Voters Approve Soma west CBD


We are excited to announce that the SoMa West CBD has been approved by the property owners in SoMa West and the City Board of Supervisors!  Read the press release here.

On February 5th the Department of Elections ratified the ballots, and the SoMa West CBD was approved by a majority of voters!

We want to thank everyone for their support in this community effort. We will share more info about next steps in the coming months, and we look forward to engaging with everyone in the community as we establish the vision for this district!

SoMa West cbd signing ceremony

Mayor London Breed signs legislation creating the SoMa West CBD


SoMa West CBD an Introduction

Western SoMa businesses, nonprofits, property owners, and residents are combining efforts and passions to  improve our neighborhood’s safety, health, economic vitality, and aesthetics. Together, we are working to form a Community Benefit District called  SoMa West CBD.

SoMa West represents one of the most multicultural and multidisciplinary neighborhoods in San Francisco.  From its formation in 1847, our neighborhood was created to accommodate city pioneers, workers, manufacturing, and utilities.  Since then, we have also become home to a variety of community activists and civil rights advocates, community celebrations, artist groups and studios, technology leaders, entertainment and nightlife. Our location, space, and accessibility makes our neighborhood increasingly important to the San Francisco Bay Area. Improvements to our neighborhood will prove fundamental to sustaining our neighborhood’s well-being.

Forming a Community Benefit District from the ground up takes time and persistence.  We are encouraged by all of the support from everyone within the SoMa West CBD area - from property owners, to renters, workers, and business owners - small, larger, and everyone in between.  When drawing the boundaries for SoMa West CBD, we wanted to make sure to include the entire area so that we will all benefit from a safer, cleaner, more vibrant neighborhood.  With everyone working together to spread the word and share the vision of SoMa West, we'll finally have a solution to make this incredible neighborhood we can all feel proud of.  SoMa West CBD's goal is to make everyone's experience in SoMa West so much better.

What is a Community Benefit District ?

Community Benefit Districts (CBDs) are public-private partnerships formed by property owners in a specific geographic area to improve quality of life, build community, and promote economic activity.       

CBDs provide supplemental services such as safety patrols, sidewalk cleaning, park maintenance, retail and restaurant recruitment, resident and business advocacy, and more to improve the basic level of services provided by the City (to supplement city services, NOT replace city services).  These services are funded by property owners who pay an annual assessment based on the size of one’s land, building or home, and other determining factors.      

Forming a CBD requires formulating an annual budget and a management plan, which will be implemented by a nonprofit organization.  The organization will be governed by a board of district property owners, businesses, renters, and other stakeholders.  

As a unified community we decide what services we want to address and how we allocate our resources, while having a significant voice with the City.

How does the CBD benefit me ?

Property owners, nonprofits,  residents, businesses and workers will all benefit from having a more vibrant, clean, and safe neighborhood.  Additionally, we will promote a sense of community and encourage businesses and shops to make this an incredible place to live, work, shop, and visit.

The SoMa West CBD will:

  • Advance the quality of life and community cohesion for residents, businesses, workers, and visitors in the SoMa West neighborhood.   
  • Foster a safer and more secure community.     
  • Enhance environmental quality and beauty.    
  • Reinforce the viability of our economic base while embracing the community that makes SoMa West so unique.  

As a unified body, SoMa West CBD can strengthen and advocate for the community both in the present and for our future as a unified body.

The process:

  • Community Outreach (2017): Hold dozens of info sessions at local neighborhood venues with an overview presentation and Q&A from the Office of Economic Workforce and Development (OEWD). We held dozens of info sessions and collected survey respondents from hundreds of neighborhood residents. 

  • Management Plan Draft (Nov 2017 - Feb 2018): Urban planning consultants draft the proposed Management Plan and Engineer's Report detailing the proposed district and ensuring assessments costs are distributed in line with the benefits received by residents. The Management Plan and Engineer's report were approved by the City Attorney in February 2018. 

  • Petition Phase (Feb 2018 - Nov 2018):  Collect signed petitions from property owners totally at least 30% of the total district assessment in order for the district to go to a general vote by property owners in the neighborhood. Petitions were submitted to the City and approved in November 2018.

  • Ballot Phase (Dec 2018 - Feb 2019):  Official ballots are mailed to all property owners in the proposed district by the City. The  CBD forms if property owners totaling over 50% of the proposed assessment vote in favor of the CBD. The City Department of Elections counted the ballots on February 5th 2019 with a majority of votes in favor.

  • Formation (Mar 2019- Dec 2020): We will be selecting a board of directors, soliciting feedback on services from community members, incorporating the 501c3 organization, hiring an executive director, and planning initial services. Please come to community info sessions to give your input and meet the SoMa West CBD.

  • Services (2020-2035): If the SoMa West CBD is passed in the ballot phase, services will start as of January 2020

Want to Learn More ?

This is the beginning of our multiple-year planning process to form SoMa West CBD.   

Our goals are to listen, educate, and solicit neighborhood input, keeping the community clearly informed of each step throughout the process.   

Join us to learn more at one of the following meetings.  Below is a list of our Public Meetings dates and times with locations.  We chose various times, dates, places, and location types to hopefully offer something for everyone.


area of the SoMa West CBD

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