Upper Haight resident rallies opposition to proposed Green Benefit District

Photo: Camden Avery/Hoodline
By Camden Avery - Published on June 27, 2018.

As some neighbors of Buena Vista Park consider setting up a Green Benefit District that would help beautify the area, local opposition to the plan is also coalescing.

As previously reported, a Green Benefit District is a neighbor-run nonprofit that allows residents to make capital improvements through a hyperlocal property tax without waiting for funding to come exclusively from city coffers.

In an email to Hoodline, a Public Works representative said the districts "are empowered by local property owners and stakeholders to initiate specific activities, improvements, and/or services in designated areas."

Once enacted, all district plans "still need to follow the review, permitting, and approval process, as required by the appropriate city department," they wrote.

Map of the area being surveyed for the Buena Vista GBD. | IMAGE: VIA GBVGBD

The area currently under survey for a potential GBD is bounded by Page, Divisadero/Castro, 17th, and Clayton streets. Public Works is currently assessing neighborhood support and gathering feedback. Residents are invited to weigh in on the proposal via an online survey.

But a flyer posted around the Upper Haight by area resident Stephen Bartoletti lists arguments against the plan and seeks to bolster formal opposition.

In the notice, Bartoletti criticizes the district as "an absurdly expensive way to raise money," citing the share of raised funds that would need to go to its setup and ongoing administrative fees.

Bartoletti cites a $221,000 price tag for setup costs, based on a November estimate from Place Lab.

He also calls for neighbors to "stick with our proven partners," referring to projects recently completed and underway, on the grounds that improvements completed with funds from the proposed district "are things normally undertaken by Rec & Park, Public Works and SF Police—paths, recreation, landscaping/trees, maintenance, security, [and] garbage."

Bartoletti didn't respond to queries for this article.

Public Works said the GBD formation process, which can take between 18 months and three years, hinges on fostering public engagement and gathering support — if those criteria aren't met, the plan will be withdrawn.

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Chinatown

$1.9 Million Chinatown relief measure passes Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a relief measure that would pay ailing Chinatown restaurants nearly $2 million to serve up meals for their neighbors in need. Read More

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Tenderloin

The Tenderloin used to have a bar where a woman was slowly dying in a bed behind a curtain in back

An autobiographical essay titled "The Hard Crowd" by novelist Rachel Kushner, published in last week's New Yorker, offers some vivid snapshots of several long-gone Tenderloin bars, including one with a convalescing person in a bed in back. Read More

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Castro

Milk Club holds MLK Day tribute at Castro's 'Hibernia Beach' honoring community leaders

Yesterday the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club (Milk Club) held a Martin Luther King Jr. Day tribute at Castro's Bank of America (501 Castro St.), commonly referred to as 'Hibernia Beach,' honoring the civil rights icon and the passing of recent community members. Read More

Jan 18, 2021
San Francisco Cow Hollow Presidio Heights

‘Purse Filled With Yogurt’ alert on Citizen app milks jokes in Cow Hollow

The culture of Cow Hollow may be under attack, or maybe some joker called the police for a pretty cheesy reason. Read More