Alexandria City Council deliberates on revising Business Improvement District vote to exclude absentee property owners

Alexandria City Council Considering Adjustment to Business Improvement District Proposal for Old Town.

Alexandria’s City Council is considering a new change to the business improvement district (BID) proposal for Old Town. Currently, the BID requires the support of 60% of properties within the proposed zone for approval. However, this requirement may be adjusted to exclude property owners who do not engage at all from the count. This change could benefit the proposed BID, as over 200 property owners did not respond to outreach for the Old Town BID, neither in favor nor against it.

City Council member John Chapman suggested this adjustment, noting that remaining silent on the project is seen as not supporting it. The council emphasized the importance of conducting additional outreach to property owners who have not participated in the decision-making process. Members expressed their support for this change, but also urged caution in moving forward with it.

The goal of this adjustment is to provide absentee property owners with another opportunity to voice their opinions on the creation of the BID. If they choose to remain uninvolved, their properties would not be counted in determining the outcome of the BID. The City Council aims to prevent non-participating property owners from negatively impacting the establishment of the BID.

Council member Sarah Bagley noted that some businesses support the BID idea, but their absentee owners have not expressed their views on it. If this adjustment is approved by city council and enough property owners come forward and express their views, then there will be more accurate representation of what truly supports or does not support this proposed Business Improvement District in Old Town Alexandria .

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