Ken Cleaveland
Director
Government & Public Affairs
kenc@boma.com

 
IN THIS ISSUE

Restrictions on Downtown Parking Still Looming

Ammiano's Heathcare Proposal a "Work in Progress"

Assembly Member Leland Yee Introduces Commercial Lease Security Deposit Legislation

City Hall Preservation Commission Created

New Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Legislation Set to Pass in San Francisco

San Francisco Building Department News

High Rise Sprinkler Retrofit Ordinance Kicks In February 15th: Are You Ready?

CPUC Approves Landmark Solar Power Program

BOMA International Launches Energy Efficiency Program for Commercial Office Buildings (BEEP)

BOMA Review of PG & E's Recent Year-end "True-up" Rate Changes

Upcoming Events of Interest to BOMA Members


Direct all inquiries regarding
The BOMA San Francisco ADVOCATE to

Government and Public Affairs
Director
Ken Cleaveland, CAE
415/362-2662 x11
kenc@boma.com


January 31, 2006, Volume 12, Number 1

This Issue of the BOMA-San Francisco Advocate Is Brought To You By

101 Montgomery Street Company 
       

Restrictions on Downtown Parking Still Looming
BOMA and most of the business community are still opposing legislation introduced by Supervisor Chris Daly that would severely limit the ability of multi-family residential builders to provide at least one car space for each unit built in the C-3 (downtown) area of the city. Daly's legislation has been amended to reflect the recommendations of the Planning Department and Planning Commission, but that version is still unacceptable to advocates for more housing being built in downtown, as well as the business community, fearful that commercial garages will fill up with future residents, depriving shoppers, tourists, and employees of necessary daytime parking. The Board of Supervisors rejected BOMA and the Union Square Association's petition for a comprehensive environmental review of these planning code changes, but Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier (with the support of Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Bevan Dufty, and Fiona Ma) has introduced a new and much improved downtown parking ordinance, which BOMA and the business community support. This legislation, unlike Daly's, would not ban future above-grade downtown garages over one story, and would not reduce the one — to — one maximum allowable parking space ratio in new residential construction, as Daly's version would do. A second hearing on Daly's legislation will be held on Wednesday, February 1, at City Hall, before the city's Land Use Committee, at 1 p.m. BOMA Members interested in protecting downtown parking should send an email message to the Board of Supervisors stating their opposition to Daly's measure and their support for Alioto-Pier's alternative parking proposal.  SF Supervisors can be reached by email using their first name.last
name@sfgov.org.

Ammiano's Heathcare Proposal a "Work in Progress"
Supervisor Tom Ammiano has introduced legislation that would require San Francisco employers of 20 or more employees to provide some level of healthcare benefits to the employees or pay some as-yet undetermined amount into a healthcare fund that the city would use to provide coverage. The details are still very much under discussion (Supervisor Ammiano calls it a "work in progress"). These debatable issues include: the # of employees' threshold at which the ordinance would kick in, the minimum # of hours a part-time employee would have to work to be covered, the minimum dollar amount employers would be required to pay for each employee, exactly what sort or level of coverage would be mandated, and whether non-residents working in San Francisco would be included. The proposal by Ammiano also establishes a Task Force which would be required to return with a detailed plan that it would recommend the City adopt. That plan and its implementation schedule would then be subjected to more review and public hearings. Business organizations have voiced their concerns about the competitive disadvantage such new and possibly expensive health benefit costs would create for San Francisco-based companies, especially small business enterprises. Health care advocates say San Francisco should lead the country in providing some type of universal health care for its citizens. While BOMA has not taken a formal position on the measure it has voiced its concerns that the original proposal could have very negative impacts on our small and medium-sized business tenants in the city, and that the measure should be more thoroughly studied before any action is taken. The issue is the subject for another public hearing on Wednesday, February 1, at 1 p.m. before the city's Budget and Finance Committee at City Hall. 

