Clean & Safe


Existing Services:

Core of Hillcrest. Services here are funded through an existing MAD.

The HBA currently provides a wide variety of services to the neighborhood of Hillcrest.  Because we’re a business association, our services are focused on helping the business district. The services we provide come from a diverse range of funding sources and because of this we are unable to provide all services to all areas of the neighborhood.

Steam cleaning: The HBA currently steam cleans the core of Hillcrest on a monthly basis. Members in this area fall within the Hillcrest Maintenance Assessment District (Hillcrest M.A.D.).  Members that are outside of this area are able to apply for sidewalk pressure washing services on a subscription basis. The cost for subscription services is equal to the cost of services within the Hillcrest MAD, and are billed every three to six months.  To learn more about our subscription services visit:

Liter pickup: The HBA cleaning crews service the neighborhood between two and five days a week depending on the location. In the core of the neighborhood, litter pickup occurs on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  In other parts of the neighborhood, it occurs on Tuesday and Saturday.

Trash and recycling cans: The HBA currently maintains over fifty ashtrays, trash cans and recycling cans throughout the neighborhood.  Trash and recycling services are offered five times a week within the Hillcrest MAD and twice per week outside of the MAD.  

Large item pickup and special cleaning projects:  The HBA maintains an on-call service for neighborhood businesses to have abandoned items picked up or unsightly messes cleaned up.  This service performs special cleaning projects on a daily basis.

Tree trimming: The HBA maintains over 200 trees throughout Hillcrest including the seventeen large heritage trees on Fifth Ave.

Gardening: The HBA maintains three sidewalk gardens on University Ave. and five large planters throughout the neighborhood.  These landscaped areas are planted with trees, shrubs and flowering plants.

Flower Baskets: The HBA maintains almost fifty planted flower baskets on street poles throughout the neighborhood.  These baskets are replanted with new flowering and hanging plants every six months.

Security teams: The HBA has a regular security patrol in the core of Hillcrest (Hillcrest MAD) eight hours a day to assist with issues such as individuals who are causing trouble in the neighborhood, individuals who are panhandling, or those that are blocking sidewalk access.  Members that are outside of this area are able to apply for security patrol services on a subscription basis. The cost for subscription services is equal to the cost of services within the Hillcrest MAD, and are billed every three to six months. To learn more about our subscription services visit:

Public Right-of-Way (PROW) program:  The HBA provides permits for sidewalk cafes, business “A” signs, and sidewalk furnishings.  This service is provided so businesses don’t have to participate in the City’s costly permitting program. Members wishing to learn more or to apply for, or  renew a PROW Permit visit:

Maintaining the Hillcrest Sign and Pride Plaza: The HBA maintains -on behalf of the community- the Iconic Hillcrest Gateway Sign and Pride Plaza, home to the popular Hillcrest Pride Flag.   The sign’s maintenance and power bill, and the regular replacement of flags are funded by the HBA’s special event programs.

Patriotic Flag Program:  The HBA supports the Hillcrest Lions Club’s American Flag Program by helping to sponsor the display of 150 American Flags throughout the streets of Hillcrest.  American flags are displayed from dawn to dusk on the following American holidays: President’s Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Patriot’s Day, and Veteran’s Day. Businesses wishing to display the American Flag(s) in front of their business may do so by signing up for our subscription flag service.

Pride Flag Program: COMING SOON! The HBA is working to expand its flag program by offering a subscription service to businesses that want to display a Rainbow Flag on select days throughout the year. Details will be available soon with possible display days identified as: March 31st – Transgender Visibility Day/Gilbert Baker Day, May 17th, International Homophobia Day, May 22nd- Harvey Milk Day, June 12th- Pulse Night of Remembrance, June 28th- Stonewall Riots Anniversary, September 20th – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Day, September 23rd- Bisexual Awareness Day,  October 11th – National Coming Out Day, November 20th – Transgender Day of Remembrance, December 1st- World AIDS Day, 13th- John Robert Wear Hate Crimes Awareness Day, December 10th – Human Rights Day.

