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Cultural District – Definition.
Findings, Purpose, and Goals of Creating Cultural Districts.
List of Established Cultural Districts.
Process for Establishment of Cultural Districts.
Additional Steps for Cultural Districts Established Before June 1, 2018.
Responsibilities of Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
For the purpose of this Chapter 107, Cultural District shall mean a geographic area or location within the City and County of San Francisco that embodies a unique cultural heritage because it contains a concentration of cultural and historic assets and culturally significant enterprise, arts, services, or businesses, and because a significant portion of its residents or people who spend time in the area or location are members of a specific cultural or ethnic group that historically has been discriminated against, displaced, and oppressed.
(a) Findings. San Francisco is a world-class city known for our patchwork of ethnically and culturally distinct neighborhoods, and we have deep pride in our diversity.
These distinctive neighborhoods are also the backbone of our economy. Tourists come to San Francisco to immerse themselves in the unique cultures, aesthetic, and artistic tradition of each neighborhood. Last year, more than 25.2 million visitors spent almost $9 billion in our restaurants, shops, galleries and theaters.
Our culture is also a major contributor to our city’s other economic sectors. Studies show that our strong cultural identity is what attracts our skilled and educated workforce, which in turn attracts innovative companies and firms. Even our manufacturing and light industrial sector benefits from our city’s brand and its strong association with diversity, history, and innovation.
The individual character and culture of our neighborhoods have never been more at risk. President Trump is proposing to eliminate all federal funding for the arts and culture in his budget, and has slashed funding for affordable housing and community development.
San Francisco’s families are being displaced. The benefits of our booming economy are not being equally shared. According to a study by the Brookings Institution, San Francisco has the fastest-growing income inequality of any city in the nation. We are losing our diversity as our decades-old ethnic communities are being forced to move away.
Our artists and arts organizations are disappearing. As rents continue to rise artists and arts organizations can no longer afford rent in their neighborhoods, and they are leaving the City. Without these artists, the City is at risk of losing the murals, festivals, theater, and music that make our city a destination for inspiration.
Our historic small businesses are at risk. Commercial rents in most neighborhoods are doubling and tripling, and otherwise healthy businesses that act as anchors for our commercial corridors are being closed down for good. Business closures are up over 800% from 25 years ago.
Too much is on the line, and we must respond. San Francisco has the power and the obligation to create an effective strategy to protect, stabilize, and strengthen areas of the City that represent unique cultural heritages.
(b) Purpose. San Francisco’s Cultural Districts program seeks to formalize a collaborative partnership between the City and communities and bring resources in order to stabilize vulnerable communities facing or at risk of displacement or gentrification, and to preserve, strengthen and promote our cultural assets and diverse communities, so that individuals, families, businesses that serve and employ them, nonprofit organizations, community arts, and educational institutions are able to live, work and prosper within the City.
(c) Goals. The City creates Cultural Districts to advance the following goals:
(1) preserving, maintaining and developing unique cultural and historic assets;
(2) preserving and promoting significant assets such as buildings, business, organizations, traditions, practices, events, including their venues or outdoor special events and their geographic footprints, works of art, and public facing physical elements or characteristics that have contributed to the history or cultural heritage of San Francisco and its people or are associated with the lives of persons important to San Francisco history;
(3) stopping the displacement of residents of Cultural Districts who are members of ethnic or other vulnerable communities that define those Districts, and promoting affordable housing opportunities and home ownership within the Districts while also developing and strengthening new tools to prevent displacement;
(4) attracting and supporting artists, creative entrepreneurs, cultural enterprises and people that embody and promote the cultural heritage of the District, especially those that have been displaced;
(5) promoting tourism to stabilize and strengthen the identity of the district while contributing to the district’s economy;
(6) celebrating, strengthening, and sharing the unique cultural and ethnic identity of vulnerable communities, and providing opportunities for community neighbors, supporters, and advocates to participate;
(7) creating appropriate City regulations, tools, and programs such as zoning and land use controls to promote and protect businesses and industries that advance the culture and history of Cultural Districts;
(8) promoting employment and economic opportunities for residents of Cultural Districts;
(9) promoting cultural competency and education by diversifying our historic narrative on the history of San Francisco’s many diverse cultural and ethnic communities, with an emphasis on those who have been previously marginalized and misrepresented in dominant narratives;
(10) promoting culturally competent and culturally appropriate City services and policies that encourage the health and safety of the community, culture, or ethnic groups in Cultural Districts;
(11) slowing down gentrification and mitigating its effects on vulnerable, minority communities; and
(12) promoting and strengthening collaboration between the City and communities to maximize cultural competency and pursue social equity within some of the City’s most vulnerable communities.
