August 14, 2008 Volume 14, Number 4
This Issue of the BOMA San Francisco Advocate Is Brought To You By:
Professional Property Management
Association of San Francisco (PPMA)
San Francisco Green Building Ordinance Signed into Law by Mayor Newsom
Mayor Gavin Newsom signed the much-anticipated Green Building Ordinance into law on Monday, August 4th. It will become effective 90 days from that date, assuming the Department of Building Inspection has issued its guidelines for compliance. Key provisions affect new commercial construction over 5,000 square feet and tenant renovations over 25,000 square feet. The ordinance adopts the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) performance criteria. To obtain a copy of the legislation, click here. BOMA will soon announce a briefing for its members on this new ordinance which will be sponsored by Hanson, Bridgett, Marcus, Vlahos & Rudy. BOMA members may also contact Sam Zimmerman at PG & E email@example.com(415-973-5477) for information on how to obtain energy efficiency rebates, incentives, and technical assistance that will help owners and tenants meet the new requirements of this ordinance.
SF Supervisor Proposes Extending Smoking Ban to Outside of Buildings
San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, supported by the Tobacco Free Alliance, is seeking to pass legislation that would restrict people from smoking inside multi-tenant residential buildings, and outside all commercial building entrances, including all outdoor (patio/sidewalk) restaurants and clubs as a means of fighting secondhand smoke. San Francisco already has banned smoking inside all office buildings, both private and public. This legislation, however, goes far beyond that, and would allow for tenants to sue their landlords if they do not enforce the “No Smoking” policy outside their commercial buildings or inside their apartment buildings. The original legislation called for a 20 feet “no smoking zone” outside all entrances, but it may be reduced to 10’. The San Francisco Small Business Commission is also opposing the legislation as too restrictive. Click here for their recommendations, and here for the ordinance, as introduced by Daly.
New Mandatory Recycling Ordinance Introduced for San Francisco Businesses
Jack Macy, the City’s Commercial Recycling Coordinator, recently presented the BOMA Environment Committee the details on a new ordinance that will require recycling and composting for all commercial and residential buildings. It will:
* Apply to all sectors of the city to level the playing field for all businesses.
* Require landlords to provide recycling and composting collection containers for their tenants.
* Require “Take Out” restaurants to provide the public with small receptacles for recycling, composting, and trash. The City will assist in designing a small standardized 3-stream receptacle.
* Require event organizers to provide sufficient separate receptacles for recycling, composting and trash.
* Require everyone in San Francisco to recycle, and compost their organics. This will not be optional!
* Will provide ongoing education and assistance to help with compliance via the SF Dept. of the Environment and Golden Gate Disposal & Recycling Company.
For a copy of the most recent version of the legislation, click here.
SF Commuter Benefits Ordinance Passed
The San Francisco Board of Supervisor unanimously passed an ordinance that will require employers of 20 or more people to provide commuter benefits to their employees. (For the purposes of this ordinance, employees are defined as persons working 10 or more hours a week.) There are three ways in which to comply: provide employer-paid transit passes or the equivalent value of a monthly MUNI pass for carpooling/vanpooling costs, provide employer-paid vanpools or shuttles, or set up a means by which employees can purchase transit passes or vanpool costs with pre-tax wages. Click here for a copy of the ordinance. To purchase a MUNI Fast Pass online, or to purchase a prepaid parking meter card, go t http://services.sfgov.org/mtacards.
Greater Downtown SF Community Benefit District Update
The consultant hired to survey the property owners located in the greater downtown area for interest in creating a new Greater Downtown Community Benefit District are still tabulating the results. Initial indications are that the number of owners interested in moving forward is equal to the number of owners who have not expressed a position. Only a small percentage of owners have already expressed opposition. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is providing the initial coordination with the consultant and the Steering Committee on this effort. The issues of what services will be provided, or the exact geographical boundaries of the CBD, as well as type of assessments have yet to be determined. For further information, contact Rob Black at the Chamber firstname.lastname@example.org. To gain a perspective on potential costs, check out the newly-approved Yerba Buena CBD at www.yerbabuena.org/CBD. For a look at the proposed boundaries of the Greater Downtown SFCBD, click here.
