Building Inspection Commission - October 16, 2019 - Minutes

Meeting Date: 
October 16, 2019 - 9:30am
Location: 

PDF iconBIC Minutes 10-16-19.pdf


REGULAR MEETING

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.
City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 416
Aired Live on SFGTV Channel 78
ADOPTED November 20, 2019

MINUTES
The regular meeting of the Building Inspection Commission was called to order at 10:38 a.m.
1. Call to Order and Roll Call - Roll call was taken and a quorum was certified.

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:
Angus McCarthy, President
Debra Walker, Vice-President
Kevin Clinch Commissioner
Frank Lee, Commissioner, Excused
Sonya Harris, Secretary
Shirley Wong, Assistant Secretary

D.B.I. REPRESENTATIVES:
Tom Hui, Director
John Konstin, Commissioner, Excused
Sam Moss, Commissioner
James W arshell, Commissioner
Edward Sweeney, Deputy Director, Inspection Services
Mauricio Hernandez, Chief Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Services
Daniel Lowrey, Deputy Director, Permit Services
Taras Madison, Chief Financial Officer
William Strawn, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager
John Murray, Legislative and Public Affairs
Lily Madjus, Communications Director

CITY ATTORNEY REPRESENTATIVE
Robb Kapla, Deputy City Attorney

2. President's Announcements.
President McCarthy made the following announcements:
• Good Morning and Welcome to the Building Inspection Commission meeting for October, 2019.
• Tomorrow, as most of you know, marks the 30th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake - and the City is hosting numerous events at the Marina Green, as well as holding table top exercises at the Department of Emergency Management, including one the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) is doing on the Building Occupancy Resumption Program (BORP), and the annual 'Duck and Cover' exercises being held City-wide.
• While much has been accomplished over the past three decades to strengthen buildings seismically, and to reduce risks of building collapse during the next Big One, we must prepare continuously in terms of applying lessons learned from earthquakes around the world. With our soft story mandatory seismic retrofitting program now in its final phase - with 98% compliance in terms of filed permits, and 65% completion compliance as of today - private property owners have invested about $250 million in retrofits so far, and will reach an estimated $385 million by the end of this program. More than 72,000 people are now living in retrofitted buildings in San Francisco, and about 111,000 will be at the program's completion in late 2020.
• We are making progress - but we cannot rest on our preparations to date. We have to stay vigilant, have a family plan ready, as well as those critical Go Bags to enable us to manage on our own for at least 72 hours following the next Big One.
• Related to our own seismic safety efforts, the International Code Council (ICC) will hold a follow-up Seismic Roundtable during its Annual Conference in Las Vegas next week, Oct. 23rd, and discuss the development of a nationally applicable approa~h to seismic functional recovery for new construction.
• Also on Oct. 23rd, DBI and Planning staff will meet with a delegation from Japan who are visiting San Francisco to learn about Building and Planning Code requirements in one of the world's most at-risk seismic zones. Such mutual sharing of 'Best Practices' helps all of us contribute to more effective engineering and overall building safety procedures.
• Finally, Director Hui will convene all DBI staff for his annual 'State of The Department' meeting either at the end of this month or early November. Stay tuned for the Director's announcement as this provides an opportunity to review key accomplishments over the past year, as well as to set DBI priorities for the coming year, and to recognize many outstanding performances by DBI staff.
• That concludes my announcements. A special thanks to all DBI staff and management, who worked hard to ensure normal operations while many of their colleagues were taking part in mandated training at the CALBO conference. I know it's hard to juggle schedules and duties, so we appreciate the efforts made to ensure that service to DBI' s customers was not disrupted.

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

3. General Public Comment: The BIC will take public comment on matters within the Commission's jurisdiction that are not part of this agenda.

Commission Secretary Haffis called for general public comment, and there was none.

4. Commissioner's Questions and Matters.
a. Inquiries to Staff. At this time, Commissioners may make inquiries to staff regarding various documents, policies, practices, and procedures, which are of interest to the Commission.

There were no inquiries to staff.

b. Future Meetings/ Agendas. At this time, the Commission may discuss and take action to set the date of a Special Meeting and/or determine those items that could be placed on the agenda of the next meeting and other future meetings of the Building Inspection Commission.

Commission Secretary Harris stated that the next Regular Meeting would be held on November 20, 2019.

President McCarthy inquired about Commissioner W arshell' s request for a Joint Building and Planning Commission meeting. Commission Secretary Haffis said she had been in touch with Jonas, the Planning Commission Secretary, to plan the Joint meeting, but the first step would be an Officer's Meeting with the Presidents and Vice-Presidents of both Commissions.

