Advocate - September 2018
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Proposition 13/Split Roll Property Tax

Every commercial real estate organization - including BOMA California - has at some point over the last 30 years taken a position in opposition to split roll taxation – nothing in this measure changes that stance. 

In August, proponents advocating for amending Proposition 13 and creating a split-roll property tax by ending the protections and certainty for commercial property, submitted signatures to place the initiative before voters on the November 2020 ballot. 

Every commercial real estate organization - including BOMA California - has at some point over the last 30 years taken a position in opposition to split roll taxation – nothing in this measure changes that stance. 

The measure itself is very clear in its actions: 

  • Bring all commercial properties to a new assessed 2020 value that becomes the new base year for taxation.
  • Require that all commercial property be reassessed every three years thereafter.
  • Establishes an exemption for properties valued at less than $1 million – however this is a questionable exemption as the property is reassessed every three years eventually it will lose that exemption.
  • The measure removes all the tax protections provided by Proposition 13. 
  • Ends the treating of all property the same for taxation purposes for the first time in California’s history. 
BOMA California is taking a strong opposed position against any proposed split roll tax initiative. Studies have shown it will have a negative impact on values, put many small businesses and tenants out of business. It will cost jobs and impact negatively the overall economy of California. 

Feel free to visit this website for information:

Thank You to the Attendees, Sponsors, Presenters, and Public Sector Partners

BOMA San Francisco's Emergency Preparedness Committee held an excellent seminar this year. 

Without question, this was a great seminar thanks to our BOMA San Francisco Emergency Preparedness Committee leaders and presenters. Special thanks to our sponsors (including food/coffee sponsor Montgomery Technologies) and public sector emergency response partners:

San Francisco Police Department Chief, Bill Scott
San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief, Michael Cochrane
San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Mary Ellen Carroll 
KEYNOTE, Managing Director of the International Security Consulting Group TAL Global, Erroll Southers  
2018 Seminar Focus

Cybersecurity incidents are high-speed, unstructured and diverse. Crisis management for these cases is intense and demanding. BOMA’s Emergency Preparedness Seminar had attendees participate in a tabletop exercise where things were not as they seem. Attendees received key preparedness information to take back to their ownership/property management group, engineering and security teams, and tenants. 

Emergency Preparedness Committee Speaker and Event Moderator 

Bonnie Kalbrosky, 2018 Chair of BOMA San Francisco’s Emergency Preparedness Committee & Senior General Manager with JLL

Jeff Ellis, CPP, Director of Security & Life Safety, Paramount Group, Inc.

Excellent Information Exchange

This was the first BOMA meeting with Mr. Mandelman after his election as Supervisor of District 8 in San Francisco.

BOMA San Francisco members had the opportunity to meet with Supervisor Rafael Mandelman recently. Mr. Mandelman was recently elected to the position and this was the first official BOMA meeting with him. 

District 8 encompasses The CastroNoe ValleyDiamond HeightsGlen ParkCorona HeightsEureka ValleyDolores HeightsMission DoloresDuboce TriangleBuena Vista Park, and part of Twin Peaks.

Key issues discussed included:

  • The state of the commercial real estate industry;
  • Tax policy;
  • Ongoing communication with Supervisor Mandelman and BOMA;
  • Mr. Mandelman's priorities for the City
    • Affordable housing;
    • Support for public schools;
    • Neighborhood vitality;
    • Transit.
We thank Supervisor Mandelman for his time and look forward to working with him soon. 
About Supervisor Mandelman

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman represents District 8 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Prior to his election, Supervisor Mandelman served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Oakland and as an elected Trustee on the City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees. As a Deputy City Attorney​, Supervisor Mandelman practiced primarily in the areas of real estate, economic development, and affordable housing.

Supervisor Mandelman has been active on a variety of public and nonprofit boards, having served as a commissioner on San Francisco’s Building Inspection Commission and Board of Appeals, a member of the Bay Area Jewish Community Relations Council, president of the Board of Directors of Livable City, and Co-Chair of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center Board. A past president of the Noe Valley and Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Clubs, Supervisor Mandelman has been an elected member of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee since 2006.

Supervisor Mandelman grew up in San Francisco, attending Brandeis-Hillel Day School and Lick-Wilmerding High School prior to earning a B.A. in History from Yale College, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.

Forthcoming Report on Seismic Effects on Tall Buildings in San Francisco

In light of the potential for seismic activity, The City and County of San Francisco's Office of Resilience and Capital Planning is in the process of producing a report on the subject of seismic effects on tall buildings in San Francisco, as well as geotechnical considerations related to tall buildings.


A recent article in the New York Times, At Risk in a Big Quake: 39 of San Francisco’s Top High Rises, "includes a list of buildings that are potentially vulnerable to a large quake." The San Francisco Bay Area is in seismic zone and those who live and work in the area are likely aware of that fact.

In light of the potential for seismic activity, The City and County of San Francisco's Office of Resilience and Capital Planning is in the process of producing a report on the subject of seismic effects on tall buildings in San Francisco, as well as geotechnical considerations related to tall buildings.

