Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Community & Society
Published on January 31, 2018
Buena Vista Park Area Residents Lay Groundwork For Green Benefit DistrictPhoto: Apascluto/Flickr

A group of neighbors near Buena Vista Park are taking steps to create the Greater Buena Vista Green Benefit District, a locally-run nonprofit that would help improve the area.

A Green Benefit District is a neighbor-facilitated entity through the city's Department of Public Works that allows a hyperlocal nonprofit to oversee discretionary improvements above and beyond what the city provides.

As proposed, the district could encompass the area bounded by Page, Divisadero/Castro, 17th and Stanyan streets. The GBD's priorities are determined locally, but projects could range from dog runs and playgrounds to traffic-calming measures like concrete bulb-outs.

In the proposed Greater Buena Vista GBD, improvements could be made to parks at Buena Vista Park and Corona Heights, the Lower Terrace green area, Mt. Olympus, the Vulcan and Saturn stairs, Adah's Stairway, and the Monument Stairs.

One tentative mapping of the GBD zone outline, as shown in the survey and related materials. | Image via GBVGBD

To get a new GBD off the ground, a majority of property owners must first approve its establishment; after that, homeowners are assessed for tiered annual dues to fund the entity. Once up and running, each district's funds are managed by a board of directors.

As a result, the lengthy process for establishing a GBD includes numerous stages for community input.

If the results of a survey now being distributed by GBVGDB garners enough support from homeowners, organizers would create a Management District Plan that outlines the services and improvements that would be implemented.

Critics of GBDs say the process gives a handful of residents who have time and money outsized leverage over how areas are managed and what they look like, but for neighbors fed up with lagging city progress on area improvements, such an alternative could prove to be a boon.

The Greater Buena Vista Park GBD survey is online here.