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


BOMA SAN FRANCISCO BREAKFAST RECEPTION FOR CITY ATTORNEY DENNIS HERRERA – JUNE 17, 2009

CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUMMIT – June 9th and 10th

BOMA SAN FRANCISCO AND THE SELIGMAN GROUP HOST A RECEPTION HONORING SAN FRANCISCO TREASURER JOSE CISNEROS

SFMTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO NATHANIEL FORD SPEAKS AT SAN FRANCISCO'S GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEETING

CIWMB MEMBER CAROLE MIGDEN SPEAKS AT BOMA SAN FRANCISCO'S ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

BOMA SAN FRANCISCO SUPPORTS THE PRESIDIO TRUST’S REVISED MAIN POST UPDATE

SUBSCRIBE TO BOMA SAN FRANCISCO’S NEW ADVOCACY BLOG!

SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING INSPECTION - ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RESOLUTION SUPPORTING SPLIT-ROLL PROPERTY TAX

UPDATE: PROPOSITION 13 & THE PROPOSAL OF A SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX

UPDATE: REGISTRATION OF VACANT/ABANDONED BUILDINGS

SPUR's URBAN CENTER GRAND OPENING

UPDATE: AUTOMOBILE RESTRICTIONS ON MARKET STREET?

SFPUC: WATER AND SEWAGE RATES TO INCREASE

CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE:  ALCOHOL-BASED HAND RUBS

DONATE YOUR OLD CELL PHONE TO A U.S. SOLDIER

ADDITIONAL RISKS LANDLORDS SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN TAKING LETTERS OF CREDIT FROM COMMERCIAL LEASE TENANTS

DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING INSPECTION: 10 MOST COMMON ERRORS DURING PLAN CHECK

SAN FRANCISCO BUILDING CODES – NOW ONLINE!

SFPUC’S FREE WATER-WISE EVALUATION

WALTER H. SHORENSTEIN SHARES TIPS ON SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES

UPCOMING BOMA EVENTS – CHECK THEM OUT!

BOMA SAN FRANCISCO WELCOMES REX HIME AT OUR MEMBER LUNCHEON – JULY 23


Direct all inquiries regarding
The BOMA San Francisco
ADVOCATE to:

Ken Cleaveland
415/362-2662 x111
kenc@boma.com

June 16, 2009                              Volume 15, Number 6
This Issue of the BOMA San Francisco Advocate Is Brought To You By:
Cooley Godward




BOMA NEWS


BOMA SAN FRANCISCO BREAKFAST RECEPTION FOR CITY ATTORNEY DENNIS HERRERA – JUNE 17, 2009

BOMA San Francisco is hosting a breakfast reception for City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Wednesday, June 17th from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. in the beautiful Solarium at 55 2nd Street.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to John M. Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco’s Legislative Assistant at johnb@boma.com.


CALIFORNIA COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUMMIT – June 9th and 10th

BOMA San Francisco members traveled to Sacramento for the 2009 California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) and BOMA California Board meeting on June 9-10th.

The two-day event is the one time of year that industry leaders from all sectors of the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry converge on California's Capitol to meet with policymakers. The summit gave BOMA San Francisco members an opportunity to meet other industry leaders from across the state, high-level staff from Governor Schwarzenegger's Administration, and our Bay Area State Legislators from San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, and San Mateo Counties.

Click here for our blog post on the CCRES, which includes pictures and links to the issues discussed with our elected leaders from the Bay Area—including the contentious split-roll property tax issue. 


BOMA SAN FRANCISCO AND THE SELIGMAN GROUP HOST A RECEPTION HONORING SAN FRANCISCO TREASURER JOSE CISNEROS

BOMA San Francisco and The Seligman Group hosted a reception honoring San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros recently.