Hillcrest Clean, Green & Safe Walkabout

Join us every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. (holidays & special events may require a date change) for a neighborhood walkabout starting September 22nd, 2017.  Our weekly walkabouts provide businesses, property owners, and residents an opportunity to join us on a cleanliness and safety audit throughout one of five designated zones in Hillcrest. Visit this link to see the schedule and learn more:

The walkabouts are an opportunity for guests to ask questions and learn more about services offered to Hillcrest BIA members, and see first-hand the impact of the association’s programs. Guests will also learn about the City Of San Diego “Get It Done” app,  Guests with smartphones should download the app from the following link before the walk: .

The Hillcrest Clean, Green & Safe Walkabout is also an opportunity for guests to offer constructive suggestions, insight, and express concerns regarding neighborhood cleanliness, safety, and landscaping. Guests should wear comfortable shoes. Accommodations will be made for people with mobility challenges.

Expanding the Hillcrest East MAD

The HBA is hosting a series of public meetings to discuss the expansion of the East Hillcrest MAD.  Over the course of the spring, the community will decide whether it will expand this special district in order to provide security, cleaning and other services to this growing part of Hillcrest.

The public meetings will be held on the following days:

March 14, 2017 at 5PM Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont Street, San Diego, CA. 92103 PN for 3-14-17

April 11, 2017 at 5PM Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont Street, San Diego, CA. 92103 PN for 4-11-17

Here is the management plan for the proposed district. Here is a flier that can be used to promote the expansion of the district

Addressing homeless issues in Hillcrest

Homelessness is a difficult challenge for many urban neighborhoods including Hillcrest.  Homeless people act in anti-social ways and drive away customers.  Homeless people are drawn to Hillcrest because of the proximity of the neighborhood to Balboa Park, the local hospitals and the generous nature of the neighborhood.  As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is have to deal with a problematic homeless people.  This website is designed to help you better engage with this population and prevent them from disrupting your business.

Call the Hillcrest Security Patrol at 619.938.2333


Recently the HBA increased its security patrol service to businesses.  Depending on where your business is you can take advantage of different levels of service.  The HBA has contacted with Citywide Security Services.  Citywide has experience dealing with the anti-social behavior of homeless individuals and can take legal steps to make them relocate to more appropriate areas.

If your business is in the heart of Hillcrest (within about three blocks of the Hillcrest Sign) the patrol is available between the hours of 10am and 6pm every day.

The nighttime patrol occurs throughout the entire neighborhood and is designed to disrupt homeless people’s sleeping habits.  If you know a place where homeless people frequently sleep, you can have that location added to the nuisance area list.  To have your location added to the list call the HBA at 619-299-3330.

Remember, as always, don’t hesitate to call 911 if you feel threatened.  Also, if you see a crime in progress call 911.  Police deployment is based on the number of 911 calls that are generated in a neighborhood, so the more legitimate calls the better.  The number for the police non-emergency line is  619 -531-2000.

Protect your property

The Police Department will not enforce the law on your property without your permission.  Having an SDPD Letter of Agency on file with the HBA will mean that if the SDPD is called to your property, they’ll enforce the law.  Also, the HBA’s security staff will be able to disrupt behavior of homeless people on your property.

Letter of agency: submit this form to HBA at

San Diego Police Department letter of Agency (editable PDF): Submit this form directly to the San Diego Police Department.

Another way you can secure your property or business is to hire additional security.  Many businesses hire their own security.  The HBA can’t be responsible for private property.  However, if you hire the same company as the HBA to patrol your property your dollar will go much further because your service will coordinate with the neighborhood service.  If you’d like to hire Citywide Protection services to patrol your property, please call them at  619.750.4542

homeless_groupWhat about trash and messes relating to homeless people?

The Hillcrest Business Association has cleaning crews out every day in the neighborhood.  It doesn’t take much for us to schedule a cleaning crew to deal with any messes related to homeless people.  If you see any mess (no matter how gross) you can call the HBA at 619-299-3330.  Businesses can call at no cost!  Remember, we can deal with one off emergency issues on your property, but we can’t clean every issue.

7371668_GStay up to date with news stories about Hillcrest’s program

SD Union Tribune 7/16/16
CW6 7/17/16
NBC 7 7/18/16
KUSI 7/18/16