San Francisco legislation, regulations and city ordinances constantly affect property and business owners and managers in Union Square. To keep you up to date, we post news and info on these items whenever they come to our attention.
Energy Performance Benchmarking
October 26, 2012
To encourage the efficient use of energy in commercial buildings, owners of non-residential buildings must obtain annual energy efficiency audits and annually measure and disclose energy performance using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. This ordinance is already in effect for all buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. Beginning on April 1, 2013, all buildings larger than 10,000 square feet must perform online benchmarking. Public disclosure for all buildings does not go into effect until April 1, 2014.
For more information, please consult this overview provided by the Department of the Environment.
For help with compliance, contact your PG&E account representative at 1-800-468-4743
ADA Access Improvements for Small Businesses
October 19, 2012
To reduce drive-by ADA lawsuits and encourage compliance to ADA regulations, commercial landlords leasing properties to small businesses for use as public accommodations must either make any necessary improvements so that the property meets all applicable construction-related accessibility standards, OR provide notice to small business tenants of any deficiencies and include such notice in any new or amended leases.
The requirements in the legislation related to commercial leases take effect in two stages. For commercial rental property of 5001-7500 sq. feet, the ordinance applies to these leases beginning January 1, 2013. For commercial rental property of 5000sq feet or less, the ordinance applies to these leases beginning June 1, 2013. There is one provision in the legislation related to priority building permit processing for accessibility improvements, and that will commence November 1, 2012.
For further details, please consult the full text of the legislation.
Bicycle Access Plan
September 4, 2012
If the owner, lessor, or manager of a building wishes to prescribe specific details and limitations to bicycle access to their building, San Francisco's new on-site bicycle parking ordinance requires a Bicycle Access Plan to be completed and made available to all tenants. A copy of your Bicycle Access Plan will also be kept on file with the Department of Environment.
Please click here to access the Bicycle Access Plan form.
For a list of frequently asked questions, see this fact sheet provided by BOMA and the SF Bicycle Coalition.
For more specific details about property owner/manager exemptions, see the full text of the new law here.
The Bicycle Parking Ordinance states that owners/managers of commercial buildings must, at tenant's request, either allow bicycles to be brought into the tenant's space without restriction or into an on-site bike room for tenant employees only, OR may restrict bicycle access to the building based on specific restrictions, OR may deny bicycle access to the building if secure bicycle storage is available within 750 feet of the building.
Sidewalk City Codes
August 23, 2012
Are your sidewalks up to city code? By law, the property owner or the ground-floor tenant of any building immediately adjacen to the sidewalk is responsible for keeping it clean and free of litter. Consult this handy guide published by DPW to make sure your sidewalks meet the city standards for cleanliness and safety.
July 31, 2012
To prevent unnecessary or potentially dangerous obstructions to rights-of-way, particularly in the case of visually impaired or otherwise disabled pedestrians, no person, firm, or corporation may obstruct the passage of the sidewalk or the half of the street in front of such premises. This provision includes, but is not limited to, the use of A-frame signs. This ordinance is currently in effect, and any violation is subject to a fine of $300.
For further details on sidewalk obstruction (Municipal Police Code section 675b), please consult the Mayor’s Office on Disability.1 2 >