Commissioner Warshell said illegal demolitions occuffed where DBI, the BIC, and Planning Commission's competence and integrity have been questioned and this needs to stop. He recommended a Joint Planning and Building Inspection Commission meeting to review the status of all major cases to bring to attention the major failures to ensure they are properly monitored and to stop systematic failures. Commissioner W arshell said the public deserves a status update of these well publicized cases to address them firmly and fairly.

Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

5. Discussion and possible action regarding a proposed ordinance (Board of Supervisors File No. 190842) renewing and extending a prior waiver and refund of investigation fees imposed by Building Code, Section 107 A.5, for persons registered with the Office of Cannabis through December 31, 2020, in addition to other requirements.

Mr. Torn Ternprano, Office of Supervisor Mandelrnan, said this ordinance would allow businesses participating in the City's amnesty program to continue to access the Department of Building Inspection fee waivers through 2020, and will extend business cannabis dispensary permits
through 2020. Mr. Ternprano further explained about Proposition 64.

Commissioner's & Staff Question & Answer Discussion:
• Commissioner Warshell and Vice-President Walker commended Supervisor Mandelman's office for their hard work.
• Vice-President Walker requested an update on the entire Cannabis fee waiver program, including how many businesses are involved and what types of permits are requested, etc.
• President McCarthy asked how many businesses in the City are out there that did not register.
• Ms. Marissa Rodriguez, Office of Cannabis, said there are 17 businesses left unregistered.
• President McCarthy asked about issues these businesses may be having, such as construction issues or not having enough power.
• Mr. Eugene Hillsman, Office of Cannabis, said that power is an issue where cultivators need an additional generator in areas difficult to inspect.
• President McCarthy asked how long it takes to become compliant.
• Mr. Hillsman said it ranges from 6 months to longer periods.

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment, and there was none.

Commissioner Warshell made a motion, seconded by Vice-President Walker, to renew and extend a prior waiver for persons registered with the Office of Cannabis.

Secretary Harris called for a roll-call vote:
President McCarthy   Yes
Vice President Walker    Yes
Commissioner Clinch   Yes 
Commissioner Konstin  Excused
Commissioner Lee   Excused
Commissioner Moss   Yes
Commissioner Warshell   Yes
The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 046-19

6. Discussion and possible action regarding a proposed ordinance (Board of Supervisors File No. 190974) amending the Green Building Code to establish requirements for certain new building construction requiring buildings which utilize energy other than electricity to install energy saving features; amending the Environment Code to require new construction and major renovations of municipal buildings to exclude natural gas, in addition to other requirements.

Mr. Barry Hooper, Department of the Environment, provided an update on the proposed ordinance, and discussed the following points:
• San Francisco is attempting to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, currently it is down 36%
• Climate Emergency Resolution - April 2019
• Focus 2030 report: Action Remains Necessary
• Net Zero Emissions for New Construction by 2030
• Net Zero Emissions for All Buildings by 2050
• 3 Keys to Net Zero-Emissions Buildings
o Energy efficiency
o Supply renewable electricity
o Electrify appliances
• Emission Sources in San Francisco Buildings (Municipal & Citywide)
• Statewide Opportunity: Public Health Benefits
o By 2030, reduce mortality by $2.4B/yr., reduce medical $3.6B/yr.
• Statewide Opportunity: Benefit to Disadvantaged Communities
• Statewide Opportunity: Economic Impacts (by 2050 increase GDP by 9% and increase job by7%)
• San Francisco Opportunity: Resilience - Estimated Time to Restore Utility Service after 7.9 Magnitude Earthquake
• SFGBC 2019 Carry-forward: Energy provisions energy provisions
o Separate ordinance maintaining current requirements
o Supported by CAC and BIC July 2019
• Today's "Electric-Preferred" Proposal- Establishes consistent approach for commercial and residential
• Residential New Construction Permits: 2013-2018
• Legal Requirements for an Energy Ordinance
• Cost Effectiveness Analysis
• Cost Effectiveness Analysis - Scope Studied
o Mixed-fuel & all-electric (meet code, add energy efficiency, add solar photovoltaics & battery energy storage)
• Metrics Required by CA Energy Commission
• Incremental Construction Cost (Savings) for Gas ys All Electric New Construction
• All-Electric Examples: Market Rate Residential - 685 Florida St
o All electric fulfills CCDC's objective for 100% affordable housing
• All-Electric Examples: Affordable Housing - 681 Florida, etc.
• A Developer's Perspective - Joanna Ladd, CCDC
• All-Electric Examples: San Francisco Government

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment.

