  However, if none of the purchasers acquires more than a 50% interest, reassessment may not necessarily be triggered.  AB 2372 will be amended to clarify that as long as 90% of a property is sold, a reassessment would be triggered, regardless of whether any individual buys more than 50% of the property.  Safeguards are being negotiated by your BOMA California advocates in Sacramento now to clarify that the change of ownership amendments do not apply to normal turnover of stock for publicly traded companies.

As our organizations have done in the past, BOMA San Francisco and BOMA California will continue to defend Proposition 13 - an initiative that protects both residential and commercial properties.  However, part of an effective defense of the property tax law is to recognize that the intent of the original language may need to be updated to assure the voter approved goals of the initiative are being met.  BOMA believes this agreement does just that.

Split Roll Measures Still Loom

For 2014, various members of the California State Legislature continue to pursue public policies that would undermine the intent of the property tax protections approved by voters under Proposition 13.  Indeed, there are upwards of nine California Constitutional Amendments seeking to lower voter thresholds to amend the initiative's tax protection on properties from 2/3rds (66.66%) to 55%.

Rest assured that your fellow BOMA California members are working hard to protect the industry's interest.  Stay tuned for updates in future blog posts.


Costs May Increase for Elevator Maintenance

Your feedback is requested

Amendments that may be adopted could make California unique as having the strictest and most expensive elevator requirements in the country.

To represent our members' interests, BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee representatives had a rare opportunity to discuss the proposed elevator code changes with the California Department of Industrial Relations, Occupational Safety and Health Division, Elevator Unit (Cal/OSHA) chief, Dan Barker recently. The purpose of the gathering was to help the Department understand any negative impacts, e.g., cost, availability, safety issues, et cetera, that may result from these changes. 

Also, National Elevator Industry, Inc. (NEII) is making building owners aware of the efforts underway by the Cal/OSHA to develop theGroup V elevator codes.  Cal/OSHA has proposed over 60 pages of changes - more than 125 specific modifications - to the ASME A.17.1 (2013) /CSA B44-13 Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators.  

The draft amendments to the ASME Code under discussion are so significant and controversial that, if enacted through formal rule making, they will drastically alter current elevator designs for all of the major elevator companies and impose significant new costs and construction delays on California building owners.

Key areas of concern in Cal/OSHA's pre-rule making draft and initial estimates of potential costs are set forth below.

  • Prohibits certain machine-room-less (MRL) designs in California.
  • Adds new restrictions for other MRL designs.
  • Prohibits elevator controls from being located in the building hoistway, requiring control rooms to be constructed.
  • Significant cost increases and delays for new construction.
  • Significant cost increases for elevator maintenance on existing buildings.
  • No demonstrable safety benefit; in fact, creates new workplace safety issues.
  • Lack of empirical data to support changes.
  • Disproportionate impact on low to mid-rise buildings.
  • Stunts technological innovation and eco-efficient building designs.
  • Moves California building transportation backwards 20 years.
  • Elevators unique for California
    • $100K-$200K per elevator
  • Larger cars, larger hoistways, less space to rent
    • $25M annually
  • No Hydraulic machine room-less elevators
    • $25M annually
  • Control rooms must be outside of hoistway
    • $100M annually
  • Licensed mechanics required to perform new tasks
    • $33.6M annually
The draft proposed rules are currently under review internally at Cal/OSHA. Formal rule making has not commenced, but we expect the rule making package to be completed and ready to file by late summer. 
If you have any feedback, please send it to

UPDATE - May 29, 2014

BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee members reviewed a letter that the National Elevator Industry Association wrote to the head of the California Department of Industrial Relations. Click here for a presentation related to the missive and here for an attachment to the letter.

The communication states that the 60 pages of amendments that the Department is considering adopting would make California unique as having the strictest and most expensive elevator requirements in the country.

Please be aware of these proposed changes for elevator maintenance if they are permanently adopted. 

If you have any feedback, please send it to


UPDATE - April 28, 2014

Since 2012, members of BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee have been working with BOMA California and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health on changes to statewide elevator maintenance rules.  Our members' feedback was detailed in a BOMA amended 2012 Division Circular Letter.

On April 22, 2014, the Division held a meeting to review a draft of new elevator regulations regarding:

  • Elevator maintenance;
  • The qualifications for elevator inspectors and/or mechanics;
  • And, requirements for other conveyances.

BOMA California members continue to maintain their feelings that routine upkeep of elevators - specifically those that do not affect the safe operation of the system - may eventually require Division mandated oversight by a certified elevator mechanic.  Any proposed changes along those lines would increase the time and cost for the maintenance of elevators and add a modicum of value to the safety of the elevator system.

BOMA San Francisco Board Member Kevin FitzPatirck kindly attended the April 22, 2014 meeting for BOMA members and relayed their comments.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the draft proposal of new elevator regulations, please contact


Original Post - October 12, 2012

Elevator Categories of Work Circular Letter Withdrawn

BOMA California representatives are pleased to report that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has given notice that it has formally withdrawn Circular Letter 11-01 in its entirety, effective immediately.   Prior to this retraction, BOMA San Francisco's Codes and Regulations Committee members suggested edits to the Circular Letter which was sent to the Division on May 12, 2012.

