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Alexandria City Council discusses potential changes to Business Improvement District vote to exclude absentee property owners

Byeditor

Apr 3, 2024

In Old Town Alexandria, there is a proposed business improvement district (BID) that requires the support of 60% of properties within the designated zone in order to be approved. However, a recent change may exclude property owners who do not participate from this requirement. City Council member John Chapman noted that after reaching out to over 200 property owners about the Old Town BID, many did not respond either in favor or against the proposal. Currently, failing to engage is considered equivalent to not supporting the project.

Chapman explained that property owners who do not participate in the voting process may not be counted towards the required 60% in favor of the BID. The intention is to allow those who have not expressed their opinion on the matter to have another chance to do so before being excluded. By not counting unresponsive property owners, the proposed BID stands a better chance of gaining approval.

Although past attempts to establish the BID have met opposition from the community, many City Council members expressed their support for this new change. Chapman emphasized the importance of engaging with property owners who have not yet weighed in on the proposal to ensure that their voices are heard. The goal is to eliminate any negative impact from those who do not participate in the approval process for the BID.

City Council member Sarah Bagley shared that she has received feedback from businesses supporting the BID idea, but facing challenges due to absentee property owners who do not provide their input. The consensus among council members is to enhance outreach efforts to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are given an opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process regarding the BID in Old Town Alexandria.

By editor

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