Assembly Member Leland Yee Introduces Commercial Lease Security Deposit Legislation
Leland Yee, a member of the state Assembly from San Francisco, has introduced legislation to allow owners of commercial properties to apply the security deposits held by the landlord of a tenant who has gone bankrupt or has defaulted to the actual damages a landlord suffers in such an instance. The law covering lease deposits would be amended to allow commercial-only lease deposits to be applied against future rent no longer collectible under the lease. This change to the state's commercial tenant leases is codified in AB 1161, which can be viewed here. BOMA members are encouraged to send letters of support to Assembly Members by checking out our BOMA Cal website at
www.bomacal.org, where a sample letter is available as well as a program that will identify your state legislators.

City Hall Preservation Commission Created
The Mayor recently created a new commission dedicated to maintaining and preserving the city's historic City Hall. Real estate attorney Jim Haas, a San Francisco native and long time activist for improving and preserving the Civic Center area, was one of five appointees to it. The commission welcomes input from the general public on suggestions that might improve City Hall, the Civic Center Plaza, and the immediate surrounding areas. To voice your ideas to Jim, contact him at 415-989-9222 or via email at
jwhaasesq@aol.com

San Francisco Assessor's Reward Program Poised for Adoption
Phil Ting, newly-elected county assessor/recorder, has proposed an ordinance to establish a reward program for informants who provide new information that leads to the city collecting additional real estate taxes from property owners who do not report (or have not reported) a property ownership change or substantial improvement that would result in a higher assessment. BOMA has worked with the Assessor to insure the legislation does not create a "bounty hunter" opportunity, and has called upon the Assessor to ensure his office is given a certain amount of time to do its job before considering information from an outside "material witness". The legislation will apply to all types of property bought and sold in San Francisco, with a reward amount being offered of 10% of the new taxes collected up to a maximum of $500,000.

New Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Legislation Set to Pass in San Francisco
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has adopted a new ordinance requiring the recycling and all construction and demolition debris over 1 cubic yard. The measure attached here, will become effective July 1, 2006. BOMA worked for several years with the Department of the Environment and the Building Department to ensure this ordinance would be easy to work with and not hold up the permit process for commercial office tenant improvements. The new measure will require that the Department of the Environment create a certified list of qualified haulers of C & D waste, who would then transport the materials to a registered recycling facility. The intent of the legislation is to cut down dramatically on the construction waste going to the city's landfill. Materials source-separated for reuse or recycling are not included. No up front deposits are required and permits will not be held up if the applicant uses a certified hauler and processor.

San Francisco Building Department News
Recent important items issued by the city's Building Department of interest to BOMA members:

  • Per the California Division of the State Architect, the 2006 Valuation Threshold for Hardship Exception is $113,586.07. (reported by Alan M. Tokugawa, CBO, CCS, Building Code Analyst, Technical Services Division, SF Department of Building Inspection, 415-558-6004)
  • The Department of Building Inspection holds free lunchtime briefings on a variety of subjects that may be of interest to BOMA members. The upcoming dates/topics are as follows. All briefings are held at noon, at 1660 Mission Street, Room 2001, second floor, unless noted. 
    • February 16, 2006 - Appeals of Building Permits and Planning Determinations
      Speaker: Department of Building Inspection personnel; Judy Boyajian, City Attorney; and     Planning Department staff
    • March 16, 2006 - Why and How to Hire an Architect
      Speaker: Various Department of Building Inspection staff and invited speakers
    • April 20, 2006 - Lessons from the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake — A walking tour of downtown
    • May 18, 2006 - High-Rise Buildings in San Francisco — A walking tour of downtown
  • The Department also sponsors special building code training seminars that are open to the public. These are technical classes conducted by the staff of the Technical Services Division and are held from 8:35 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Monday mornings, also in Room 2001, at the building department offices, 1660 Mission Street. Upcoming topics to consider: 
    • January 30 - Code Adoption and Revision Process and the "Matrix Adoption Tables"
    • February 21 (Tuesday) - Board of Appeals Process and Procedures
    • March 13 - Review of DBI Administrative Bulletins
    • March 27 - Commercial Kitchen Requirements
    • April 10 - Legal Authorities and Responsibilities in Code Enforcement
    • April 24 - Earthquake Issues
    • May 15 - Requirements for Shafts and Openings Between Floors
    • June 12 - Code Required Signage - Exits, House Numbers, Disabled Access, Occupant Load, etc.

