HISTORY

 

 
Tree-lined street in Dogpatch.  Photo by Ralph Wilson. 

Tree-lined street in Dogpatch.  Photo by Ralph Wilson. 

In November of 2012, a group of community leaders from the Dogpatch and Potrero Hill neighborhoods convened with Build Public, a local non-profit organization, to explore the potential of forming a GBD. Their goals were clear: to improve maintenance of existing publicly accessible green spaces, including open space, and parks, informal community gardens, and sidewalk greenings; to develop new “green infrastructure”; to improve the long term ecological health of the neighborhood; and to fund the creation of new open spaces, parks and gardens. The Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill GBD’s budget and assessment will grow in exact proportion to, and at the same rate as, new residential and commercial development to ensure that new development contributes its fair share toward offsetting the expenses.

GBD members discussing a neighborhood park.

GBD members discussing a neighborhood park.

A Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill GBD Formation Committee was established in 2012 to guide the formation process for the GBD and ensure that a diversity of community opinions and voices were incorporated into the Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill GBD’s vision, mission, and budget proposals to the community. The Formation Committee members included landowners, tenants, developers, condominium owners, renters, advocates for improvements to Public Realm areas, as well as Build Public to provide formation assistance and support. After eight months of extensive community outreach, ten public meetings, and a professionally designed survey that showed statistically significant support for formation of a GBD in the neighborhood, Northwest Potrero Hill and the Dogpatch emerged as the two areas with the greatest support for the formation of a GBD. Because of this support, the Formation Committee voted to move forward with the formation of the GBD in these two areas.

Dogpatch residential neighborhood.

Dogpatch residential neighborhood.

The community's feedback informed the Management Plan which was drafted by the Formation Committee and Build Public during the Fall and Winter of 2013. The Management Plan underwent thorough city review through 2014 and was approved in March of 2015. A property owner petition was circulated District-wide in the Spring of 2015, which received sufficient support to trigger a City-initiated ballot process, again to property owners within the proposed District. Though only a simple majority of supportive votes were required to form the GBD, the GBD received over 76% of affirmative votes from property owners within the proposed GBD boundaries. On July 31, 2015, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the creation of this first ever Green Benefit District.

 

TIMELINE

 

 

November 2012 - GBD Idea Originates, Initial Formation Committee Convenes

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Oct - Nov 2013 - Community Workshops

Eight community workshops and presentations were conducted in the Fall of 2013 to solicit feedback and to share ideas regarding the GBD. Feedback was incorporated into the Management Plan and Green Vision Plan.

Feb 2014 – Mar 2015 - Management Plan Development and Review

The Formation Committee used the survey and community feedback data to draft the Management Plan, the governing document for the district, and the Green Vision Plan, a visioning document that organizes and prioritizes aspirational projects for the community. The Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and City Attorneys then reviewed and requested edits to the Management Plan. Once all parties agreed on the final Management Plan and Engineer’s Report language, the City Attorney issued a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to approve the DNWPH GBD. The approved Management Plan and Green Vision Plan can be found on the GBD Resources page.

May-June 2015 - Ballot Phase

The Board of Supervisors then adopted that Resolution of Intent to form the District, which set in motion an official ballot process managed by the San Francisco Board of Elections. Ballots were mailed to all property owners within the proposed District, who then had 45 days to vote for or against the GBD. In order for the Board of Supervisors to adopt the GBD, a simple majority of over 50% of ballots returned had to be in support of the District. In this case, the DNWPH GBD received support from 76% of the returning votes - an overwhelming supermajority.

Nov 2015 - Assessments Begin

Within six months of Board of Supervisors approval, the Assessor's Office must begin collecting the new assessment revenues and sending these monies to the newly formed GBD nonprofit corporation, governed by the DNWPH Board of Directors consisting of local property owners and non-property owning stakeholders. The Formation Committee assisted in the creation of this nonprofit.

December 2015 - New GBD Board elected and operational!

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If you are interested in learning more about Green Benefit Districts go here.  

If you are interested in the formation process or forming a GBD in your neighborhood, contact BUILD: PUBLIC.