Ms. Sarah Greenwald, 350sf, said they are delighted to see the City taking action against the climate emergency. She said natural gas (methane) is toxic, flammable, and able to explode and makes up 1/3 of our greenhouse gas footprint and she encouraged the Commission to get methane out of San Francisco.

Commissioner's & Staff Question & Answer Discussion:
• President McCarthy asked what was the next step for this legislation.
• Mr. Hooper said this would go to the Land Use Committee next, then go to the Board of Supervisors Oct 28th
• President McCarthy asked about outreach, and how Mr. Hooper came to the figures regarding the cost savings for Gas vs. All Electric.
• Mr. Hooper said the figures were from the engineering company Frontier Associates and they used CA energy standards, through polling utility rates, and interviewing builders in different parts of the state and incentive programs.
• Mr. Hooper said this would only address new construction, this ordinance is not all electricity requirement or zero net energy requirement. He said the Mayor's Office did the outreach for the studies.
• President McCarthy asked about buildings that want to go higher in construction over buildings with solar panels & its consequences.
• Mr. Hooper said ten floors or less would be required to occupy 15% of roof area with solar PV, Planning Code allows substitution of green roof for that area.
• Vice-President Walker commended San Francisco for taking these energy steps and said the construction industry would be a big participant for climate change steps.
• Commissioner Moss said shadows will be a future issue because San Francisco has chronically underbuilt.
• President McCarthy said this ordinance needs amendments for the construction industry, the numbers look off as it is more expensive to build a single family electric home over gas. He said he would like something written about the Planning issues and about the solar panel issues on the roof criteria and he could not support it as written.

Secretary Harris called for public comment, and there was none.

President McCarthy made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Moss, to not recommend the ordinance as currently written.

Secretary Harris called for a roll-call vote:
President McCarthy   Yes
Vice President Walker   No
Commissioner Clinch   Yes
Commissioner Konstin   Excused
Commissioner Lee   Excused
Commissioner Moss   Yes
Commissioner Warshell   Yes
The motion carried 4 to 1, with Vice-President Walker dissenting.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 047-19

7. Director's Report.
a. Update on DBl's finances.
Ms. Taras Madison, Deputy Director of Finance Services, gave an update on DBI' s finances and discussed the following items:

September 2019 Financial Report:
• YTD revenues are equal to last year's revenues
• Expenditures are up from last year due to salary increases

FY 18/19 Year End Report:
• Controller's office has not officially closed the last fiscal year
• Revenues $13.4M over budget, due to interest & City Attorney litigation
• Expenditures lower due to $1 OM reserve in OPEP (post-employment benefits for retirees)
• Currently fully funded in both reserves
• Revenues are leveling out & expenditures are increasing due to salaries

b. Update on proposed or recently enacted State or local legislation.
Mr. William Strawn, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager, gave an update on proposed or recently enacted State or local legislation and addressed the following points:
• File No. 190959-190964 - Triennial Building Code Update. The 6 ordinances updating the SF Building Code were introduced at the Board of Supervisors on October 1, and granted a 30-day waiver. We expect these to be on the Oct. 21 Land Use Committee Agenda- Should be on time to revoke existing Codes and adopt new ones in time for the new year.
• File No. 191017 -Ordinance amending the Housing Code to revise the requirements for heating in residential rental units- This proposed ordinance from Supervisor Peskin changes section 701 of the City's Housing Code to conform to state law. It will require all residential rental units be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 70 degrees at a point 3 feet above the floor for a specified number of hours daily. - Fast tracked so the BOS could consider this earlier.
• Legislation File No. 190214 - Ordinance amending the Building Code to waive -specified DBI fees for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and for 100 percent affordable housing projects for a one-year pilot project. Per a recommendation in the July 2018 Civil Grand Jury report, this pilot will evaluate the impact of specified DBI fee reductions as a factor in stimulating more owner ADU construction. It also will see if these fee reductions increase the numbers of 100 percent affordable housing units, with a DBI report due to the Board in January, 2020. - Gone into legal effect last week, posted on website & counters, and currently 40 projects in the pilot year period, run until June 1, 2020.
• Ordinance 102-18 This ordinance also eliminated DBl's administrative fee, and provides language to cover Tier 4 soft story owners who also may have completed primary entrance accessibility Improvements to prevent possible 'doubling' of the need for the owners to obtain CASP reports- Some ongoing difficulties for tenants in building, may be a need to extend time period.