BOMA San Francisco supports Mr. Cisneros as he runs for re-election for his second term as San Francisco's City Treasurer. In his speech to the reception attendees, he mentioned a few of his many accomplishments over the last 4 years:

* Under his charge, property tax delinquency rates are the lowest in the history of San Francisco;
* Mr. Cisneros initiated the Bank on San Francisco program to encourage low-wage workers in the City to avoid high-cost check cashing operations. Bank on San Francisco is the first of its kind in the nation, and is now being emulated in cites across the country;
* The City of San Francisco has the highest bond rating of any city in California;
* The City's investments are safe and are generating high returns.

BOMA San Francisco and The Seligman Group would like to thank Mr. Cisneros and we look forward to working with the City Treasurer toward re-election for a successful second term.

Click here for our blog post of the reception.


SFMTA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO NATHANIEL FORD SPEAKS AT SAN FRANCISCO'S GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MEETING

Nathaniel Ford, the Executive Director and CEO of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) spoke to members of the BOMA San Francisco Government and Public Affairs Committee (GAPAC) recently about what's happening at the SFMTA.

Mr. Ford discussed many issues with BOMA San Francisco’s GAPAC members including: SFMTA’s budget deficit and how the reduction in available funding will impact transit service; customer service levels at the SFMTA, and much more.  Please click here to view our blog post with all the details.


CIWMB MEMBER CAROLE MIGDEN SPEAKS AT BOMA SAN FRANCISCO'S ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) Member Carole Migden spoke at BOMA San Francisco's Environment Committee today about the CIWMB, as well as some of the issues the Board is working on.  Many questions about the Board were answered including:

* What does the Board do?
* How is the Board funded (an interesting subject considering the CIWMB is at the epicenter of the California budget deficit battle)?
* What are the Board’s priorities? 
* And more! 

To find out the answers to these questions, please click here to view our blog post of CIWMB Member Carole Migden’s discussion to the Environment Committee.


BOMA SAN FRANCISCO SUPPORTS THE PRESIDIO TRUST’S REVISED MAIN POST UPDATE

As we had posted on the blog previously, BOMA San Francisco members were invited to tour the Presidio in April and they were quite impressed with the Presidio Trust's planning efforts thus far on the Main Post. As a result of this tour, BOMA San Francisco supports the Trust's work as detailed in the Revised Main Post Update.

You can read BOMA San Francisco's support letter here.


SUBSCRIBE TO BOMA SAN FRANCISCO’S NEW ADVOCACY BLOG!

Your BOMA San Francisco advocacy team has a new web-based tool to keep you in the loop on up-to-the-minute updates in the wild world of San Francisco politics: The all-new BOMA SAN FRANCISCO ADVOCACY BLOG!   The new blog will allow you to stay in touch with BOMA’s advocacy work as it happens. We are updating the blog with information and pictures from our meetings with San Francisco politicians, and the movers and shakers in City government departments, as well as cover the issues that impact the commercial real estate industry.  We encourage every BOMA member to sign up to automatically receive our blog updates via ONE daily email or news reader on our blog's website.  Plug into the BOMA blog today!



GENERAL NEWS


SAN FRANCISCO DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING INSPECTION - ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES

Effective June 15, the Department of Building Inspection will be making the following organizational changes:

* The Department’s three professional services’ programs are Permit Services, with Laurence Kornfield in charge; Inspection Services, with Ed Sweeney in charge; and Administrative Services, with Jeremy Hallisey in charge. Hanson Tom becomes Manager of Plan Review.
* Simon Tam becomes Manager of Permit Processing and Issuance.
* Tom Hui moves to Over-the-Counter and reports to OTC Manager Neil Friedman.
* Mark Walls, Tom Fessler, Norman Gutierrez and Steve Hajnal move to the Building Inspection Division.
* Tony Grieco becomes Supervisor of Code Enforcement Services.
* Lou Aurea moves to Administrative Services.
* Public Information functions become part of Permit Services, and the Public Information Counter on the first floor becomes DBI’s new “Help Desk” – a key screening section to improve customer flow.
* Willy Hoi-Yau becomes Manager of the Help Desk, where he will be assisted by Wai-Fong Cheung, Marianne Pangelinan and Fidel Del Rosario.
* Cora Ella becomes Supervisor of the Permit Processing Center (PPC).
* Records Management moves to Room 3036 in 1660 Mission Street, where customers will submit, view and pick up 3R and records’ requests.

