Proposed Community Benefit District

City of Millbrae Proposed Community Benefit District (CBD)

In August 2023, the City Manager, with support of the Millbrae City Council, initiated a study of Millbrae property and business owners to respond to their concerns for the ongoing parking management issues in Downtown, along El Camino Real, and around the Millbrae Station area, as well as their desire to see greater commerce, greater demand and overall business revitalization of this growing Peninsula City.   

The City has many, many assets and believes the time has come to take the property and business community to the next level of enhancing the City’s image and appearance.  The proposed Millbrae Community Benefit District would be a financing mechanism, funded by Downtown and Millbrae Station area property assessments to be generated by and controlled by commercial stakeholders. The purpose of creating this new district would be to create a funding source to pay for new commercial services and activities.  Those new services and activities would result in creating greater demand for the businesses, retailers, restaurants, hotels, apartments and services along Broadway, El Camino Real, and the Millbrae Station area.   

Millbrae’s assets include: 

  • SFO and its growth projections, along with the tens of thousands of people who work there, not including the dependent businesses that serve the airport can provide an ongoing strong customer base; 
  • This is the only place where CalTrain and BART meet, giving employees, customers and visitors mass transit access from San Jose to Dublin and Antioch; 
  • Downtown has easy freeway access from both the 101 and the 280; 
  • A changing demographic in the city, particularly among the younger residents, who understand business and appreciates high density development in its Downtown; 
  • Millbrae already has approved over 1,000 residential units to be built in the next few years 
  • Over 800,000 square feet of new biotechnology laboratory space in the Station area 
  • Millbrae is very walkable and just needs attractive new amenities and enhancements 

 Beginning in late September, a new Millbrae Community Benefit District (CBD) Steering Committee met with the goal of discussing what the special needs will be for this growing community, how those needs will be funded, eventually culminating in a vote of Downtown and Station area property owners to endorse a plan and vote on the formation of this new Millbrae Community Benefit District.  The consultant hired by the City to conduct this effort for Downtown Millbrae is New City America, a company that has formed more similar districts in the entire Bay Area than any other company over the past 25 years.  

New City America has formed similar districts in Downtown Redwood City, Willow Glen/San Jose, San Leandro, 12 districts in San Francisco, 12 districts in Oakland and a number throughout the East Bay. 

Timeline and plan for the implementation of the Millbrae CBD: 

September 2023:  Property owners and business owners will meet at City Hall to formalize the creation of the new Millbrae Community Benefit District Steering Committee.  The Committee met for the first time on September 18, 2023 at Millbrae City Hall.  

October 2023:  The Committee will discuss what special benefit services (or those over and above current City Services), may be desired by Downtown and Millbrae Station area property and business owners. Interested participants met and heard a presentation on October 18th at 1pm in the Millbrae Library.

November 2023:  After a series of one on one as well as group meetings, the Steering Committee will discuss and decide what type of services will help Downtown and the Station area become more vibrant, walkable and attractive, as well as creating a strong offensive strategy through public relations, social media and events, to draw positive attention to the community. The CBD Steering Committee will have their next meeting online on Tuesday, November 28th at 1:30pm. Any commercial property owners interested in being on the Steering Committee should attend this meeting.

December 2023  The consultant working for the City, New City America, will work with the property owners to determine the costs of those services and how they could be funded. 

January 2024:   New City America will begin to write a “Management District Plan”, which would articulate the types of services the property and business owners would want to see and how much an annual budget would be needed to provide the services.  The two sources of funding the special benefits could include both property assessments as well as new parking meter revenues, planned to be implemented in Downtown and the Millbrae Station area in 2025.  

February – July 2024:  Once the CBD plan has been approved by the Steering Committee, the plan will be submitted to the City Manager and City Attorney for approval.  The plan will require that 30% of the property owners (by assessment “weight” or dollar amount) sign a petition of support to trigger a mail balloting of all property owners in the district.  By state constitutional mandates, no property owner whether public, tax-exempt or private, will be exempt from payment into the Millbrae CBD starting in 2025. 

Once the petition drive has been endorsed by 30% of the property owners, by dollar amount, the City will then conduct a mail ballot procedure whereby each property owner will receive a ballot allowing them to vote “yes” or “no” on the formation of the new CBD.  If the “yes” ballots returned (by dollar amount) exceed the “no” returned ballots, the district will then be formed after the Millbrae City Council adopts a resolution authorizing the levying of assessments on the property owners.  

Future Community Benefit District Steering Committee Meetings:

Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 1:30p.m.
Please join the City of Millbrae and New City America to discuss the formation of a Steering Committee for the proposed Community Benefits District. 
Please contact us for more information if you would like to attend.

If you would like to be involved in the Millbrae CBD Steering Committee, please feel free to contact Christy Barberini, Management Analyst, at, (650) 259-2341 or email, or call (888) 356-2726.