High Rise Sprinkler Retrofit Ordinance Kicks In February 15th: Are You Ready?
As most BOMA members know, all existing commercial high-rise San Francisco buildings, unless exempted for historical purposes, must be fully-sprinkled by February 15, 2006. Former DBI Director Frank Chiu issued an advisory to all property owners of high rise buildings in 2004 that laid out what was an approved sprinkler system, how you get the system certified as compliant for the purposes of this ordinance, and what the enforcement procedures for non-compliance would be. It is a must-read document. In it you will find the list of conditions that a building owner must follow to be in compliance. There are five of them:

1. Have all the work completed with proper permits and sign offs from both building and fire departments.

2. Request in writing and be provided a letter from the Dept. of Building Inspection indicating that the work was done under previous permits and meets all requirements of the ordinance.

3. Request and be granted an exception.

4. Request and be granted an extension of time for compliance, or,

5. Request and be granted approval to install an alternative system for providing equivalent fire safety and have work completed in accordance with the city's ordinance by February 15, 2006.

Laurence Kornfield, Chief Building Inspector, has noted that the high-rise retroactive sprinkler ordinance only applies to buildings built before 1974, and only to buildings for which construction was "commenced or completed prior to July 1, 1974." (Section 403.11.1 of the SFBC further defines what is meant by commenced.) Buildings where construction was commenced or completed after July 1, 1974 are not subject to this ordinance and need only provide a note to DBI indicating that the property is exempt based on its date of construction/completion. No other documentation should be required. Mr. Kornfield stated to BOMA that DBI will check the permit records to confirm the permit/construction dates and send a letter confirming that the building is not required to meet this ordinance. This action will then "close our file" on that subject with that property. If BOMA members have additional questions, contact Laurence Kornfield Technical Services Division Department of Building Inspection at 415-558-6244 or by E-mail: Laurence.Kornfield@sfgov.org

CPUC Approves Landmark Solar Power Program
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has created the largest solar program of its kind in any state in the country - the California Solar Initiative, a 10-year, $2.9 billion program designed to help California move toward a cleaner energy future and help bring the costs of solar electricity down for California consumers.  The goal of the program is to increase the amount of installed solar capacity on rooftops in the state by 3,000 MW by 2017. The California Energy Commission (CEC) will oversee one component of the program to focus on builders and developers of new housing, to encourage solar installations in the residential new construction market. The PUC will oversee the remainder and majority of the California Solar Initiative, which will cover existing residential housing, as well as existing and new commercial and industrial properties.  "We are taking an important step today to lay out a framework for an orderly, 10-year approach to creating a sustainable solar industry.  Our hope is that solar will become a major part of California's energy portfolio, to provide clean and inexpensive distributed generation to millions of California consumers," said President Peevey. "Our plan is to offer a subsidy now to push the deployment of an important part of our sustainable energy future in the long-run. This solar program simply offers one of the many emerging alternatives to consumers concerned about a clean energy future."  Click Here for more information about the Solar Initiative approved by the PUC.

BOMA International Launches Energy Efficiency Program for Commercial Office Buildings (BEEP)
The commercial office building industry spends approximately $24 billion annually on energy costs. Energy represents the single largest controllable expense for office buildings, typically a third of variable expenses. A 30 percent reduction in energy consumption, or $7.2 billion, is readily achievable by improving building operating standards. BOMA International's foundation has developed a unique, new operational excellence program called the BOMA Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP). Rather than focusing on the purchase of new technologies, this program teaches important no and low cost strategies for optimizing equipment, people, and practices. In partnership with the US EPA's Energy Star program, BOMA has created a six-course curriculum that will provide information, strategies, technologies, how-to guides, and resources for reducing energy use and cost. The 1 1/2 hour classes will be delivered via web-assisted audio seminars. Registration fees are $50 per site. Broadcasts will all be from 2:00 — 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Topics and Dates of broadcast are as follows:

> Friday, March 10 "Introduction to Energy Performance"

> Friday, April 7 "How to Benchmark Energy Performance"

> Friday, May 12 "Energy Efficient Audit Concepts & Economic Benefits"

> Friday, September 8 "No and Low Cost Operational Adjustments to Improve  Energy Performance"

