Supes Votes to Create Nation’s First Green Benefit District

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Friday to form what city officials said is the nation’s first green benefit district in the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill areas in an effort to improve the neighborhoods, city officials said.

The Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District will be dedicated to expanding the maintenance and development of parks, open spaces and green infrastructure within its boundaries, according to city officials.

Green benefit districts are a form of a neighborhood-based special assessment district, voted into existence by property owners and governed by a board elected directly from the neighborhood, city officials said.

Like a condo association, but for the neighborhood, everyone who owns property inside the district’s boundaries pays an assessment to support its enhanced services, according to city officials.

Residential property owners pay $0.0951 per square foot, while industrial property owners pay $0.0475 per square foot.

In 2012, District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen began working with a group of dedicated neighbors and property owners on creative solutions to fund open space improvements and maintenance in San Francisco’s eastern neighborhoods, city officials said.

The planning process involved numerous community meetings, legislation and a majority of property owners voting to form this assessment district, according to city officials.

“We’re excited to help create the nation’s first green benefit district, the outcome of a community-driven process to provide additional resources for neighborhood landscaping and park beautification projects,” San Francisco Public Works director Mohammed Nuru said in a statement.

“At the end of the day, this is about residents and businesses coming together to invest in making their neighborhoods nicer places to live, work and visit, and Public Works will be there with them as a strong partner,” Nuru said.

The district also will help fund maintenance and capital improvements, including enhanced sidewalk landscaping, street tree plantings, traffic-calming measures, graffiti removal and lighting, city officials said.

Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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