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For Immediate Release                                                         

April 10, 2014

Media Contact
Sheri Costa-Batis
Public Communication and Engagement Manager
650.780.7305
Email

Redwood City’s City Council Unanimously Passes Ordinance That Sets Stage for
City’s First Community Benefit Improvement District (CBID)
Milestone enables staff and business leaders to move forward in soliciting input for City’s first CBID

Redwood City, Calif. – Redwood City’s City Council unanimously agreed to pass an ordinance that allows City staff along with partnering business leaders to further explore a Community Benefit Improvement District (CBID) for its Downtown with the broader business community.  Supporters of the CBID believe that with Downtown Redwood City’s success, the creation of a CBID is an opportunity to take the Downtown to the next level of serving as an entertainment hub, an ideal location for business, and an up and coming urban residential center.

Redwood City has made significant investments exceeding $64 million dollars in its Downtown.  Major capital improvement projects include the creation of Courthouse Square with a public plaza, a 20-screen movie theater, a parking garage, and specialized landscaping.  The City spends an additional $2.5 million annually to maintain Downtown’s streets, sidewalks and trees.  The creation of a CBID does not impact current funding levels; a CBID will provide an opportunity to further enhance, beautify, and maintain safety in Redwood City’s Downtown.

CBIDs, used in cities like San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego, provide needed enhanced services and benefits to property owners beyond what a city normally can provide.  Examples of enhanced services and benefits include: improved parking or transportation-related services, installation of security cameras, beautification and special lighting, marketing and promotion, and steam-cleaning of District sidewalks. 

“The creation of a CBID will provide an opportunity for the City and Downtown property owners to partner together to make our Downtown an even more exciting and beautiful place,” states Mayor Jeffrey Gee. “Our Downtown is known as the Peninsula’s ‘living room’ and ‘entertainment hub.’ The CBID has the potential to make it even grander. In Redwood City, our core purpose is ‘building a great community together’ and a CBID can be a shining example of that in the future.”

The formation of a CBID has and will continue to include significant outreach and planning.  Starting in August 2013, the City began its outreach efforts on the CBID by meeting with several small and large property owners to explain the idea, answer questions, and ask that they complete a survey gauging their interest in Downtown’s areas of improvement.  Business leaders who supported the idea formed a Downtown Property Owners Steering Committee. The Steering Committee has met monthly since October 2013.  Updates on the proposed CBID were also provided to the Economic Development Subcommittee over the past several months. 

“With the loss of Redevelopment, we are happy that we have such strong business partners who share our vision for a long-range plan to make Downtown even better than it is today,” shares Robert Bell, City Manager.  “We are looking forward to further hearing from additional members of our community on the CBID, and the powerful mechanism it can be for continuously improving our Downtown.”

In order to be as inclusive as possible, the City and Steering Committee will continue to offer opportunities for Downtown businesses to learn, become involved and offer input into the CBID process. Future outreach will include additional steering committee meetings, committee members connecting personally with business owners who have not yet elected to participate in the process, and an additional mailer to impacted property owners. 

In addition to future outreach, there are several more actions that need to be completed before establishing a CBID. The second reading of the ordinance will take place on April 28, 2014. Next, the CBID collaboration will need to finalize a District Management Plan, and the community will be further engaged in the process through a future petition drive.  Other next steps include a “Resolution of Intention” to form the District followed by a vote of the affected property owners.  If successful, the Downtown CBID could be adopted by late summer and enhanced services could begin early in 2015. 

To read the staff report about this important topic, click here.

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