What's A CBD



A Community Benefit District (CBD) is a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life for all residents, businesses and visitors to their neighborhood.  In San Francisco, CBDs are formed through a partnership between the City and local communities.  Cities in the United States have dealt with problems such as street and sidewalk cleanliness and safety that negatively affect pedestrian comfort and local image by forming improvement districts that function in much the same way even if the names are slightly different.Examples:

  • Community Benefit Districts - Yerba Buena CBD and Lower Polk CBD in San Francisco.
  • Neighborhood Improvement Districts - University City in Philadelphia.
  • Business or Tourism Improvement Districts - Times Square in New York and Jack London Square in Oakland.

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 other services 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.  This 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. Once formed as a 501(c)(3), an elected Board of Directors and Executive Director are accountable for managing funds and services and reporting back to the community on a regular basis. In addition, the Executive Director serves as the community’s spokesperson in relations with City Hall. 

Learn more about CBDs in San Francisco.