Please make note of these departmental changes and plan accordingly.


BOARD OF SUPERVISORS RESOLUTION SUPPORTING SPLIT-ROLL PROPERTY TAX

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will consider a Resolution (introduced by Supervisors Ross Mirkarimi, David Chiu, David Campos, Sophie Maxwell, Eric Mar, and John Avalos) urging San Francisco's representatives in the California Senate and Assembly to modify the definition of a "change or ownership" for commercial property and to draft a state constitutional amendment creating a split-roll property tax. You can read the Resolution, here.

The Resolution will be considered for adoption at the Board of Supervisor's meeting on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. BOMA San Francisco members, please consider attending this meeting and voicing your opposition to this Resolution. BOMA San Francisco's position on a split-roll property tax can be found here (hint: we oppose it.)

You can also contact the Supervisors' offices directly:

Michela Alioto-Pier
John Avalos
David Campos
David Chiu
Carmen Chu
Chris Daly
Bevan Dufty
Sean R. Elsbernd
Eric Mar
Sophie Maxwell
Ross Mirkarimi


UPDATE: PROPOSITION 13 & THE PROPOSAL OF A SPLIT ROLL PROPERTY TAX

We recently posted BOMA's stance on the proposal of a Proposition 13 split-roll property tax, posed recently by the City's own Assessor, Phil Ting.

This proposal is a bad idea, and one that will not help the state’s economy nor “fix” its budget deficit. Indeed, a op-ed piece by Tup Fisher, chairman of the California Mortgage Bankers Association, and Rex Hime, president and CEO of the California Business Properties Association, was published in the San Francisco Chronicle recently in which they write:

Instituting a split-roll tax system will not occur in a vacuum--businesses paying more in taxes will be forced to consider laying off more employees, putting off hiring new workers and investing in new technologies.... Consumers will also suffer, as the cost of many products would rise as a result of higher business taxes.

Stay tuned to BOMA San Francisco's blogfor the latest developments on this issue.
 

UPDATE: REGISTRATION OF VACANT/ABANDONED BUILDINGS

Your BOMA Advocacy Team attended the special meeting of the Building Inspection Commission (BIC) and the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) recently where the Registration of Vacant/Abondoned Buildings Ordinance was discussed (you can view a copy of the Ordinance, here). The discussion surrounding the measure was an interesting one; here are the highlights:

What's the origin/intent of the Ordinance?

* The measure was introduced on May 5, 2009 by Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Supervisor Bevan Dufty.
* Many cities have this type of ordinance (under the 'public nuisance' ordinance of the code).
* At its core, the measure attempts to mitigate the deterioration of a building.

What’s the status of the Ordinance?

* On June 3, 2009, the San Francisco Planning Department: Historic Preservation Commission conducted a public hearing to consider the measure. The Commission approved the Ordinance, with modifications. You can view the Commission's recommendation and documents related to their action, here.
* On June 10, 2009, the measure was heard before the Code Advisory Committee (CAC) where they recommended "non-support of [the] ordinance as written, and in lieu recommen[ed] that the Department of Building Inspection develop administrative procedures to enforce existing requirements." You can read the CAC's letter to the BIC, here.
* On June 12, 2009, DBI Director Vivian Day responded to the Planning Department's recommendation of the Ordinance that can be viewed here. In short, the measure is not enforceable by DBI.
* On June 12, 2009, the BIC approved a motion to notify the Board of Supervisors that it does not support the Ordinance.

The need for the Ordinance warrants further discussion:

* Do we need another ordinance? There are already City ordinances that cover blight.
* What about buildings slated for demolition, or those waiting for rehabilitation? There needs to be a consensus review of this issue.
* Finding insurance on a vacant building can be difficult. How can this be addressed?
* What is the definition of a blighted building?
* The City doesn't know how many blighted buildings are it has.
* This is a big brother issue: The City should help building owners improve their buildings, NOT impose another City mandate.

A full transcript/video of the meeting can be found here.