SF Building Department Raises Permit Fees
Effective July 23, the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection initiated a new cost schedule of building valuations data which must be used when calculating the building permit fees. To download a copy of this schedule, go here: http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/dbi/Services/PlanReview/Cost%20Schedule.pdf. For questions related to fee valuations, contact Laurence Kornfield at DBI at 415-558-6244 or Laurence.Kornfield@sfgov.org. Actual fee rates will be increased beginning September 2, and will go up substantially as they have not been increased since 1992. BOMA supported the increases if the funds were to be put to increasing better service and reducing turnaround time for obtaining permits. For a copy of the Matrix Consulting Group’s report on DBI’s fees, go here: http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/dbi/Staff%20Report%20on%20Fee%20Study(1).pdf. For a copy of the legislation which increased the fees with a list of the new charges, click here.
SF Building Department Director Isam Hasenin Resigns
Effective Friday, August 15, 2008, Isam Hasenin, the Director of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, has resigned and will move into the private sector working for an international consulting firm. The members of BOMA regret his departure but wish him all the best in his future endeavors. The Building Inspection Commission will be appointing a temporary director very soon.
SF Fire Department Raises Fees
New fees were adopted by the Board of Supervisors last month, which will go into effect September 2, 2008. The Fire Department will also offer a “Premier Plan Review service” to applicants willing to pay a 50% surcharge. These plans will be given priority service. Most of the new plan review fees increased about 20% while inspection fees increased between 5 and 6%. A new provision was also added that will require owners of Key Boxes to pay a $52 annual maintenance fee. Another provision of this fee increase ordinance allows for annual increases based on budget projections and needs. For a complete listing, click here.
Communicating Openings – Are they Allowed?
In a recent communiqué with our association, San Francisco Fire Marshal Barbara Schultheis elaborated on just how the local Fire Department was going to interpret the International Code Council’s requirements for fire protection in high rise buildings with communicating openings between floors. A shaft enclosure will not be required in buildings equipped with automatic sprinkler systems throughout, so long as the opening is not a required emergency exit (stair or escalator), and the opening is not greater than twice the length and width of the stair/escalator. If you have any questions, contact the Fire Marshall directly at Barbara.Schultheis@sfgov.org, or Lt. Gerald Zari at Jerry.Zari@sfgov.org.
What is a Fire Watch?
Due to a recent inquiry, the San Francisco Fire Marshal also issued a definition of what is considered to be a “Fire Watch” person. She stated a Fire Watch is someone whose sole duty is to watch for fires. This comes into play when a building’s fire alarm system is down or undergoing repairs that may take some time. A Fire Watch must be designated who will walk the building and look for possible fires. He or she should also be able to directly communicate with the Fire Department and tenants in the event of a fire. See Section 8705.2 of the California Fire Code, or contact the Fire Marshal for more info.
Be a Water Saving Hero! Get Your Tenants to be too!
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has issued a new sticker that can be placed in your restrooms and other locations where sinks are present. It urges people to turn off the tap while washing/soaping up their hands, and to report water leaks to the building management. It also advertises the website www.watersavinghero.comfor further information. BOMA has procured several hundred of these stickers if members would like to consider putting them into their properties. Contact Wendy de Lara at 415-362-2662, ext 110. Click here to view the sticker. The SFPUC is also currently studying mandating the retrofit of all water-related fixtures in private buildings if they are not at least “low flow”. Stay tuned…
SF Controller Issues Economic Update on City
The Controller's Office has just issued a report on the economic well-being of the city. Several indicators suggest the city's strong economy began to turn downwards in the month of June. As the media has reported, San Francisco saw significant declines in median home sale prices between June 2007 and June 2008, while demand for rental housing remains strong, featuring double-digit increases in median rent over the same month last year. However, the strong rental market was not considered a sign of economic strength but rather an example of a soft homebuyer market where renters were waiting for the housing market to bottom out before purchasing. For the first time in a few years, the commercial real estate sector is showing signs of a slowdown, with a slight uptick in vacancy rates (10%) and a slight decline in average rents, from the first to second quarter 2008. While San Francisco's unemployment rate is still one of the lowest in California, there still were 23,700 unemployed persons in San Francisco in June, up nearly 25% from the same month last year. For more information, go to www.sfgov.org/controller.
