Now there's a move afoot to create a Little Portugal on the Peninsula.
The United Portuguese SES Inc. (UPSES) is officially pursuing creation of a Little Portugal Community Benefit District (CBD) in the heart of the Peninsula along Avenida de Portugal.
“However, we can’t do it without your support,” said Daniel Silva, UPSES president.
Silva noted CBDs “strive to improve the overall quality of life in targeted commercial districts and mixed-use neighborhoods through partnership between the City and local communities.”
CBD's require local property owners to be levied a special assessment to fund improvements to their neighborhood. The funds are administered by a nonprofit organization established by the neighborhood. CBDs work to attract businesses in vacant buildings, improve signage, dispose of trash, trim trees, enhance street lighting, act as a public forum and city liaison, and coordinate programming like street fairs and farmers markets.
Jon Linney, chair of Peninsula Community Planning Board, noted formation of a new geographically centered historical district is a worthwhile suggestion.
“Avenida de Portugal has been the heart of the Portuguese community in Point Loma since the 1880s,” Linney said. “This CBD will tie so much of the culture and the history together into one walkable street. This street includes the social hall, acclaimed chapel nominated for historical registry status, historical museum, church, parish center and, coming soon, a pocket park celebrating the neighborhood’s culture and history.”
Linney pointed out that “Little Italy started out with just tiny steps. I’m proud to be co-organizing the park at the end of this street, and I applaud the effort to take Little Portugal to the next level.”
The process of becoming a CBD is long, typically two years. Silva noted the plan now is to contract New City America, which has extensive experience in CBD investigation and formation.
Any proposed Little Portugal CBD would be subject to the assessment ballot proceeding regulations spelled out in the California Constitution.
“We are seeking donations to hire New City America to spearhead this project,” Silva said. “ New City America has developed more than 70 CBD districts nationwide. They have the experience and city connections to make this vision a reality.”
Silva noted New City America (NCA) would facilitate the Little Portugal project in two phases, the Investigation Phase and the Formation Phase. The Investigation Phase educates the business and property owners in the designated “goal” area on the benefits a CBD will provide to them.
“NCA would invite the business and property owners to develop a steering committee to study the boundaries and create and distribute a written survey to the property owners establishing support for the special benefits district with the designated area,” Silva said. “NCA will then present the survey results to the steering committee and brief local City officials as needed.”
Silva pointed out, If support exists for the district formation, “NCA will then work with the City to develop the necessary paperwork on preparing documents related to the CBD formation process to be presented to the City Council.”
Once the CBD plan is finalized and property verification forms are sent out to all affected property owners, The management district plan is developed. That plan stipulates the costs per property owner; lists special benefit services to be funded; benefit zones; (if any); frequency of services; boundaries; and management by a newly formed Little Portugal Owners Association.
“The plan will then need to be certified and approved by the mayor’s and city attorney’s offices to initiate a petition dive,” said Silva adding the total cost for both phases is roughly $80,000.
“This is why we need your support. No tax-deductible donation is too small,” concluded Silva.
Want to help?
To donate, visit upses.com/little-portugal-district-san-diego.
For more information or questions, email SDLittlePortugal@gmail.com.