Your BOMA Advocacy Team will continue to monitor the Registration of Vacant/Abandoned Buildings Ordinance and report any new developments on this blog.


SPUR's URBAN CENTER GRAND OPENING

Your BOMA Advocacy Team was at SPUR's Urban Center Grand Opening recently. It was an impressive event with local politicians, business and community leaders and others all coming together to celebrate the organization's new establishment. Indeed, those in attendance represented what SPUR is about: promoting good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area.

BOMA San Francisco is a proud member of SPUR. We congratulate all of those who were involved in making the Urban Center a reality. The City of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area are better places thanks to the contributions to this essential organization.

Click here to view pictures of SPUR’s beautiful new Urban Center.


UPDATE: AUTOMOBILE RESTRICTIONS ON MARKET STREET?

As we had previously blogged in March,the San Francisco Transportation Authority is in the process of producing a Strategic Analysis Report (SAR) to investigate options for restricting automobiles (not a full ban) on Market Street from the Embarcadero to Van Ness Avenue (a map of which can be viewed here).

A draft of the SAR or, "Transit Options for a Better Market Street," released recently, is now available here. You can also read about this issue in the Chronicle where your very own Ken Cleaveland, BOMA's Director of Government Affairs, is quoted:

Representatives from influential business organizations in San Francisco said Tuesday that City Hall is taking the right approach.

"When you talk about remaking Market Street, you need to wade into the pool, not dive into it," said Ken Cleveland, director of government affairs for the Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco.

He said it's important for the city to thoroughly analyze each change to make sure that businesses don't suffer and that traffic problems aren't shifted to adjacent streets.

According to the SFMTA, the next steps for SAR adoption are as follows:

* Revise and present the final report as an ACTION item at the Citizens’ Advisory Council (CAC) meeting on June 24, 6-8pm;
* Present the final report as an ACTION item at the Finance Committee (Commissioner Daly, who requested the SAR, sits on this committee) meeting on Tuesday, July 14, at 11:00am;
* Present the final report as an ACTION item at the Authority Board meeting on Tuesday, July 28, at 11:00am.

The SFMTA welcomes your feedback on the SAR throughout this process so they can incorporate your suggestions into the final document in time for the June CAC meeting. 


SFPUC: WATER AND SEWAGE RATES TO INCREASE

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will increase water and sewage rates over a five year period to both residential and commercial customers to pay for the Water System Improvement Program (WSIP)—mostly for seismic improvement projects.  The impact to commercial interests would be a 13% increase in water rates; sewage rates would go up by 1%.  Please click here for more information.  New rates would be effective July 1.


CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE:  ALCOHOL-BASED HAND RUBS

Please click here for the California fire code on wall mounted dispensers containing alcohol-based hand rubs. This is especially important for BOMA members who may have installed alcohol-based hand cleaners in response to the H1N1 virus.


DONATE YOUR OLD CELL PHONE TO A U.S. SOLDIER

Do you have an old cell phone that you don’t use anymore?  Consider donating it to the Cell Phones for Soldiers program so American troops serving abroad can keep in touch with their families and loved ones.  For more information, please contact Jo Licata, Community Projects Manager with Hilton San Francisco at (415) 923-5069 or jo_licata@hilton.com



TOOLS YOU CAN USE


ADDITIONAL RISKS LANDLORDS SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN TAKING LETTERS OF CREDIT FROM COMMERCIAL LEASE TENANTS

In the last decade, commercial landlords have favored obtaining from tenants standby letters of credit over security deposits because standby letters of credit provided added security in the event of a tenant's bankruptcy. The financial instability of banks that issue standby letters of credit and the erosion of the benefits of standby letters of credit in recent bankruptcy court decisions have reduced some of the benefits of standby letters of credit in the commercial lease context.

This Advisory describes the benefits and risks of standby letters of credit and the prophylactic measures that a landlord can take when obtaining a standby letter of credit as security for a tenant's obligations under a commercial lease.

Please click here to read the entire Advisory. Thank you to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP for allowing us to post this information on our advocacy blog.

