The Proposed Mission Dolores GBD

Many of our EVNA members who live on the East side of Castro street but not within  the boundaries of the Castro/Upper market Community  Benefit District (Castro CBD) will have an opportunity to participate in the process for the formation of a new proposed Mission Dolores Green Benefit District (MDGBD).  

Conan McHugh and Tom Shaub of the MDGBD formation committee briefed the EVNA Board of Directors about proposed GBD and the general concepts involved in making the GBD a reality.  The Board concurred with the GBD  Formation Committee on the process of engaging neighbors to evaluate the needs and benefits a GBD could bring to the neighborhood. The EVNA Board has taken no position on the property owner election to establish the GBD and is eager to provide a forum for our members to engage in meaningful discussion on the pros and cons of a GBD as proposed.

For more information about the proposed GBD, you can visit the MDGBD website at

EVNA Members are invited to join a meaningful discussion below.  You must be a member in good standing (i.e., dues up to date) to participate.  Being a subscriber to our newsletter is not membership.  If you live within the boundaries of the ENVA, please join us to join the conversation.

3 thoughts on “The Proposed Mission Dolores GBD”

  1. Hello all, my spouse and I joined the EVNA today, though we have been familiar with the great work of this group for some time. My spouse and I are homeowners on the 500 block of Hill Street and just today, we learned that our home is included within the proposed Mission Dolores GBD. We suppose on one-level we should be happy to be included because we sit within a bit of a neighborhood no-mans land — not quite Dolores Heights, not quite Liberty Hill, and not Noe Valley. Technically, we’re at the outer edge of Eureka Valley.

    We spent the day educating ourselves about GBDs – reading everything we could find from DPW (, the project proponents’ website (, Concerned MD Citizens (, articles in the media (e.g., and We also consulted neighbors.

    We came to the conclusion that we are not able to support the proposed Mission Dolores GBD. The neighbors we have been able to reach share our sentiments. We also wrote to supervisor Mandelman to express our concerns with the proposed district as well as others.

    The GBD program seems to “tax” residents within a GBD district (via special assessment) for work that should already be taken care of by the public works department. It is characterized as work above the “baseline”, but it’s not entirely clear what exactly that extra work would entail. It seems like we’d actually be paying to get a normal baseline that one would expect from public works within any city. And, since the additional assessment seems to be driven by the lot size/square footage of an owner’s property, those with larger properties bear a disproportionate burden for the care of the district. The GBD program seems to be a mechanism for DPW to amplify its budget without any verifiable increases in service. It also adds a bureaucratic layer through the creation of the district administrative non-profit, which pulls overhead dollars to operate itself.

    We think everyone agrees that we should be getting better neighborhood care for our dollars; however, the GBDs seem like a well-meaning, but ultimately poor solution to the problem.

  2. A few notes that you may not have been privy too..
    1) when the Fixit team first visited the Castro area we asked that The Castro CBD be included in the walk. They were. We asked for The CBD to assist with problems around the library, and we also asked to be considered to be included in the CBD expansion. At the end of the day, it was a citizen group called SFNAG that was able to get changes done around the library and 7-11. The Castro CBD has said, they don’t want residents in the district…
    2) as to your comment “What is most disturbing is the broad-brush inclusion of every residential parcel west of Dolores Park all the way to Castro Street.”
    I’d personally have preferred to be part of Castro CBD, and lobbied strongly for that to occur. We weren’t successful convincing Castro CBD to include sections of Noe, 18th St, and Sanchez in the renewal efforts. And, as the Dolores GBD was being considered, we were informed by the city attorney that nNO Benefit Districts would proceed if there are ‘gaps’ in districts. Logically, that means any property NOT currently included in the proposed Castro CBD, must be in the Dolores GBD (or else there would be a donut hole where some would not get benefits from any district). It’s one of the reasons, I’m passionate about sections of Hartford, Pond, Prosper, Hancock and 18th and 19th St being in the Dolores GBD. I’d have preferred to be part of Castro CBD, but, we couldn’t convince the Castro CBD to move on that request.
    3) the $$ are not a tax. taxes can be reallocated to many other budget categories. the $$ will go into a 501c3 organization, and that organization will use the dollars directly to the neighborhood. Their will be a Board of directors – much like the EVNA board, elected by the constituents in open elections and with a diverse makeup (residents, non-profits, businesses.
    4) The MDNA did come out against the GBD. In my opinion, they board (many of whom have been in the position for many years without any turnover) are afraid of losing power , vs gaining a strong ally., and relied on a previous decision from many years ago. A look at their past agenda items show they are focused on land use, historic preservation and NOT Quality of Life issues. Their president said the GBD formation group has not been transparent, yet their website has not posted board minutes since Sept 2018. We did invite them to be represented on the GBD formation group, and to every community meeting. They come to the community meetings and also include opponents from Buena Vista and other Districts who know little about our area.

    I may not have addresses all your concerns – but am happy to speak with anyone regarding the benefits we expect, the governing model, or any portion of the Management Plan. If I can’t address the concern, one of our other volunteers from the past year and a half, can usually assist.

    Carolyn Thomas
    Resident and Ford St SF SAFE Block Captain
    SF NAG member, EVNA member,
    Mission Station Police Advisory Board Member for Castro/Eureka Valley
    Dolores Green Benefit District formation group

  3. I think the Castro/Upper Market Community Benefit District has done great things for our neighborhood commercial district. But this proposed GBD district is made up of primarily residential parcels, not commercial. Lots of differences.

    The Mission Dolores Neighborhood Group has already come out in very strong opposition to this proposed GBD. Their stance is online at

    There are other resources already developed from other neighborhoods/neighborhood groups that were threatened by the prospects of higher tax bills for which they would see little or no benefit over the services we are already paying for:

    What is most disturbing is the broad-brush inclusion of every residential parcel west of Dolores Park all the way to Castro Street. Why are our members who are steps away from the Castro Neighborhood Commercial District be expected to pay into fund that keeps the sidewalks of the Valencia Corridor clean? It’s nonsensical.

    What I do know is that not one property owner on my street block with whom I have been a opportunity to discuss this was even aware of this proposed GBD until now, some still have open minds at this early stage of notification, but most are appalled we were included and adamantly opposed to being included in the proposed district.

    The Formation Committee needs to go back to the drawing board, and do a better job drawing their assessment map to include those who really want to be inside, and leave the rest of us who do not identify with the proposed district to our own neighborhoods.

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