April 23, 2024 3:18 pm
Alexandria City Council deliberates on revising Business Improvement District vote to exclude absentee property owners

Alexandria’s City Council is considering a new change to the business improvement district (BID) proposal in Old Town. The current requirement for approval of the BID is that 60% of properties within the proposed zone must support it. However, if this new change is implemented, property owners who do not engage at all would be excluded from the count towards the 60% requirement.

Council member John Chapman pointed out that over 200 property owners did not respond to outreach for the Old Town BID, neither in favor nor against it. This means that their silence is currently being seen as a lack of support for the project. Chapman suggested adjusting the counting process to ensure that absent property owners do not influence the percentage of property owners in favor or against the BID. He believes that this change could benefit the proposed BID, but emphasized the importance of conducting additional outreach to property owners who have not participated in decision-making.

The goal of this change is to give those absentee property owners another opportunity to voice their opinions on whether they support or oppose the creation of a BID in their area. If they choose to remain uninvolved, their properties would not be counted towards determining whether or not the BID will be established. The City Council aims to prevent non-participating property owners from negatively impacting the outcome of this important decision.

City council member Sarah Bagley noted that while some businesses support the idea of creating a business improvement district, their absentee owners have yet to express their views on it.

Overall, this proposed change seeks to ensure that only those who actively participate and voice their opinions are included in determining whether or not a business improvement district will be established in Old Town Alexandria.

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