Forming a Green Benefit District requires a robust community engagement process and demonstrated support. It starts with community members who love their neighborhood's open spaces, but see a clear need for improvements and additional resources to supplement the City's existing services.
1: PLANNING & FEASIBILITY
A group of neighbors explores whether and how a GBD could work for their neighborhood. They conduct outreach through stakeholder meetings, community events, pre-survey, and canvassing. The feasibility survey (coming Sept 1) is a particularly important tool for collecting feedback and developing an understanding of the neighborhood’s interests, priorities, and willingness to support a GBD. Results from this survey will help determine if and where there is enough property owner support for the district formation effort to proceed to the next step.
2: FORMATION DOCUMENTS
Through a series of public meetings, the community must create a Management Plan that outlines the goals, boundaries, services and assessment methodology for the proposed district. An Assessment Engineer helps inform this process, and develops an accompanying Engineer's Report to provide a legal justification for the assessment. This process includes an extensive public outreach and benefit evaluation process, to ensure that the GBD boundaries contain only parcels that will receive a special benefit from proposed services, activities and improvements. Both the Management Plan and Engineer's Report must be approved by Public Works and the City Attorney's office.
If the Management Plan and Engineer's Report are approved by the City Attorney, the community can launch a petition process to obtain the Board of Supervisors' approval to initiate a ballot. Each parcel within the proposed district will receive a petition indicating their individualized assessment and the percentage it represents of the total assessment budget. If the petition is signed by property owners representing 30% of the proposed district budget, the Board of Supervisors may initiate a ballot.
If the petition phase demonstrates sufficient support and the Board of Supervisors approves, a ballot proceeding will be launched. The Department of Elections issues a ballot to each property owner within the proposed boundaries of a GBD. This would be a special ballot election independent of the general elections in November. For the district to be formed, a simple majority (50% + 1) of the returned weighted ballots must be in favor. If the vote hits this required mark, the Board of Supervisors will adopt an ordinance to officially establish a GBD.