BOMA Advocacy - Local, State and Federal Updates
Thursday, April 4, 2019
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Section: News Roundup




BOMA International

With the Congressional session in full swing back east, there are a few issues that BOMA International is following.  These include: ADA lawsuit reform (e.g. right to fix at the federal level), Qualified Improvement Properties (fixes to the tax code to allow for a change to the depreciation of tenant improvements from 39 years to 15 years) and the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction (re-establishing the 179D tax incentive for energy efficient retrofits and making it permanent in the tax code).

Additionally, and of local interest, BOMA continues to fight for Energy Star funding in the federal budget.  Last year, the President zeroed out funding for Energy Star, which would have shuttered the Energy Star Portfolio Manager program that many property owners use to benchmark their buildings.  The Congress added it back in, but it is anticipated that it might yet again face a budget reduction in the President’s proposed budget.

Of highlighted note for San Diego is that with the City of San Diego’s newly adopted Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, which BOMA supported, and the State of CA mandate for benchmarking energy performance under AB 802 both utilizing Energy Star Portfolio Manager data for compliance, it’s critical that this funding be maintained.

BOMA International and its chapters, including BOMA San Diego, will continue to fight for the funding for this important program.

BOMA California

Over the last few months, 1,000’s of bills have been submitted for consideration in the 2019 legislative session.  We recently reviewed these bills and attempted to cull them down into manageable numbers and there are several of note and concern.

One of those is a measure by Assemblymember Tasha Boerner-Horvath that would impact commercial retail properties in California.  The bill, AB 1139, would require changes to pedestrian access during the permitting process.  The intent, which we support, is to improve pedestrian access to neighborhoods and between properties.  Mandating essentially a locally controlled zoning issue at the state level has a number of concerns.  After discussions with the Assemblymember and her staff, including by our local members, the bill was turned into a 2-year bill to allow more time for us to work with the author.

There is much more to come as both the state legislature and the federal government continue to move through their 2019 legislative sessions.  

BOMA San Diego

The City of San Diego has recently announced changes to their fire sprinkler and fire alarm permitting.  Previously, plans for fire sprinklers and alarms could be deferred to the end of the tenant improvement process.  According to the City, this created a challenge for inspectors, as well as some property owners when conflicts emerged between designs and permitted conditions.  The City has now proposed adding fire sprinkler and alarm plans to be submitted along with other submittals at the front of the tenant improvement process to help avoid conflicts and delays.  BOMA recently met with City Development Services and Building Officials to discuss the matter.  The City noted that the new requirements will go into effect in May with a transition process that should extend until July.  BOMA will continue to work with the City and dialogue with them on how to improve the process and make changes to any unintended issues that arise as a result of this new submittal requirement.