Congestion Pricing – SFCTA Supports Studying Issue – BOMA Opposes…
Because people don’t need another reason (and expense) to drive into San Francisco! The City is conducting a study, euphemistically called the “Mobility, Access, and Pricing” study that is trying to determine if implementing some type of congestion fee for driving into the City during peak hours would reduce traffic, improve traffic flow, and cut down on pollution. The final study results will be released in December. Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco’s Director of Government and Public Affairs, recently debated Tilly Chang, Deputy Director for Planning with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority on a radio talk show on KPFA, 94.1 FM, in Berkeley, August 1st. To listen to the half hour broadcast, click here: http://kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=27631. BOMA opposes congestion pricing as unnecessary if the city would do a better job of enforcing existing traffic regulations, especially the double parking, and blocking of street intersections during commute hours. London, often mentioned as an example of a successful congestion pricing system, currently charges $16 (8 pounds) a day to drive into central London. However, studies have shown that 43% of the $1.3 billion that’s been collected since 2003 went to fund administrative costs, and Transport for London recently reported that congestion is back to the levels it was in that year! There is a petition drive underway to axe the national road-pricing plan.
SF Park – Intelligent Parking Management
While the San Francisco County Transportation Authority studies congestion pricing, a more realistic study is underway on managing the existing parking resources of San Francisco. This study, entitled SF Park, will include a number of pilot test sites in the City. It is being conducted through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. (SFMTA) Its goal, according to Sonali Bose, CFO for the SFMTA, is to reduce the amounts people are currently paying in parking tickets ($90 million in FY 2007-08) with a method by which people could locate parking spaces, and park for longer time periods if they were willing to pay more for the privilege, rather than risking a parking ticket. The new smart meters will operate remotely, via cell phone, etc., as well, and will accept credit cards, debit cards, or prepaid parking cards (see article above on Transit Benefits Ordinance). The manager of this program, Jay Primus, stated they would love any input from BOMA members on how to more effectively manage our existing parking. To download a copy of his recent presentation to the BOMA Govt. Affairs committee, please click here. This study will also look at the rampant abuse of disabled placards.
BOMA SF PAC Supports Re-election of SF Superior Court Judge Thomas Mellon
If you want to keep politics out of the judiciary, look no further than the race against incumbent San Francisco Superior Court Judge Thomas Mellon. Mellon was appointed to the bench 14 years ago and continues to receive the high marks from the American Bar Association for judicial qualifications. Mellon served as Vista volunteer providing legal services to poor inner-city families, and practiced law for 22 years before being appointed a judge. His major opponent in this race, San Francisco Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval, has been declared NOT QUALIFIED by the Bar Association. To help keep a good judge, go to www.keepjudgemellon.com.