According to the Division, the Circular Letter was initially published because they had received inquiries regarding if certain work on conveyances were covered by state law. After receiving more information from the elevator industry the Division has decided that clarifications are more appropriately addressed through a formal rule making process. BOMA California members agree and applaud the Division for this decision.  BOMA thanks our colleagues in the elevator industry for their diligence.

There will be future efforts by the Division regarding rule making so this issue is likely to be revisited by year end.


San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Ordered Mandatory Water Reduction on July 1, 2015

BOMA San Francisco's Energy & Environment Committee and Government Affairs Committee members met recently with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) representatives for an update on the current drought conditions.

BOMA San Francisco's Energy & Environment Committee and Government Affairs Committee members met recently with San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) representatives for an update on the current drought conditions.

Please click here to review the presentation.

Email with any questions you may have.

UPDATE - May 29, 2015

In response to the drought and to State-mandated outdoor water use restrictions the SFPUC implemented a Mandatory Irrigation Allocation Program in 2014 that required a 10% reduction in outdoor water use for all potable irrigation customers. This first mandatory reduction applied to all billing periods beginning on or after October 1, 2014 through June 2015 with water allocations determined using 2013 baseline water use data and is expressed as gallons per day (gpd).

Allocations from October 2014 – June 2015 will be totaled and compared against your actual usage during the mandatory reduction period. If total water use exceeds the total allocation, an Excess Use Charge of 100% of your applicable water rate will be charged for each unit of water exceeding the allocation. For the October 2014 to June 2015 restriction period, the Excess Use Charge is a one-time assessment that will be added to your July 2015 bill and will be in addition to normal charges.

Due to continuing drought conditions and the State's expanded outdoor water use restrictions, the SFPUC's Mandatory Irrigation Allocation Program will be extended through 2016 and require customers to reduce irrigation water use by 25%. The SFPUC will provide each irrigation customer with their water use allocations for the next restriction period including billing periods beginning on or after July 1, 2015 through February 2016. Water use allocations will continue to use 2013 as the baseline.

Additional information

Irrigation Allocation Appeal Form

SFPUC Resolutions adopting mandatory reduction for irrigation customers: 10% and 25%

SFPUC Regulations and Restrictions for Excess Use Charges

SFPUC Resolution adopting Excess Use Charges

Amendments to Excess Use Charges

Recycled Water Truck Fill Station

Restricted outdoor water use activities

Other resources to help you save

Water-Wise Gardening Guidebook

Large Landscape Assistance Program


UPDATE - April 1, 2015

Following the lowest snowpack ever recorded and with no end to the drought in sight, Governor Jerry Brown Jr. announced actions that will save water, increase enforcement to prevent wasteful water use, streamline the state's drought response and invest in new technologies that will make California more drought resilient.

"Today we are standing on dry grass where there should be five feet of snow. This historic drought demands unprecedented action," said Governor Brown. "Therefore, I'm issuing an executive order mandating substantial water reductions across our state. As Californians, we must pull together and save water in every way possible."

High resolution photos of previous snow surveys are available here.

For more than two years, the state's experts have been managing water resources to ensure that the state survives this drought and is better prepared for the next one. Last year, the Governor proclaimed a drought state of emergency. The state has taken steps to make sure that water is available for human health and safety, growing food, fighting fires and protecting fish and wildlife. Millions have been spent helping thousands of California families most impacted by the drought pay their bills, put food on their tables and have water to drink.

Click here for the full executive order issued by the Governor.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at


UPDATE - August 4, 2014

In response to the ongoing severe drought, the State Water Resources Control Board recently passed emergency regulations beginning on August 1, 2014 to ensure all Californians reduce outdoor water waste or face potential enforcement. The SFPUC is continuing its ongoing and comprehensive water conservation programs and educational efforts to ensure that citations are issued only as a last resort.

Californians can be cited for:

  • Washing down driveways and sidewalks except when needed for health and safety purposes.
  • Watering outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes excess runoff. 
  • Using a hose, without a shut-off nozzle, to wash motor vehicles; and, 
  • Using drinking water in fountains or decorative water features unless the water recirculates. 

The State’s requirements are similar to water waste restrictions the SFPUC already has in place and are consistent with water saving tips and guidance we provide our customers rain or shine. 


Image credit: Randall Benton, Sacramento Bee

Original Post - February 20, 2014

Like most businesses and households, BOMA San Francisco members are acutely aware of California's declared drought and are looking at ways to further conserve water during this unprecedented dry winter.  Indeed, BOMA members have been at the forefront of energy and water conservation for some time though our Energy and Environment Committee and the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance.