 
DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING INSPECTION: 10 MOST COMMON ERRORS DURING PLAN CHECK

You'll be one step closer to finishing your project if you avoid these common pitfalls during the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection plan review:

* Incomplete information regarding existing conditions. Such information should include current legal use and occupancy of all related building areas, building construction type, property line setbacks, and abutting property conditions.
* Confusion due to too much information overlaid. Separate plans should be provided for existing conditions, partial demolition, and proposed work. On more complicated projects, provide separate architectural and structural drawings.
* Plans are not coordinated among architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and other designs. Also, lack of coordination between views such as plans and elevations.
* Inadequate dimensioning of plans.
* Fire-resistant assemblies are not detailed and do not conform to approved designs.
* Incorrect story count. Detailed substantiation must be provided, including spot elevations of floors and adjacent grade around perimeter and profiles, to allow plan reviewers to confirm story or basement determination.
* Lack of clarity and consistency of plans, including symbols and designations, such as existing vs. new walls.
* Sloppy, illegible, incorrect and incomplete permit application forms and submittal documents such as plans.
* Lack of adequate accessibility documentation and accessibility checklist.
* Failure to provide adequate cover-sheet information, including correct codes being used for design, contact information, design professional's signature, index of drawings, etc.


SAN FRANCISCO BUILDING CODES – NOW ONLINE!

We knew San Francisco’s building codes had to be online somewhere, and we finally found them!   Please click here to access the city's building codes (2007 edition), including city electrical, housing, mechanical, and plumbing codes.


SFPUC’S FREE WATER-WISE EVALUATION

At a recent BOMA San Francisco Environment Committee meeting, Susan Tensfeldt, Water Service Inspector with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), informed the committee that the SFPUC has a FREE program to assist both commercial and residential customers in saving money on their water bill.  The Water-Wise Evaluation program—which uses your billing history as a guide—will send a water conservation technician visit to your building to review your water usage and give you a report outlining how your property can save water and money.  With a 13% water rate increase coming in July, it’s important to take advantage of this program right away.  Please be aware that there is a 2-3 week lead time to schedule an appointment.  Call the SFPUC Water Conservation Section today at (415) 551-4730.


WALTER H. SHORENSTEIN SHARES TIPS ON SURVIVING AND THRIVING IN TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an edited transcript of Mr. Walter H. Shorenstein's (the founder of Shorenstein Properties, LLC) tips on how to make it and thrive in tough economic times. Here are the main points:

* Don't rely on the government;
* Stick with experience;
* Use common sense;
* Don't gamble too much.

Please click here for the article.



UPCOMING EVENTS OF INTEREST


UPCOMING BOMA EVENTS – CHECK THEM OUT!

Please click here to view BOMA San Francisco’s calendar of events—BOMA committee meetings, education events, seminars, social events, and workshops—for 2009.

BOMA SAN FRANCISCO WELCOMES REX HIME AT OUR MEMBER LUNCHEON – JULY 23

BOMA San Francisco welcomes Rex Hime, President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association to our Membership Luncheon on July 23, 2009, The City Club, Main Dining Room, 155 Sansome St., 11th Floor, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

Come learn how your BOMA dues are being put to work for you in Sacramento, and hear how real estate interests are faring under the new budget and facing the grave threat of split-roll tax (you can read Mr. Hime’s view of this issue, here)

California Business Properties Association (CBPA) is the recognized voice of all aspects of the commercial retail industrial real estate industry in California - representing the largest commercial real estate consortium with almost 12,000 industry members.

CBPA is the designated legislative advocate for BOMA California, ICSC, the California chapters of NAIOP, IREM, CREW, RILA and the California Downtown Association.



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THIS ISSUE OF THE BOMA SAN FRANCISCO ADVOCATE WAS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY:   Cooley Godward

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Attorneys in Cooley’s preeminent Business practice are well known for their expertise in the areas of venture capital and private equity, corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions, life sciences and technology transactions, tax and real estate, making Cooley a go-to firm for clients seeking counseling in these areas. 

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