By Jonathan Farrell
The goal of forming a Green Benefit District (GBD) for the
Inner Sunset District has been proposed. A meeting was held on
Feb. 7, at the SF County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park,
with the purpose of forming a GBD to improve greening and
maintenance of public spaces, with expanded services going
beyond what the City delivers with its baseline services.
“The point is to create funding for needed improvements in
the public realm,” said Andrea Jadwin, a local resident who
supports the plan.
Jadwin noted that about 80 people showed up. The first
meeting’s purpose was for outreach, to introduce the GBD
concept to the neighborhood and to request community engagement
Upcoming project phases will include a survey to determine
community needs and priorities. If there is community support to
form a GBD, an outreach process will follow to help develop
a district management plan. Then, there will be a neighborhood-
wide petition and vote by property owners in the proposed
district. A successful petition vote would initiate a formal ballot
election and vote by property owners within the proposed district.
“Green District Benefits are similar to Community Benefit
Districts (CBD) and Business Improvement Districts (BID),
but are geared towards residential rather than
commercial districts,” Jadwin said.
The Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill neighborhoods
formed the City’s first GBD in 2015.
The initial outreach process for the Inner Sunset GBD began
in 2012, involving regularly scheduled public meetings, a
survey and the gathering of statistical information.
The creation of a GBD takes two to three years.
“There are lots of hurdles and milestones that need to be met,”
said Jonathan Goldberg, the manager of the GBD program
for the SF Department of Public Works.
Early supporters of the GBD concept include the Inner Sunset
Merchants’ Association, California Academy of Sciences,
non-profit group Build:Public and
Inner-Sunset Park Neighbors.
Long-time Sunset resident Denis Mosgofian, who has
served on various committees and advisory boards over the
years, attended the meeting. He said it takes a long time to create
“The forming of a GBD is basically an off-shoot of an existing
law regarding CBDs. Authorized by state and local
law (under San Francisco Business Code Article 15A), a
GBD allows individual property owners to vote to assess their
own property in exchange for control over how the assessment
revenues are spent within their neighborhood,” Mosgofian said.
“Efforts at forming a Community Benefit District
(CBD) was tried back in 2014for the Ninth Avenue area, but it
didn’t make it,” he said.
Like Goldberg, he emphasized that interest in forming a
GBD must come from property owners, who foot the bill for the
GBD. A GBD needs to have a defined area, management plan
and budget in place prior to being
pproved by stakeholders.
According to Jadwin, although it took three years or so
for the Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill neighborhoods to
get their improvement districts, organizers in the Inner Sunset
hope to shorten the timeline to two years.
But, regardless of the pace, forming a GBD will require
community cooperation and determination, she added.
The project must be embraced, she said, or it will die.
There is also the possibility that the benefit district could be
extended to the Outer Sunset District.
“Once completed, it will empower the neighborhood and
hopefully, at some point, will includethe Outer Sunset as well,”
For more information about the proposal to create a Green
Benefit District for the Inner Sunset District, visit the website