Tuesday, April 4, 2017

UPDATE: San Francisco's Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation Requirement Effective on April 17, 2017

UPDATE - March 31, 2017

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has approved this measure and it will become effective on April 17, 2017. For details, please see below.


Original Post - March 1, 2017

BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Policy Analysis Committee (GAPAC) members have reviewed and submitted suggested amendments regarding a proposal in San Francisco requiring Baby Diaper-Changing stations in bathrooms. The ordinance was introduced by Supervisor Katy Tang and, if passed, would make diaper-changing facilities available to mothers and fathers in their

We appreciate that Supervisor Tang included our recommended amendment that will protect a building owner's respective contract agreement with their tenants. BOMA members were also successful in extending the time frame for compliance from six months to twelve months if the ordinance is enacted.

The legislation has been moving through the San Francisco City Hall legislative process with unanimous support from various policy committees. It is now at the Board of Supervisors for their consideration. We expect this measure to pass unanimously there as well.

Please review the information below to ensure you know what this proposal means for BOMA San Francisco building members and your tenants. Also, for compliance, please be sure to have your legal team review the measure.

What are the requirements of this ordinance?
  • All business establishments and those entities that have public accommodations that maintain a Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation (BDCA) in a restroom available for use by women will be required to install and maintain a Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation in a restroom available for use by men OR available for use by ALL genders.
    • For example, if a women's bathroom in a tenant's space has a BDCA, a BDCA in the men's restroom would need to be installed or a BDCA would need to be made available in a restroom that can be used by any gender.
      • The requirement would also apply to BOMA members who have restrooms available to the public.
What is the definition of Public Accommodation?
  • It has the same meaning as in Title III of the American's with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. Section 12181(7) and federal regulation adopted thereunder, as either are amended from time to time.
What is the definition of a BDCA?
  • With regard to this proposal, a BDCA is a safe, sanitary, and convenient baby diaper-changing station, or similar amenity. This may include, but are not limited to, work surfaces, stations, decks, and tables in women's and men's restrooms or all-gender restrooms.
What if installing a BDCA is infeasible due to spatial or structural limitations?
  • The San Francisco Department of Building Inspection can inspect and waive compliance if the Department determines that tenant or BOMA member cannot install a BDCA.
What is the time frame to comply with the ordinance? 
  • Thanks to BOMA's advocacy efforts, it is now twelve months - increased from six months - if the law is enacted.
With regard to compliance, what about a building owners lease contract with their respective tenants? 
  • BOMA members advocated for a clause to be included in the ordinance that the new law, if enacted, protects a building owner's respective contract agreement with their tenants. 
What about new business and public accommodations?
  • If they choose to install and maintain a BDCA in a restroom available for use by women, they will also be required to do so in a restroom available by men or all genders immediately upon opening to the public.
What about new buildings or substantially renovated public service establishments?

  • At least one BDCA that is open and available for use by women and one that is open and available for use by men, or a single BDCA that is open and available by all genders shall be installed and maintained.
    • However, they will need to made available at each floor level containing a toilet room available for use by the public.
    • Exceptions
      • If a San Francisco Building official determines that a BDCA cannot be installed and comply with City, State, and Federal laws regarding access to persons with disabilities.
      • If a San Francisco Building official determines that the installation is infeasible due to spatial or structural limitations.
  • What is the definition of substantially renovated?
    • It's limited to renovation of a toilet room and means that any addition, alteration, or repair project to the toilet rooms, performed under a building permit, with the cost of construction of $50,000 or more for the renovation of one or more toilet rooms.
  • Are there signage requirements for new buildings/substantially renovated public service establishments?
    • Signage at or near its entrance stating "Baby Diaper-Changing Accommodation Inside" is required.
    • In a building encompassing multiple establishments and having a central directory, the location of all such accommodations will need to be indicated on the directory.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of this ordinance as it winds it's way through the final portion of the legislative process. Please email johnb@boma.com with any questions that you have and thank your fellow BOMA members for helping to advocate for the industry!