BOMA SF PAC Issues Summary of Position on City Ballot Measures
The BOMA SF PAC Board of Directors has reviewed all the local San Francisco ballot measures and has taken positions on many of them. A more detailed discussion on BOMA’s positions will be published as a “BOMA Slate Card” prior to the election for all members, but here is a quick recap of where BOMA currently stands on the city ballot initiatives -
BOMA will support:
* Creating an Independent Rate Payer Advocate for city residents
* Pier 70 Maritime District Plan and Financing
* Future Set-asides must identify funding source
* Creating a Community Justice Court system
* 911 Emergency Response tax (replaces existing fee)
* Continuation of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) in San Francisco high schools
BOMA will oppose:
* Creating low income housing set-aside fund
* Increasing number of signatures required for a recall petition
* Prohibiting city employees from serving on city commissions and boards
* Moving city Mayoral elections to even-numbered years
* Giving the City (via the SFPUC) the power to take over PG & E in the name of cleaner energy
* Creating a Historic Preservation Commission to replace the Landmarks Preservation Board
* Doubling the real property transfer tax from .75% to 1.5% on sales of properties $5 million or more
BOMA has not taken a position on:
* General Obligation Bond to rebuild San Francisco General Hospital
* Extension of Payroll Tax Expense to Partnerships and Increase in Small Business Payroll Tax Exemption
* Legalizing prostitution
* Renaming the Oceanside sewage treatment plant after President George W. Bush
* Drug, alcohol, and mental illness treatment on demand
* Tenants’ rights manifesto
* Reorganizing the county transportation authority
* Allowing city employees retirement system credit for unpaid parental leave
Click here to obtain the full text of the above propositions: http://www.sfgov.org/site/elections_index.asp?id=59382
California Public Utilities Commission Adopts Real Time Pricing Methodology
In a major victory for BOMA members in the PG & E service territory, the state’s Public Utilities Commission unanimously agreed on July 31st that pricing energy on a real time basis was the fairest and most efficient method to use when setting future electric rates for commercial customers. This has been the position of BOMA San Francisco and BOMA California for many years. The decision orders PG & E to develop RTP rates as soon as feasible following the start up of the CA Independent System Operator’s Day-Ahead Market and to offer optional RTP rates to all customers by 2011. The Decision also specifies that any Critical Peak Pricing (CPP) rates must be consistent with marginal capacity costs, something BOMA has been arguing for years. To read the full decision, click here.
100 Pine Street 1st Multi-tenant Office Building in CA to obtain LEED- EB
Unico Properties, the owners of 100 Pine Street in downtown San Francisco, recently received the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Buildings Council and is the first multi-tenant Class A office building to do so in California. The 35 story, 440,500 square foot building was built in 1972 and has long been known for its successful energy conservation, water conservation, and recycling programs. 100 Pine is a three time winner of BOMA San Francisco’s Commercial Recycler of the Year awards, and more recently of its Earth Awards. Margot Crosman, General Manager of 100 Pine, stated that “Receiving the LEED-EB certification is a tremendous accomplishment and would not have been possible without the support and financial commitment of the building’s owners…We also have a terrific team of service partners and customers, [which have enabled us] to create a community in our building where we share responsibility for improvements that create a healthier workplace for everyone.”
BOMA Members Support BAADS - the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors
Over the past years, many BOMA San Francisco members have provided much-needed financial support to BAADS, an organization which teaches the physically disabled to sail. BAADS now maintains a small fleet of keelboats and dinghies at the South Beach Harbor, Pier 40, in San Francisco. One BOMA member recently donated an Islander 36 sailboat which allows a first time opportunity for quadriplegics and other persons with severe disabilities to take overnight sailing trips with the other members of BAADS. However, in order to make the “Orion” accessible and useable for this purpose, the organization must purchase approximately $16,000 worth of equipment. You can help! BAADS is a 501.c3 non-profit organization so all donations are fully tax deductible. For more information, contact the BAADA Commodore, Ed Gallagher, at 415-533-2103 or visit their website at www.baads.org.
“In the world of politics, if you are not at the table, you are on the menu.” Rex Hime, President, California Business Properties (and BOMA California’s chief lobbyist)
THIS ISSUE OF THE BOMA SAN FRANCISCO ADVOCATE WAS GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY
Professional Property Management
Association of San Francisco (PPMA)
Founded in 1982 by a group of like-minded individuals, The Professional Property Management Association of San Francisco (PPMA) is a trade association for residential property managers in San Francisco and represents the professional management of approximately 20,000 residential units and over 3 million square feet of office and commercial space in the City and County of San Francisco.
The PPMA offers many benefits to its members and is proud to be on the forefront of the political and legal fight to protect property owners' Constitutional rights in San Francisco. PPMA members meet monthly for networking and educational opportunities, informative lectures, round-table discussions, and expert panels on a variety of topics concerning property management specific to San Francisco, as well as, providing behind-the-scenes political updates and a chance to meet fellow property managers and local vendors.
For more information about the association, please check out the website at www.ppmaofsf.org.