What is a Community Benefit District and How Does it Work with Japantown?
Over the past several years, the security and cleanliness within Japantown has deteriorated
and merchants and businesses as a whole have not had an adequately funded collective program
to promote the district. To make this historic ethnic cultural center and business district
successful all property owners must look at new ways of beautifying and enhancing health and
safety in the area.
A committee of concerned Japantown stakeholders has come together to determine if there
exists enough support for forming a CBD in Japantown. They have not reached an opinion
on the formation, but do agree a survey of all property owners is an appropriate next
If the survey shows there is enough interest in forming a CBD for Japantown, a detailed plan would be
developed to be proposed in a voter intiative that would require the Board of Supervisors' approval.
The survey of the property owners will be mailed by Nov.
1, 2006. Survey replies will remain confidential and will
be used exclusively for formation purposes of this CBD.
Completed surveys should be returned by fax or the included
self-addressed envelope by Friday, December 8, 2006 so
that they can be included in the survey results.
This new Japantown CBD could fund special improvement services in the public rights of
way over and above those currently provided by the City. These services would be funded
by a property owner voted-upon assessment that would be paid by each benefiting property
Special benefit services could include and is not be limited to:
The services of this proposed CBD would be funded through an assessment placed on
each and every private or publicly-owned parcel in the finalized boundaries of the new
district. The property owners would determine the boundaries of the district, the
priority of each type of service, as well as the exact costs of funding these services.
- Marketing and promotional activities, events and festivals, as well as serving as an advocacy group of the community,
- Security services (above and beyond that of the San Francisco Police Department),
- sidewalk sweeping/steam cleaning, the removal of bulky items, and graffiti clean-up,
- Tree planting and maintenance, and beautification programs,
- Heritage related public art, and holiday decorations.
For more information, contact Bob Hamaguchi, Executive Director of the Japantown Task Force,
at (415) 346-1239 or the CBD consultant, Marco Li Mandri of New City America, at
Japantown Community Benefit District Committee Postpones Formation
May 15, 2007
A group of property owners has been meeting over the last six months to consider the formation of a community benefit
district in Japantown. At their meeting on May 15, it was decided to postpone further consideration of forming a CBD
until next year.
The committee has developed a Preliminary Plan that it was prepared to seek a petition to put the Plan on a ballot of
all effected property owners in July. It sought feedback of the Plan through outreach to a sampling of property
owners that had not participated in the development of the Plan. The feedback was encouraging that a CBD could be a
vehicle to improve the cleanliness, security, promotion, and preservation of the Japantown area, but would require
changes to the Preliminary Plan.
Another key consideration in their decision was to allow the Better Neighborhood Plan (BNP) process to develop before
formation of a community benefit district. BNP is a planning effort being led by the SF Planning Department. It
calls for working with the Japantown community to determine the priorities of land use, building form, open space,
transportation, housing, and above all, cultural preservation. The process will take a year and the result will be a
zoning plan of Japantown that will be approved by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors. It is
expected that the community benefit district development will be leveraged by the results of the BNP.