FEEDBACK REQUEST: San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance

BOMA San Francisco members, staff, and San Francisco Business Community members have been working with San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang (District 4 - Sunset) regarding her recently introduced proposal: Lactation in the Workplace.

Provide Your Feedback on April 5th!

NOTE that the BOMA San Francisco Government Affairs Committee will be meeting with Supervisor Tang on April 5th to discuss this ordinance. Please email the Chair of the Committee, Marty Smith at msmith@alhousedeaton.com and johnb@boma.com if you'd like to attend and provide your feedback. The measure will be moving quickly through the San Francisco City Hall legislative process in April so your involvement is appreciated.

Why Was This Ordinance Introduced?

A similar law introduced by Supervisor Tang and enacted in 2016 created a policy to help city employees transition back to work after having a child. The Lactation Accommodation Policy for city workers provides new mothers with lactation accommodations and encourage flexibility in the workplace.

The Supervisor would like the private sector to follow San Francisco's lead and help mothers as they come back to work. BOMA members feel that employees should be supported in reasonable way that makes sense to the small business tenant, building owner, and to the employees.

What Would The Law Require?

The new 2017 law, if passed, would affect the private sector:

  • Requires employers to provide employees breaks and a location for lactation;
  • Have employers provide a policy regarding lactation in the workplace that specifies a process by which an employee will make a request for accommodation;
  • Defines minimum standards for lactation accommodation spaces;
  • Requires newly constructed or renovated buildings designated for certain uses include lactation rooms;
  • Amends the San Francisco Building Code to specify the technical specifications of lactation rooms for new or renovated buildings designated for certain use.
How Has BOMA Been Involved? 

We appreciate that Supervisor Tang and her staff allowed for our members, Blake Peterson, former BOMA San Francisco President and member of the Board, and Justin Sacco, Vice Chair of BOMA San Francisco's Government Affairs Committee, to provide input on her proposal early in the legislative process. 

How Could This Legislation Affect My Commercial Property?

The legislation primarily targets private sector businesses (tenants). Even so, there are requirements for new and renovated buildings that could affect BOMA San Francisco members. 

We were successful in amending the language for adding a lactation room for new/renovated buildings from a square foot requirement to a much more reasonable occupancy load specification of a given renovation project. Even so, the triggers requiring a building owner/project sponsor to add a certain number of lactation rooms, specifically for renovated existing buildings, might still be a bit too high. This happens when:
  • There is a project to renovate the interior of the building;
  • The gross square footage of the interior space designated for employee only use (not public) and included in the renovation project is at least 10,000 square feet;
  • And, the estimated cost of the renovation project is over $500,000.
If these prerequisites are met, then the project shall include a lactation room(s) as follows:

On page 14 of the introduced measure, you'll notice that the project sponsor may fulfill the requirement above by merging the required rooms and provide one room with multiple lactation stations or multiple rooms with multiple lactation stations. 

There may be other concerns so we want to hear from our BOMA member community. Please send your comments to johnb@boma.com and plan to attend our next Government Affairs Committee meeting on April 5th. Details: https://members.bomasf.org/BOMASF/Event_Display.aspx?eventkey=GAPAC17APR

BOMA California Advocacy Update: Bills, Bills, Bills

BOMA California members and staff work diligently every year to protect the industry from legislation that might adversely affect our members' properties.

Indeed, the members and staff at BOMA California are in the process of reviewing 5000+ bills introduced in the California State Legislature already this year and are tracking 450 and currently working to identify 40 or so priority bills that could affect the commercial real estate industry statewide. 

It is still very early in the legislative process so stay tuned to future reports on their efforts in the coming months. We will need our members to provide feedback when asked so help promote or oppose a measure. 

Questions? Email johnb@boma.com

Monday, April 3, 2017

BOMA San Francisco Meetings With Elected Officials in March 2017: Supervisors Malia Cohen, London Breed and Hilary Ronen

BOMA San Francisco advocacy committee members from the Government Affairs Policy Analysis Committee (GAPAC) and the Political Action Committee (BOMA SF-PAC) have been meeting with elected officials in March 2017 to represent your interests and to educate our elected leaders about the industry. Here is a summary of the recent meetings this month.