BOMA San Francisco, through our Codes and Regulations Committee, participated in the first stakeholder meeting on March 6, 2018 that provided an overview of the Tall Building Study and learned more about the team's progress to date. The team leading the Study from Stanford University and the private sector, also provided an overview of their effort at the March Codes and Regulations Committee.

The Study is expected to be completed in October 2018.

The report will:

  • Clearly characterize the issues and available information;
  • Propose regulatory and procedural recommendations where appropriate to the subject studied;
  • Scope out future work items.

The work under this project will be performed under the six tasks, detailed below, and compiled in the report.

  • Task 1: Seismic Performance Characterization of Existing Tall Buildings 
    • This task is developing an inventory for purposes of establishing the broad scope and context of tall buildings in San Francisco.
  • Task 2: Tall Building Effects 
    • This task summarizes seismic risks with tall buildings with recommendations for new policy and further research. 
  • Task 3: Standards for Post- Earthquake Structural Evaluation
  • Task 4: Barriers to Reoccupancy of Tall Buildings
  • Task 5: Costs and Benefits of Higher Performance Goals for New Construction
  • Task 6: Geotechnical Engineering for Tall Buildings 
    • This task will review and compile best practices in geotechnical engineering that could apply in San Francisco.

Please contact with any questions you may have.


Important Please Review

Property owners should read all of the information provided regarding the CleanPowerSF program.

BOMA San Francisco’s Government Affairs Committee recently met with staff members from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) regarding CleanPowerSF. As an aside, if you are interested in public policy issues that affect commercial real estate, you should join the Government Affairs Committee!. Email Marty Smith, Chair ( or Shayna Eskew, Vice Chair ( and we’ll add you to the list.

IMPORTANT – Please review all of the information below regarding the CleanPowerSF program. Property owners are automatically enrolled unless they choose to opt-out.

What is CleanPowerSF? 

Click here for the synopsis.

I’m just hearing about this now. Why? 

All A1, A10 and E19 commercial accounts in the city are being enrolled right now with the exception of:

  • A1 accounts that are on CARE rates (this is a low income discount available to qualifying small commercial entities). They are planning to enroll this group in the spring of 2019. 
  • Commercial accounts that are on Net Energy Metering, which means they have rooftop solar. These accounts are being enrolled on a quarterly basis to line up the enrollment as closely as possible with their annual PG&E NEM true-up cycle. 

CleanPowerSF staff informed us that those accounts enrolled were notified twice by mail prior to the July enrollment (once in May and another in June), using the PG&E address of record. Two additional notices were mailed to accounts following service start with CleanPowerSF, in July and August. In addition to the notices they’ve been advertising in business publications and other media.

My property is an E19 commercial account and my owner wants to opt-out of CleanPowerSF. 

According to CleanPowerSF staff, E19 enrolled accounts can opt-out at any time (keep reading). Accounts that opt-out during the enrollment period (i.e., no more than 60 days after they were cut over to CleanPowerSF service) may do so without switching terms or restrictions. Customers that opt-out after the enrollment period (i.e., more than 60 days after commencing CleanPowerSF service) are subject to PG&E terms and conditions, including a prohibition on returning to CleanPowerSF service for one year. At this time, CleanPowerSF does not charge any fees for opting-out of the program.

Most E19 accounts within the City began service with CleanPowerSF on their regular meter read date with PG&E in July. The meter read date varies by account. If any of those E19 accounts wish to opt-out without being subject to PG&E terms and conditions for switching, they should consider opting-out although that period may have expired. If an account holder wants to know exactly what day they need to opt-out by, they should email: They will be happy to work with them.

A comparison of PG&E and CleanPowerSF rates can be found here:

If a customer is on Peak Day Pricing and would like a cost comparison, they can request one by reaching out via either of the following methods:


Phone: (415) 554-0773

Property Owners May Be Impacted

Recently, BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) met with Susan Gygi, PE, San Francisco Planning Department, regarding an important plan that may affect BOMA members.

Recently, BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Advisory Committee (GAPAC) met with Susan Gygi, PE, with the San Francisco Planning Department regarding an important plan that may affect BOMA members.

The Rail Alignment and Benefits (RAB) Study is analyzing the best ways to bring Caltrain and High Speed Rail to the Salesforce Transit Center while connecting San Francisco's fastest-growing neighborhoods on the east side of the City. 

Rail alignment, while esoteric, may have a major impact on adjacent property owners when the project is final and construction begins:

To coordinate and support efforts of Caltrans, Caltrain, High Speed Rail, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the RAB Study includes 5 components:

Study Components Map

1. Rail Alignment into the Salesforce Transit Center (SFTC)

This component seeks to answer the most time sensitive question of the RAB: how to bring both Caltrain and High-Speed Rail from the county line into the Salesforce Transit Center.

2. Railyard Reconfiguration/Relocation

This component considers reknitting the fabric of the City by modifying or relocating some or all of the activities at the 4th/King Railyard.