The Cultural Districts of the City and County of San Francisco are:
(a) Japantown. The Cultural District shall include the area bound by California Street to the north, Steiner Street to the west, Gough Street to the east, and Geary Boulevard, Ellis Street and O’Farrell Street to the south.
(b) Calle 24 (Veinticuatro) Latino Cultural District. The Cultural District shall include the area bound by Mission Street to the west, Potrero Street to the east, 22nd Street to the north, and Cesar Chavez Street to the south, as well as the commercial corridor on 24th Street extending west from Bartlett Street to Potrero Avenue, and the Mission Cultural Center at 2868 Mission Street.
(c) SoMa Pilipinas – Filipino Cultural Heritage District. The Cultural District shall include the area bounded by 2nd Street to the east, 11th Street to the west, Market Street to the north, and Brannan Street to the south, as well as the International Hotel (also known as the I-Hotel, at 848 Kearny Street), the Gran Oriente Filipino Masonic Temple (106 South Park Street), Rizal Apartments, the Iloilo Circle Building, Rizal Street, and Lapu Lapu Street.
(d) Compton’s Transgender Cultural District. The Cultural District shall include the area defined as the north side of Market Street between Taylor Street and Jones Street, the south side of Ellis Street between Mason Street and Taylor Street, the north side of Ellis Street between Taylor Street and Jones Street, and 6th Street (on both sides) between Market Street and Howard Street.
(e) Leather and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Cultural District. The Cultural District shall include the area bounded by Howard Street to the northwest, 7th Street to the northeast, Highway 101 to the south between Howard Street and Bryant Street, Division Street to the south between Bryant Street and Interstate 80, and Interstate 80 to the east, as well as the south side of Harrison Street between 7th Street and Morris Street.
(f) African American Arts and Cultural District. The Cultural District shall include the area bounded by Cesar Chavez Street projected through Pier 80 to the north, San Francisco Bay to the east and to the south until Harney Way reaches Highway 101, and Highway 101 to the west.
(g) Castro Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Cultural District. The Cultural District shall include the following areas:
(1) The area bounded by Market Street to the north and west, Grand View Avenue to the west; 22nd Street to the south between Grand View Avenue and Noe Street; Noe Street to the east between 22nd Street and 19th Street; 19th Street to the south between Noe Street and Sanchez Street; and Sanchez Street to the east between 19th Street and Market;
(2) The lots along the north side of Market Street between Castro Street and Octavia Boulevard, including the Market Street public right-of-way and bookended by Block 0871, Lot 014 (occupied by the San Francisco LGBT Center as of 2019) and by Block 3562, Lot 015;
(3) Laguna Street between Market Street and Waller Street, including the public right-of-way only;
(4) The footprint of the 65 Laguna Street building (historically known as Richardson Hall, San Francisco Landmark No. 256) and the footprint of 95 Laguna Street (known as Marcy Adelman & Jeanette Gurevitch Openhouse Community building as of 2019), both located at the northwest corner of Laguna and Hermann Streets in the southeast portion of Block 0857, Lot 002;
(5) Block 3502, Lot 013 located on the west side of Valencia Street between Market Street and Duboce Avenue;
(6) Pink Triangle Park located to the west of the juncture of 17th and Market Streets, immediately adjacent to Block 2648, Lot 001 on the east; and
(7) The triangular area bounded by Market Street to the north; 15th Street to the south; and, Church Street to the east.
The Board of Supervisors intends to follow the process described in this Section 107.4 when considering the future establishment of new Cultural Districts.
(a) Introduction of Ordinance Establishing Cultural District. Any Supervisor, the Mayor, or a City department may introduce an ordinance proposing to establish a Cultural District that meets the goals and purpose that have been outlined in this ordinance.
