Home » Activism » We Want You! Join the Rincon Hill CBD Steering Committee!

We Want You! Join the Rincon Hill CBD Steering Committee!

While I do not emphatically support Community Benefit Districts in general because I believe it is giving our local government a pass on providing basic services that we pay for hand over fist in Rincon Hill via our property taxes, there is a move to form a Rincon Hill Community Benefit District (CBD). To make it a bit more palatable, think of it as a paid staff neighborhood association for Rincon Hill.

If you would like to help steer the direction (and the costs on your annual property tax bill) of the proposed Rincon Hill CBD, you should join me as a member of the Steering Committee for the Rincon Hill CBD. We will be meeting once per month (probably around 6 p.m. on a weekday), and we will be working on the establishment of a CBD for our neighborhood for the next few months.

Please read through this handout describing CBDs from Lisa Pagan of the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development who helps to manage the dozen or so existing CBDs (also known as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs).

I am working on finding a meeting location for those of us interested in learning more to get together and talk about the idea of a Rincon Hill CBD and the benefits and potential downsides for us. Stay tuned!

In the meanwhile, please read this letter from Jim Chappell of MJM Management about how you can contact him to get involved in the Rincon Hill CBD Steering Committee!!

To:
Property Owners, Tenants & Business Owners in and around Rincon Hill & South Beach

RE:
Survey Regarding Potential formation of a Community Benefit District to nclude your
Property

Dear Rincon Hill & South Beach Neighbor:

The purpose of this announcement is to begin the process of examining the possibility of formation
of a Community Benefit District (CBD) in your neighborhood to make it a cleaner, safer, and more
welcoming place for residents and visitors alike. We are conducting a study in cooperation with the
City of San Francisco, and operating under their guidance.

A Community Benefit District is a public-private partnership formed by community stakeholders
to improve their neighborhood. Such Districts began in North American in the 1970s, and in San
Francisco in the early 1990s. There are currently around 1,200 such districts in the U. S. including ten
in San Francisco.*

The purpose of a CBD is to provide special services beyond those that the City provides. A CBD
provides a stable funding source and serves all the property owners, their tenants, and residents in a
given district. While each of us can maintain our own property to a high standard, we cannot maintain
a neighbor’s property without permission. With a CBD, the District provides these services and in a
more cost-effective coordinated way. Many types of property-related services can be provided, such
as sidewalk and curb cleaning, graffiti abatement, traffic control at key intersections, neighborhood
advocacy, security, and maintenance of the public realm improvements called for in the Rincon Hill
Plan and the Rincon Hill Streetscape Plan, such as the new Dog Park and the proposed Rincon Hill
and Oscar parks. Other typical functions of a CBD can include such things as neighborhood advocacy
at City Hall, formation of a security council consisting of the security directors of each building, or
fundraising for special events or facilities. Investment in your neighborhood helps maintain and can
improve property and business values.

Different services may be provided in different sub-districts depending on specific conditions and
needs. Unlike a tax, CBD assessment dollars fund services that are delivered directly to a non-profit
that manages the district. Property owners can serve on the Board of Directors that manages the
district, or attend those meetings, to make important decisions about the district, including how funds
are allocated and services delivered.

In order to form a CBD, the first step is to determine whether support exists among the property
owners and business owners within a given neighborhood, which is the reason for this survey. The
formation process takes a few significant steps, including: 1) formation of a Steering Committee, 2) a
survey of property owners, 3) determining the level of support, 4) setting boundaries and subareas, 5)
determining priority special benefit services, 6) development and adoption of a services plan that lays
out special benefit services to be funded and the costs of those services per parcel, 7) a petition drive
endorsing the plan, and, 8) a mail ballot vote of the property owners to establish the district.

Over the next several months, alternative boundaries, service plans and possible assessments will
be proposed, hopefully culminating in formal votes by the property owners and by the Board of
Supervisors. MJM Management Group has been contracted to help form a Steering Committee to
oversee this process.

The purpose of this announcement is to seek your assistance in forming a Steering Committee to
study the possibility of formation of a CBD in your neighborhood. We are looking for Steering
Committee members from each building or complex in the neighborhood, from businesses and
from major property owners. We foresee a Committee of perhaps 20 individuals willing to meet
approximately monthly for six months to determine how a CBD could best meet your needs, and to
help contact your neighbors.

If you are willing to participate or have questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me.
Telephone: 285-0910; email: chappell_jim@att.net.

Sincerely,

Jim Chappell,
MJM Management Group

 

* Castro/Upper Market, Central Market, Civic Center, Fisherman’s Wharf, Noe Valley, North of Market/
Tenderloin, Ocean Avenue, Yerba Buena, Union Square, 2500 Block of Mission

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