3. Urban Form and Land Use Considerations

Relocating the Caltrain Railyard and/or other infrastructure changes could make new land available for the restoration of the street grid, improved bike/pedestrian connections, elimination of rail hazards and noise, and construction of housing, commercial development, and open space. This component considers these issues at a conceptual level and provides a baseline for future study.

4. Transit Center (SFTC) Extension/Loop

This component explores future scenarios for train connections and operations beyond the initial connection to the SFTC to improve station capacity and/or rail connections beyond SFTC to the East Bay or back down the Peninsula.

5. Boulevard I-280

This component analyzes the interaction between proposed rail alternatives and the I-280 structure to ensure that the rail alignment does not preclude the possibility of future changes to I-280 north of Mariposa.

Please reach out to with any questions.


For BOMA Members Along or Adjacent to Market Street

Please read this status report on the Project from BOMA's representative, Jose Guevara.

BOMA San Francisco's members along Market Street and adjacent streets have been well-represented by Jose Guevara, long-time volunteer of the association. Jose is BOMA's representative monitoring the Better Market Street Project

Here is the current status of of the BMSP: 
  • Master design 100% complete 
    • Overall concept for street design 
    • Replacement of sidewalk brick with concrete pavers 
    • Sidewalk width to be reduced and standardized 
    • Replacement of historical street lamps/poles with new replicas 
    • All trees to be replaced (with less locations)
    • Muni stops 
    • Delivery zones 
    • Landscape locations 
    • Standard kiosk design for all locations 
    • Start at Octavia Street to the Embarcadero
  • Detailed design 15% complete 
    • Pavers (style/material/size/color) not yet selected 
    • Landscape areas design/plants/maintenance not yet determined 
    • Bike lanes and associated barrier not yet determined 
    • Utility lines replacement coordination not yet done 
    • Coordination with Muni, BART, newspaper rack vendor, kiosk vendors, City services etc not yet initiated
    • Design of kiosks not yet addressed
    • Design of Muni stops and delivery locations still in discussion
    • Project to be done in sections: 
      • No determined sequence yet: 
      • Octavia to Van Ness
      • Civic Center (Van Ness to 6th) 
      • Mid-Market (6th to 3rd) 
      • 3rd to Fremont 
      • Fremont to the Embarcadero 
  • Expected activity 
    • Excavation (trenches the size of a small truck) to start in August on Market street at various locations to identify utility (type/lines/boxes) location to determine how to reroute. 
    • Design to be tested initially on Market from 8th Street to 6th Street. Test phase projected to start within the next 6 months.

Changes to the Measure Effective as of June 1, 2018

The following changes to the measure are now effective as of June 1, 2018. 


The Accessible Business Entrance program helps property owners comply with state and federal accessibility laws and helps people with disabilities gain greater access to goods and services offered by businesses in San Francisco. Passed by the Board of Supervisors in 2016 (Ordinance No. 51-16), the ordinance requires that existing buildings with a place of public accommodation have all primary entrances accessible for people with disabilities.

Under state and federal law, a place of public accommodation is generally a business where the public will enter a building to obtain goods and services, such as banks, day care centers, hotels, offices, restaurants, retail stores, et cetera. 

The following changes to the measure are now effective as of June 1, 2018. 

  • Extend all compliance deadlines by six-months resulting in the first deadline of January 1, 2019.
  • Eliminate the administrative fee of $97.
  • Require property owners to provide a 30-day notice to building tenants prior to filing the permit application.
  • Qualify buildings under Category 1, if any of the following descriptions apply:
    • building owners mandated to meet earthquake retrofit electing to comply with this ordinance’s requirements prior to this Program’s compliance deadlines.
    • building owners fi ling a permit application on or after the effective date of this ordinance to alter a building or a portion thereof was altered, or is proposed to be altered, with the owner electing to comply with this ordinance’s requirements prior to this Program’s compliance deadlines.

 For more information, please visit


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

Donate today!

Help BOMA Advocacy Leader, Jim Collins, 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 San Francisco 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: John Bozeman (
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.

Water Replacement Mandate - 2019 Deadline

Please review this advocacy update from BOMA California. 


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 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. Click here to read more.

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.


Best Practices and Innovative Campaigns Aimed at Eradicating Graffiti Vandalism

October 17th - 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The members of the San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board (GAB) - including Doug Hayward with CBRE, would like to invite you to participate in the 2018 Graffiti Huddle: Zero Graffiti -- Smart Solutions!


October 17th

11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The San Francisco Public Library

100 Larkin Street, (at Grove Street)

Koret Auditorium, located on the lower level

This is not a Library Sponsored Program

The Huddle goals are to create a network of neighborhood and business representatives to share ideas, best practices and innovative campaigns aimed at eradicating graffiti vandalism.

The Huddle program will include presentations discussing the many issues victims of graffiti vandalism face, how to address the problem, and smart solutions! Our interactive presentations will give attendees the opportunity to provide input and a Q&A portion.

BOMA San Francisco is sponsoring this wonderful program again this year. Please consider attending.