(b) Content of Ordinance. It is the intent of the Board that each ordinance establishing a Cultural District shall:
(1) Name the Cultural District, and describe its geographic boundaries. The boundaries of newly established Cultural Districts should be contiguous and should not overlap with other Cultural Districts. The Board may adopt subsequent ordinances changing the geographic boundaries after considering the Cultural History, Housing and Economic Sustainability Strategy (CHHESS) Report described in subsection (b)(7).
(2) Describe the cultural values and contributions that the establishment of the Cultural District would help to preserve, and a description of how the establishment of a Cultural District would address the goals and purpose established in Section 107.2.
(3) Require the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to engage in a competitive solicitation process no later than one year after the effective date of the ordinance to enter a contract or grant with a community-based organization to hire a district manager or executive director.
(4) Depending on the needs of the Cultural District, possibly establish a Cultural District Stabilization Fund Community Advisory Committee, a five-member advisory body to monitor and provide advice on the distribution of funds, with members nominated by the Supervisor in whose Supervisorial district the Cultural District is primarily located, and appointed by the Board of Supervisors to advise the Board, the Mayor, and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development regarding strategies to support and preserve the Cultural District. The ordinance should set qualifications for each seat on the advisory body, and designate the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to provide administrative support to the advisory body.
(5) Require the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to design and coordinate a community engagement process with the Cultural District residents, small businesses, workers, and other individuals who regularly spend time in the proposed District in order to develop the strategies and plans that will preserve and enhance the live culture of the district.
(6) Require three or more specified City departments to provide input to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development about their areas of expertise related to the cultural district within six months following the effective date of the ordinance establishing the Cultural District. The departments’ input to the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development should contain an assessment of relevant assets and needs, recommendations on programs, policies, and funding sources that could benefit the Cultural District, and other recommendations that could serve the Cultural District to advance its goals. Each department should seek the input of the community engaged with the Cultural District when compiling the information relevant for the reports and when deciding on recommendations. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development should use information received from departments in the CHHESS report it creates as specified in section 107.4(b)(7). The ordinance may require reports from any departments, including but not limited to the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Department of Public Works, Arts Commission, Entertainment Commission, Planning Department, and Municipal Transportation Agency.
(7) Require the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to work with other departments when appropriate to prepare a Cultural, History, Housing, and Economic Sustainability Strategy Report or CHHESS Report for the Cultural District based on the reports required by subsection (b)(6), and to submit the Report to the Board of Supervisors for adoption by resolution. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development should submit the CHHESS Report to the Board within one year of the effective date of the ordinance, unless the Board extends the deadline by resolution. The CHHESS Report should include a demographic and economic profile of the Cultural District, including past, current, and future trends; analyze and record the tangible and intangible elements of the Cultural District’s cultural heritage; identify areas of concern that could inhibit the preservation of the Cultural District’s unique culture; and propose legislative, economic and other solutions and strategies to support the Cultural District.
(8) Require the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development to provide a progress report on the strategies outlined in the CHHESS once every three years and to work with the Cultural District to re-assess and update the CHHESS Report at least once every six years based on input from community-based organizations and the departments consulted in the initial preparation of the CHHESS report.
(c) Further Board Actions. After receiving the CHHESS Report from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, the Board may hold additional hearings or take additional actions in its discretion as it deems appropriate.
(a) The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development shall prepare CHHESS reports following the process set forth in Section 107.4(b)(5)-(7) regarding Calle 24 (Veinticuatro) Latino Cultural District, SoMa Pilipinas - Filipino Cultural Heritage District, Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, and the Leather Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Cultural District. The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development shall produce CHHESS reports regarding at least two of these four Districts by no later than July 1, 2019, and shall produce CHHESS reports regarding the other two Districts by no later than July 1, 2020. In preparing the CHHESS reports, the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development shall consult with appropriate departments in its discretion and coordinate with people and organizations in the Districts. By no later than January 15, 2019 the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development shall submit to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor a written report describing the Office’s plan for preparation of these reports.
(a) Provide information upon request to individuals or community organizations inquiring about the process of establishing a Cultural District; and
(b) Develop any necessary rules or regulations to implement this Chapter 107. Any rules and regulations shall be subject to disapproval of the Board of Supervisors by resolution.