> Friday, October 13 "Valuing Energy Enhancement Projects & Financial Returns"

> Friday, November 10 "Building an Energy Awareness Program"

BOMA Review of PG & E's Recent Year-end "True-up" Rate Changes
Bill Roberts, BOMA San Francisco (and BOMA California's) energy analyst and regulatory advocate, recently reviewed the year-end so-called "true-up" rate increases for electricity, and informed BOMA that the rate increases were much larger than the participants in the recent GRC Settlement discussions were expecting.  While PG&E would not commit to what they expected the numbers to be, they certainly did not condition us to expect such large changes. The bad news for BOMA Members is that the true-up increase in revenue requirements was large enough to swamp the rate reductions that were initially obtained though the Settlement Agreement.  The good news is that the end result is far better for building owners than it would have been in the absence of the Settlement Agreement. The true-up changes are due to changes in PG&E's total revenue requirements.  The changes in revenue requirements have been allocated to rate classes in accordance with the cost allocation and rate design methods set in the Settlement Agreement, that BOMA helped craft, to shift cost allocations from commercial rates. Had the Settlement not been achieved, the cost allocations across rate classes would have been different, resulting in much larger rate increases for commercial building. Even with these true-up cost increases, savings for BOMA SF Members amount to approximately $13 million annually.  For all Bay Area commercial buildings the savings exceed $24 million. For further details contact Ken Cleaveland at the BOMA SF office.

Upcoming Events of Interest to BOMA Members
More information can be found at the BOMA San Francisco website
www.bomasf.org.

>February 2, 2006, 8:15 a.m., San Francisco Business Resumption Seminar, SFSU, 425 Market Street, Room 208/209, Cost: $85/members; $105 others.

> February 2, 2006, 11:30 a.m. BOMA Environment Committee Luncheon, McKesson Building, One Post Street, 18th Floor - Training Room A. 

> February 2, 2006, 5 p.m., Official swearing-in of Assessor/Recorder Phil Ting, Rotunda of City Hall, Reception to follow

> February 8, 2006, 12:00 p.m., BOMA Government and Public Affairs Committee Luncheon, BOMA Office. Special guests: San Francisco Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier + Greg Wagner, SPUR, on Infrastructure Charter Amendment.

> February 9, 2006, 5:30 p.m., San Francisco Graffiti Advisory Board, City Hall, DPW Directors office, 3rd Floor.

> February 13, 2006, 12:00 p.m., BOMA SF PAC Luncheon. Special guest: Jordanna Thigpen, Small Business Commission.

> February 15, 2006, 8:30 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. BOMA Seminar on Commercial Leasing, featuring a panel of distinguished real estate attorneys, PG & E Conference Room 300, 77 Beale Street. Register at
www.bomasf.org. Cost: $85/Members, $105 Non-Members.

> February 14, 2006, 11:30 a.m., Power Association of Northern California luncheon at World Trade Club. Topic: CA Solar Initiative Reserve at
www.panc.org.

> February 22, 2006, 12:00 p.m., BOMA Codes and Regulations Committee luncheon, BOMA office.

> March 1, 2006, 7:30 a.m., SPUR Breakfast with special guest Laurence Kornfield, Chief Building Inspector. Topic: "Lessons Learned from New Orleans".

> March 2, 2006, 11:30 a.m., BOMA Environment Committee meeting (luncheon)

> March 8, 2006, 11:30 a.m., Special industry luncheon on Hornblower ship SF Belle (Pier 3) with Mayor Gavin Newsom. Reserve at
www.bomasf.org.

> March 9, 2006, 12:00 p.m., BOMA Government and Public Affairs Committee Luncheon, BOMA Office. Special guest: San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

> March 21, 2006, BOMA California Legislative Conference and Capitol Visits, Sacramento. Noon — 8 p.m. (Briefing, scheduled visits with state legislators, reception, dinner)

"We must realize that the time is always right to do right."  --- Dr. Martin Luther King,, Jr., 1967


This issue of the BOMA San Francisco Advocate was brought to you by
101 Montgomery Street
offering a rare block of 50,000 sq ft of class A office space
and suites as small as 3,000 sq ft