2024 Local Government Affairs Priorities


BOMA San Diego’s Government Affairs priorities and political objectives for 2024 are provided below.  These priorities are based on BOMA’s guiding principles including promoting job creation, growth and retention; improving the state of commercial real estate and creating a more profitable work environment; and influencing legislation at the state and local level.  These are not listed in any specific order and will be implemented at the discretion of the Government Affairs Committee and Board of Directors.

Support a balanced approach to revenue generation to pay for government services, infrastructure and housing that does not disproportionally target commercial real estate and jobs creation – with government budgets projected to be impacted by declining revenue due to current economic conditions, and with some stakeholders looking toward the 2024 election year to potentially bring initiatives and measures that will raise taxes and fees to pay for road and stormwater infrastructure, among other services, BOMA will need to be vigilant and participate, where needed in these discussions.
BOMA San Diego will work with the government agencies proposing fees, as well as those private entities who intend to pursue initiatives to make sure the proposed burden is equivalent to the benefit being provided by the payor, and specifically the commercial real estate community.
Other areas of focus will include any other taxes that might be proposed for establishment or increase, including parcel taxes, transfer taxes or other means to raise monies that might disproportionately impact commercial real estate.  BOMA will also work with BOMA CAL on any state legislative proposals that are targeted to San Diego for the purposes of establishing entities or means to increase taxes on commercial real estate to pay for subsidized housing or other government related programs.
For housing related measures, BOMA San Diego WILL OPPOSE the San Diego Housing Federation’s proposed real estate TRANSFER TAX.  BOMA SD will lean in on the successful linkage fee referendum campaign in 2014, and update of the City of San Diego’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance to demonstrate a willingness to find solutions. 
BOMA SD will continue to work with City of San Diego officials, as well as the San Diego Housing Commission and housing advocates to identify alternative funding sources for affordable housing units, as well as identify and advocate for ways to improve the process and approval for affordable housing that will save money and increase the number of units to help offset the need for even more revenue.  This will decrease reliance on transfer taxes, as well as linkage fees and, therefore, decrease the chances of another attempt by the San Diego City Council to substantially increase other taxes that will significantly impact commercial real estate. 
Support appropriate update to and implementation of Climate Action Plans throughout the region, including the City of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) consistent with the Court of Appeals decision in the Berkeley gas ban lawsuit – jurisdictions throughout the region are in the process of updating their Climate Action Plans.  The plans address state mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.  A recently confirmed decision by the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is both beneficial, in that it overturned the City of Berkeley’s electrification mandate, and challenging, in that it will cause jurisdictions to look at other ways to reduce GHG.  How these jurisdictions will address, and what form their “REACH Codes” might take will be of top priority. 
BOMA will continue to work to ensure that the implementation of the plan will not inappropriately and disproportionately burden the commercial real estate industry.  BOMA will continue to advocate for an incentive-based measures that do not place additional restrictions and mandates on our members and their tenants.  This includes any efforts to use “climate change emergencies” to justify onerous measures on jobs creators.

BOMA will work with the various jurisdictions in and around the homeless space to assist in getting more shelter and services to help alleviate the impacts homelessness has on our community.  BOMA will also press for better enforcement of existing laws, and continued implementation and expansion of the CARE Court program to help protect tenants, their guests and property.  As well as support other measures, both locally and statewide, to get the services and housing the unsheltered population needs to reduce the impacts of homelessness on the streets.

Improve the approval and permitting process for the City of San Diego Development Services Department - Numerous BOMA members continue to experience delays and challenges in getting various permits and approvals from the City of San Diego, specifically including tenant improvement permits.  Whether for new construction, tenant improvements, encroachments, or other permits, these delays cost members both time and money, as well as inconvenience to and significantly delay of tenant occupancy, in addition to other ripple effects. BOMA supports efforts to significantly improve the city’s ability to process and approve projects and permits in a timely manner.  These efforts can include, but are not limited to outsourcing reviews, hiring and training qualified staff, limit review times and cycles, as well as more “by right” approvals and “self certification” that require less staff oversight, input and time.  BOMA will continue to advocate for accountability, particularly in a cost recoverable ecosystem.  BOMA will build on last year’s successful implementation of various measures, and specifically look to expand the “self certification” applicability to further assist members in meeting their tenant’s needs and timelines.
Make certain contractor transparency measures are fairly implemented.  The city has adopted a contractor transparency ordinance that will require the provision of general and subcontractor names when project and permit applications are being processed at the city.  BOMA will work with the city to ensure that the process to implement, which has already commenced is executed fairly and not used inappropriately. 
Support updates to community and general plans – Community plans govern land use policies within specific San Diego communities.  Many continue to be out of date and do not reflect the current business climate or demographics.  BOMA has advocated for updating these as soon as possible in order to spur additional development opportunities and create vibrant, healthy mixed-use communities.  BOMA will work with the City of San Diego and other entities to support the responsible updating of these plans in a means that reflects economic reality and helps maintain an appropriate stock of employment lands in the region.  BOMA will also advocate for “programmatic” EIRs to allow for by right development, as well as increases in density to help meet our region’s employment and housing needs.  In 2024, critical community plans to the jobs sector in the City of San Diego include:
  • University City
  • College Area
Support transit Oriented Development (TOD) to meet our region’s needs – BOMA supports implementing TOD and building appropriate high-density zoning along TOD designated corridors as being vital for San Diego’s future.  BOMA will continue to advocate for TOD as a way to reduce reliance on long commutes while simultaneously addressing housing deficits.  This includes participation in the discussions around:
  • Reducing parking minimums, unbundled and shared parking regulations
  • Height limitation removal
  • Removing density limitations along transit corridors
  • Changing the ways infrastructure is finance and applying appropriate and reasonable standards for community infrastructure
  • Adaptive reuse of underutilized commercial properties
Assure fair implementation of “Energy Performance Benchmarking” - the City of San Diego in 2018 adopted its own Building Energy Performance Ordinance (BEPO).  The effective date of implementation was moved to this year.  This is a part of the state rules created under AB 802, that require to benchmark and publicly disclose building energy usage to the California Energy Commission.  BOMA San Diego will work with the City to ensure the Council’s adopted consistency requirements with State law are effectively, implemented and also work with BOMA’s members to ensure compliance.
Land Development Code Update – continue to utilize the City of San Diego’s annual Land Development Code Update as a vehicle to create efficiencies and speed to market for the commercial real estate community’s needs.  Given the current 2023 cycle, which has been delayed to this year, also monitor the update for areas of concern that might impact current uses, or diminish improvements made in previous code updates.
Historical Resources Regulations - BOMA will work with City of San Diego staff to provide input and potentially support revisions to the city’s Historical Resources rules and regulations.  Historical reviews have presented challenges in the use and redevelopment of properties and need to be updated to better reflect the modern, current needs of San Diegans.