BOMA San Francisco's Energy and Environment Committee (E&E)

BOMA's E&E Committee is one of the organization's most active member groups focused specifically on energy and environmental sustainability in commercial high-rise buildings.  At the committee's most recent meeting, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) representatives presented on water-saving tips for commercial properties:

  • Determine how and where your water is used on site. If you need assistance, the SFPUC provides free Water-Wise Evaluations.
  • Assign a conservation champion to develop and monitor water conservation efforts.
  • Educate tenants and visitors about water conservation practices; put up signs encouraging water conservation in kitchens, restrooms, locker rooms, and other public areas.
  • Inform vendors that water efficiency is a priority (cooling tower maintenance, landscape, laundry and dishwasher)
  • Install water-efficient fixtures and plumbing devices, such as high efficiency toilets and urinals, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse spray valves. The SFPUC provides fixture rebates and free devices (details below).
  • Identify water conservation opportunities specific to your facility or business and prioritize no or low cost options. 
  • Use a broom, pressure washer, or hose equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle to clean sidewalks, driveways and pavement.
  • Conduct preventative maintenance to ensure water-using fixtures are working properly.
  • Assess your irrigation system to identify inefficiencies such as leaks, broken sprinkler heads and run off. 
  • Track water consumption through meter reads or monthly water bills to measure water savings achievements and monitor for leaks.

There is not a mandatory water reduction for San Francisco at this time although there is a request from the SFPUC that businesses and households reduce their consumption voluntarily by 10%

Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance (2009)

Our members are fortunate to have had the foresight to work with the City and County of San Francisco on the Commercial Water Conservation Ordinance that applies to any commercial property owner.  The law requires that a building owner repair plumbing leaks and install water efficient plumbing fixtures to obtain a Certificate of Compliance either upon major improvements or by January 1, 2017.


Inefficient plumbing fixtures manufactured and installed prior to 1994 must be replaced with efficient fixtures. The SFPUC offers financial incentives and technical assistance for the replacement of inefficient plumbing fixtures. The Ordinance established the following water efficiency guidelines for commercial properties:

  • All showerheads have a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute (fpm);
  • All showers have no more than one showerhead per valve;
  • All faucets and faucet aerators have a maximum flow rate of 2.2 fpm
  • All water closets (toilets) have a maximum rated water consumption of 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) or the flush volume set by updates to the San Francisco Plumbing Code. Effective July 1, 2011, new toilet fixture installations may not exceed 1.28 gallons per flush, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.2;
  • All urinals have a maximum flow rate of 1.0 gpf. Note: To achieve compliance with the Ordinance, new urinal fixture installations shall not exceed 0.5 gpf, the maximum rated water consumption established in the San Francisco Plumbing Code, Chapter 4, Section 402.3;
  • All water leaks have been repaired.

Click here for more information on how you can help to conserve our most precious resource.


September 5-7th

BART train service will be impacted this weekend.

BART is encouraging travelers to plan ahead and to find alternate means of transportation across the Bay during two upcoming closures of transbay train service. BART will close the West Oakland Station and will not run trains between West Oakland and Embarcadero stations during Labor Day weekend while they repair a critical section of track near the Transbay Tube.

BART will offer lifeline bus service between 19th Street in Oakland and the Temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, but the buses are intended only for those who have no other options. The buses will carry customers from 19th Street Station in Oakland to the Temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco (a 2 block walk to the Embarcadero Station) or from there back to the East Bay. There will be no additional charge for the bus. The bus bridge will cause 1 to 2 hour delays for some customers.

Accommodations will be available for people with disabilities.

There will be some shuttle buses from West Oakland Station, which will be closed, to the 19th Street Station for West Oakland area residents only.  These shuttles will pick up and drop off during BART operating hours and will be on 15 minute headways, departing both sides (West Oakland and 19th Street) at quarter hours. No fares will be collected on this neighborhood shuttle for West Oakland residents.  We are not able to keep West Oakland Station open during this work because we can not easily turn trains around from that station.  With only two tracks, there would be very significant delays in the East Bay if we attempted to run trains through West Oakland during the work.  

During the shutdowns, customers are encouraged to use other public transit transbay options such as ferries and AC Transit service.  Check for trip planning.  San Francisco Bay Ferry will have additional service on its Alameda/Oakland/San Francisco and Vallejo/San Francisco routes during the BART closures.  AC Transitalso has its transbay service

Riders are encouraged to lock their bikes at our stations rather than bringing them on crowded buses.

During the shutdowns, train service within the East Bay and within the West Bay and the Peninsula will be more frequent than during a typical weekend.  Check out our tips page for more specific details.

BART's Transit Information Center will operate special hours. Riders with questions can call (510) 465-BART (2278).  

Extra staff, including bilingual employees will be at 19th Street Station, Embarcadero, and the Temporary Transbay Terminal to help passengers.

The dates and times of the track closures are as follows:

Date                             Track Work Times

September 5-7              From end of service Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday and Monday

Check out BART's tips for travel during the transbay shutdown weekends

Watch an archive of the online town hall we held to answer questions about the work and our service plan