Your Government Affairs Committee members met with San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, District 10, which includes the Bayview Hunters Point, Potrero Hill, Dogpatch, and Visitacion Valley neighborhoods.

BOMA members last met with Supervisor Cohen over a year ago, and the leaders of the committee thought that it was time that we chat with her about the issues in her district, City Hall Politics (of course!), and her new role on the Board of Supervisors as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. This is an important role for the Supervisor as she will work with her Board colleagues and the Mayor’s office on approving the City and County of San Francisco’s $9.6 billion budget (!).

With a projected FY 2017-2018 budget deficit of $119 million and a sharp increase in projected deficits every FY through 2021-22 (source: San Francisco Controller Proposed Five-Year Financial Plan), We were fortunate to hear how Supervisor Cohen and her colleagues will navigate the budget negotiations with stakeholders going forward.


In a separate meeting with BOMA San Francisco's PAC, Malia Cohen provided her take on the office and why she's running for office. Later that day, our PAC members endorsed her candidacy!

Please click here to read more about the office, Malia, and to donate to her campaign if you so desire.


The BOMA SF-PAC and GAPAC members met with newly elected supervisor, Hillary Ronen recently. It was a cordial meeting to introduce the Supervisor to BOMA and to learn more about her issues of concern. 

Hillary Ronen was born in California and has worked and lived in District 9 for more than thirteen years. She has spent her career working to build an affordable future for her neighbors in Bernal Heights, the Mission, and the Portola.
Hillary’s father immigrated to America when he was 30 years old, and he learned to speak English while working blue collar jobs. After watching the discrimination her father faced in the workplace, Hillary decided to dedicate her life to advancing the rights of workers and their families.
BOMA San Francisco members look forward to working with Supervisor Ronen in the future. 


BOMA welcomed San Francisco Board of Supervisors President London Breed as our guest speaker at the March membership meeting. Ms. Breed discussed a wide range of topics including homelessness, housing, transportation, and the City's budget.

Ms. Breed was raised by her grandmother in public housing in the Western Addition. She is a graduate of Galileo High School, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California Davis in 1997, and a master's degree in public administration from the University of San Francisco in 2012. Ms. Breed represents District 5. She was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors January 8, 2015 and was re-elected to another two year term as president on January 9, 2017.

Register for the 2017 California Commercial Real Estate Summit in Sacramento - June 13-14th

The California Commercial Real Estate Summit (CCRES) will be held in Sacramento on June 13 – 14, 2017 and BOMA San Francisco members are encouraged to attend! Email johnb@boma.com if you have any questions about this fun and informative event.

This 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 gives you an opportunity to meet other industry leaders from across the nation, high-level staff from Governor Brown’s Administration, and California State Legislators.

The goal of the California Commercial Real Estate Summit is to increase public policy and political awareness of state issues, and to foster collaborative efforts among business leaders from all sectors of California and their representatives in the State Legislature. Your sponsorship will contribute importantly in achieving this goal, and will signal your strong support for California Business Properties Association and its members.

The Commercial Real Estate Summit is organized by California Business Properties Association (CBPA), which is the recognized voice of all aspects of the commercial retail industrial real estate industry in California.

Click here to register for the Commercial Real Estate Summit
Click here for the Schedule of Events
Click here for Sponsorship Opportunities

For hotel accommodations, please contact the Hyatt Regency directly at 916-443-1234. Ask for the CBPA block of rooms.

About the California Business Properties Association

CBPA is the designated legislative advocate for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), NAIOP of California, the Commercial Real Estate Developers Association (NAIOP), the Building Owners and Managers Association of California (BOMA), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), the California Downtown Association (CDA), the Association of Commercial Real Estate – Northern and Southern California (ACRE), the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). CBPA currently represents over 10,000 members, making it the largest consortium of commercial real estate professionals in California.