Commissioner's & Staff Question & Answer Discussion:
• Commissioner W arshell asked about the ADU fee waiver and what would constitute success with the pilot.
• Mr. Strawn said there were no goal numbers, as DBI fees may not be enough incentive for ADUs.
• Vice-President Walker asked about the soft story deadline.
• Mr. Strawn said this past September was the deadline for permits, and two years to complete the work at 65% completion rate.
• Commissioner Moss asked about the transfer of the Single Room Occupancy (SROs) ordinance (File No. 170416), whether DBI reports were disclosed to the public in addition to the buyer.
• Mr. Strawn said he would look into that.

c. Update on major projects.
Director Tom Hui said that there was a 4.9% increase in major projects due to additional permits filed due to Code changes.

d. Update on Code Enforcement.
Deputy Director of Inspection Services, Edward Sweeney, presented the following Building Inspection Division Performance Measures for September 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019:
• Building Inspections Performed    6,112
• Complaints Received   571
• Complaint Response within 24-72 hours   568
• Complaints with 1st Notice of Violation sent   118
• Complaints Received & Abated without NOV   288
• Abated Complaints with Notice of Violations   42
• 2nd Notice of Violations Referred to Code Enforcement   14

Deputy Director Sweeney presented the following Housing Inspection Services Performance Measures for September 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019:
• Housing Inspections Performed   906
• Complaints Received   341
• Complaint Response within 24-72 hours   320
• Complaints with Notice of Violations issued   134
• Abated Complaints with NOV s   374
• # of Cases Sent to Director's Hearing   34
• Routine Inspections   127

Deputy Director Sweeney presented the following Code Enforcement Services Performance Measures for September 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019:
• # Housing of Cases Sent to Director's Hearing   139
• # Complaints of Order of Abatements Issues   32
• # Complaint of Cases Under Advisement   14
• # Complaints of Cases Abated   193
• Code Enforcement Inspections Performed   203
• # of Cases Referred to BI C-LC   2
• # of Case Referred to City Attorney   

Deputy Director Sweeney said Code Enforcement Outreach Programs are updated on a quarterly basis, so there is no change in data until next quarter:
• # Total people reached out to   *42,045
• # Counseling cases   *1,174
• # Community Program Participants   *2,050
• # Cases Resolved   *173

Commission Secretary Harris called for public comment and there was none.

8. Review and approval of the minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 16, 2019.

Vice-President Walker made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Clinch, to approve the minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 16, 2019.

Secretary Harris called for public comment, and there was none.

The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 048-19

9. Discussion and possible action on the annual performance evaluation for the Director.
(Continued from the September 18, 2019 BIC Meeting)

Commission Secretary Harris announced both Items 9 and 10 would be discussed together.

a. Public Comment on all matters pertaining to the Closed Session.

Secretary Harris called for public comment, there was none.

b. Possible action to convene a Closed Session.

Vice-President Walker made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Moss, to convene a Closed Session. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 049-19

The Building Inspection Commission convened a Closed Session at 11:50 a.m.

c. CLOSED SESSION: Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and the San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.l0(b).

Director of the Department of Building Inspection - Mr. Tom C. Hui

d. Reconvene in Open Session to vote on whether to disclose any or all discussions held in Closed Session (Administrative Code Section 67 .1 0(b ).

10. Discussion and possible action on conference with legal counsel.
a. Public Comment on all matters pertaining to the Closed Session.
b. Possible action to convene a Closed Session.
c. CLOSED SESSION: Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(a) and the San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.8.

CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL

Anticipated Litigation as Plaintiff:

Contractual status of SFPermit/ Accela permit and project tracking system

d. Reconvene in Open Session to vote on whether to disclose any or all discussions held in Closed Session (Administrative Code Section 67 .1 0(b ).

Commissioner Moss made a motion, seconded by Vice-President Walker, to reconvene and not disclose discussions held in Closed Session. Also to continue Item 9 (Director's Performance Evaluation) until the next meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 050-19

11. Adjournment.

Commissioner Moss made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Warshell, to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
RESOLUTION NO. BIC 051-19

The meeting was adjourned at 1:32 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Shirley Wong, Assistant BIC Secretary

Sonya Harris, BIC Secretary

SUMMARY OF REQUESTS BY COMMISSIONERS OR FOLLOW UP ITEMS
Requested an update on the entire Cannabis waiver program, including how many businesses are involved and what types of permits are requested, etc. - Walker  Page 3

Inquired about the transfer of Single Room Occupancy (SROs) ordinance (File No. 170416), whether DBI reports were disclosed to the public in addition to the buyer. - Moss  Page 8