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

A proposed business improvement district (BID) in Old Town, Alexandria needs the support of 60% of properties within the proposed zone for approval. However, a new change is being considered that could exclude property owners who do not engage at all from that 60% requirement. City Council member John Chapman highlighted that over 200 property owners did not respond to the outreach for the Old Town BID, neither in favor nor against the proposal. Currently, remaining silent on the project is seen as not supporting it.

Council member Sarah Bagley noted that some businesses support the BID idea, but their absentee owners have not expressed their views on the matter. This raises concerns about how non-participating property owners could negatively impact the establishment of the BID. To address this issue, 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. While this change could benefit the proposed BID, previous attempts to establish it have faced resistance from the community.

Members of the City Council expressed their support for the proposed change but emphasized the importance of conducting additional outreach to property owners who have not participated in the decision-making process. The goal is to provide those property owners with another opportunity to voice their opinions on the creation of the BID. If property owners choose to remain uninvolved, their properties would not be counted in determining the outcome of

By Riley Johnson

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