By Rob Poole.
Along the southeastern portion of San Francisco, residents enjoy quaint single-family homes with multifamily developments sprinkled in, charming restaurants and old warehouses that serve as remnants of the city’s industrial past. But as new residents flood in and attract more investment, one key area still falls short: public space. A new program may solve that problem.
The neighborhoods known as Dogpatch and Northwest Potrero Hill recently established the country’s first Green Benefit District (GBD). Through the program, property owners will pay a small assessment that will go toward maintaining and improving parks, plazas, gardens, sidewalks and more. It’s modeled after the Community Benefit District (CBD) program, but geared toward greening a residential area, as opposed to promoting commercial shopping districts, like more conventionalCBDs.
Locals hope infrastructure improvements can keep pace with the city’s growth. “There’s an influx of new development happening in the Dogpatch,” says Bruce Huie, a neighborhood resident who helped to create the GBD.
Folks like Huie helped create great public spaces throughout the neighborhoods, such as the “urban street parks” near the freeways. But maintaining them has proved to be a challenge. That’s where the GBD comes in. “This provides a way for us to not only maintain them [the public spaces], but provide capital improvements over time.”