We’re A Match! New Matching Grant Program Improves Yerba Buena
The Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD) exists to improve quality of life in the neighborhood by providing ongoing programs that foster a safer and more secure community, enhance environmental quality and beauty, and reinforce the viability of our economic base. Property owners in Yerba Buena approved the formation of the YBCBD in 2008 and renewed it in 2015 for 15 years. The YBCBD’s services and programs supplement city services and cover the area of Second to Fifth and Market to Perry streets.
The YBCBD Public Realm Improvement Matching Grant Program is new a tool the YBCBD is launching in fiscal year 2019-2020 to support and encourage our neighbors in their efforts to improve public realm spaces in the neighborhood. A total of $50,000 has been allocated to the Matching Grant Program from the YBCBD’s Streets and Public Spaces Committee’s budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020.
PROJECTS WITH A PURPOSE
In 2019 the YBCBD published the second edition of the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan. The plan serves as a guide to help constituents and partners identify and prioritize improvements to the district’s public spaces. All projects supported by the YBCBD are intended to have a purpose that will benefit people who live, work, and visit the neighborhood. Benefits may include the enhancement of livability, safety, comfort, viability, sustainability, and inclusivity. Projects will be considered from four categories:
- Greening examples: Street trees, storm water filtration, multifunctional planters/ pedestrian-level greening, non-traditional or creative greening ideas that have a public art focus, etc.
- Public Art examples: Murals or mosaics on walls and steps, art as wayfinding, etc.
- Safety examples: Installation of pedestrian-scale lighting, security cameras, etc.
- Street Furniture examples: Formal and informal seating, such as benches and leaning rails, etc.
The YBCBD Streets and Public Spaces Committee reviews all applications. The committee will consider applications that provide any of the following benefits when deciding which projects to move forward:
- Enhance pedestrian safety
- Infuse art, culture, heritage, history and district identity into the public realm
- Add amenities, such as greening, lighting and street furnishings
- Create, expand and connect open spaces
- Bring life to underused streets, alleyways and public spaces
- Connect people to attractions
- Balance projects throughout the district
For more information about the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan visit ybcbd.org/ybslp
- Properties applying for the matching grant must be located in the YBCBD assessment area.
- Properties applying must be current on their YBCBD assessments.
- If the applying property is a multi-dwelling residential building, the apartment manager or homeowners association may apply as a group and supply a letter stating commitment to the ongoing security and maintenance of the project.
- Residential and commercial tenants may apply if they provide a letter from the property owner authorizing the installation of the project and stating commitment to the ongoing security and maintenance of the project.
- Applicants must provide proof of adequate insurance and indemnification of the YBCBD.
- Organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exemption are not eligible for the Matching Grant Fund, but may be eligible to apply for grant funding through the YBCBD’s Community Benefit Fund.
- Grants are available for new or in-progress enhancements that have not been completed; grant funds are not intended for maintenance of existing projects or ongoing maintenance of the project proposed.
- Applicants must provide an itemized budget and identify how YBCBD funding will be used within the overall project budget. The budget must include a plan and funding sources for ensuring the security and maintenance of the project. YBCBD funds cannot be applied to ongoing security and maintenance of the project.
- YBCBD funds may comprise no more than 50% of the project budget up to a maximum amount of $5,000.
- Maintenance and security plans for the project must be provided. The plan should include the expected duration of the project.
- It is the responsibility of the awardee to complete the project in accordance with all applicable zoning, permitting, and other city requirements, codes, and ordinances.
- Projects must completed within twelve (12) months of award notification.
- The YBCBD may require recognition for contribution to the project.
Applications for the YBCBD Public Realm Improvement Matching Grant Program are accepted year round.
Completed applications received by the first of the month will receive a response by the first of the following month. Grants will be awarded until the Matching Grant Fund is depleted.
All applications will be reviewed by the YBCBD Streets and Public Spaces Committee at their regular meetings. The Streets and Public Spaces Committee will forward recommended projects to the YBCBD Executive Committee for final approval. All YBCBD meetings are open to the public.
The committees will use the evaluation criteria spelled out in Chapter 4 of the 2019 Street Life Plan to guide project approval decision-making process.
All grants will be awarded on an expense reimbursement basis. The property owner must submit before-and-after photos and invoices in order to be reimbursed for the cost of the improvements.
Funds allocated for a project will be held for the duration of the approved project timeframe.