March 2022
Rena Masten Leddy
Urban Place Consulting Group

Immediate Past President
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland Association
Vice President
Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance

2nd Vice President
Suzanne Holley
Downtown Center Business Improvement District (LA)

Chloe Shipp
San Jose Downtown Association
John Caner
Downtown Berkeley Association
At-Large Directors
Shifra de Benedictis-Kessner
Oakland Chamber of Commerce

Mackenzie Carter
Downtown Santa Monica Partnership

Kevin Clerici
Downtown Ventura Partners

Josh Coyne
Downtown San Diego Partnership

Kathy Hemmenway
Walnut Creek Downtown
Business Association

Christian Martin

Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District

Andrew Robinson
The East Cut

Marisa Rodriguez
Union Square Alliance

Bettina Swagger
Downtown San Luis Obispo

Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association

Liz Lorand Williams
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Bill to Improve PBID Formation and Renewal Introduced in the State Assembly 
This week, the California Downtown Association (CDA) unveiled new sponsored legislation that would significantly improve the process for the formation and renewal of PBIDs. Assembly-member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) has introduced AB 2890, which provides essential clarification of the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994 by providing additional details to help parties comply with the benefit separation requirement.
In 1996 voters passed Proposition 218, which implemented new requirements on PBIDs, and other assessment districts including a condition to specify "special" vs. "general" benefits realized from the assessment. However, the initiative included only a brief definition of the benefits and had no implementation guidance for how engineers are to identify the benefits. This ambiguity has made it difficult for PBIDs to determine what assessments can be charged and has increased the number of lawsuits against the districts.

Ambiguity in published court cases relative to how an engineer should quantify benefits in PBIDs has inspired plaintiffs to challenge districts. While not successful so far, these suits have delayed the implementation of programs and have forced cities, counties, and PBIDs to spend precious resources defending the claims. BIDs who have been sued on the methodology used to calculate special vs. general benefit have experienced success in the courts using the precedence of the Dahms case (Dahms vs. Downtown Pomona PBID (2009). This case provides an inclusive and straightforward definition of special benefits. This bill would essentially codify Dahms and amend the current BID law to include this definition.

Benefits of AB 2890

  • AB 2890 clarifies the special benefit of the programs, which will help PBID assessments avoid unnecessary and costly legal challenges.  

  • AB 2890 proposes a narrow addition to Streets and Highways Code § 36600 et seq. that is needed to give direction to engineers on how to accurately calculate the benefits in accordance with the law. 

  • Without the clarifications in AB 2890, PBIDs will remain subject to litigation challenges that severely impede – or even eliminate – PBIDs and the benefits they provide.

Support AB 2890
AB 2890 will be heard in the Assembly Local Government Committee in mid-April and CDA is calling on our membership to engage in supporting this legislation.

For more information about how you can help, don't hesitate to contact Rena Masten Leddy at:

Join the Downtown Reno PartnershipCalifornia Downtown Association and IDA for the 2022 West Coast Urban District Forum June 15-17, 2022. This year’s theme, Moving into Recovery, will explore how urban place management organizations are working towards balancing the ever-changing nature of public life in the downtown core. This event will focus on economic development strategies and ways to bring people back through placemaking and activations whether for work or pleasure. 

Stay tuned for more information in regards to the event and registration soon!

San Diego adopts 'Homes for All of Us' to help ease ongoing housing crisis
"Part of this plan eases the parameters for granny flats and streamlines the process for building affordable and middle-income homes on city-owned property."

Santa Monica Granted $2 Million in Federal Funds for Parking Structure Affordable Housing Project
Santa Monica Mirror
"The City of Santa Monica has been granted $2 million dollars in federal funding for the affordable housing project that has been proposed on the site of Parking Structure Three in downtown Santa Monica."

California’s Homekey Program: Unlocking Housing Opportunities for People Experiencing Homelessness
Terner Center For Housing Innovation
"A new report explores lessons from the first round of funding for California’s Homekey initiative, an innovative program to address homelessness by dramatically increasing funding for permanent supportive housing."
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