BOMA will work with government agencies to help facilitate the redevelopment of properties as a means to revitalize areas as well as provide more housing and jobs space.  Specifically, BOMA will work to support efforts in the Midway Community to redevelopment the City’s Sports Arena site, as well as the City’s various properties in Downtown San Diego, including the Civic Center and surrounding properties. 
Support recycled water implementation – The City of San Diego approved the Pure Water Program in 2014.  Implementation of that recycled water system will diversify San Diego’s water supply and decrease the cost of water currently being imported from other jurisdictions.  BOMA will continue to advocate for its full implementation, as well as support broad based efforts to fund Pure Water, noting that water rates are going up and could have impacts on tenants, many of whom are small businesses.

Oppose unreasonable and unwarranted rate increases & support appropriate rate-setting methodology as well as ratepayer safeguards – BOMA is constantly monitoring water rates and the methodology used to determine water rates.  Water is one of the single costliest factors for doing business in the San Diego, and BOMA is pushing for a system that treats the commercial real estate industry as fairly as possible.  BOMA will continue to support fair and responsible rate setting. BOMA will also pay close attention to the meter reading and billing issues continuing to face the City of San Diego.
Support fair, transparent and implementable storm water regulations as well as broad-based funding to improve municipal systems – How the City and County implement state regulations will directly impact BOMA members.  BOMA will work with these jurisdictions and agencies to advocate for a fair and transparent process.  BOMA will also support fair, broad-based means to pay for implementation of storm water requirements, as well system maintenance and upgrades.  BOMA will also support an education-based enforcement system that relies on harsh penalties as a last resort.
Support effective road and transit service and other infrastructure between jobs and homes – SANDAG has completed it’s Regional Transportation Plan update and has committed the region to a major rethinking of people and goods movement.  The RTP is estimated to cost over $60 billion.  Outside groups, led by building trades unions have successfully qualified a one cent sales tax increase for transportation purposes to be placed on the November 2024 ballot.  This measure would help pay for implementation of a new RTP.  As a “citizens initiative, it would require a simple majority to pass, unless the statewide Taxpayer Protection Act passes.  BOMA will evaluate the plans and funding efforts to make sure they are balanced with fair support of both road and transit services and serve the critical connections to job centers and corridors.  BOMA will also consider funding plans, be they public or private initiatives to make sure the benefits to the commercial real estate industry outweighs the costs.

Continue to support the commercial real estate community, including its tenants in response to the various ongoing government actions related to COVID-19 – Work with members to develop proactive measures to support the commercial real estate community and also to oppose measures that unfairly and unnecessarily target commercial real estate relative to COVID-19.  This includes programs to support property owners and tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19 with fee, tax and other revenue support to offset costs from government mandates closures and restrictions, as well as oppose efforts to foist the cost of these impacts on the commercial real estate community.  It also includes mandates that inappropriately shift the burden for health and safety on the property owner and manager.
BOMA Breakfast – The BOMA GAC will look to re-establish breakfast events, as health guidance permits, so committee members can meet with public officials in an intimate format to discuss important issues currently impacting our members.
GAC Meetings – BOMA will continue, either virtually or possibly in person, to invite public officials and staff members from local government agencies to speak with the Government Affairs Committee and discuss issues of importance to our members.  This provides an opportunity for BOMA members to interact directly with key staff and provide our input throughout the decision making process.

Business community partnerships – BOMA will continue to heighten its regional profile through organizations like the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, NAIOP San Diego, the Building Industry Association, the San Diego Regional EDC, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, Circulate San Diego and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association and other associations that tackle regional issues currently facing the broader business community.