Silent Property Owners Could Lose Voice in Old Town Alexandria BID Vote

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

In Old Town Alexandria, a proposed business improvement district (BID) is on the horizon. However, a recent change may exclude property owners who do not participate from the requirement of supporting the project. City Council member John Chapman explained 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 emphasized 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 some members of the community, many City Council members expressed their support for this new change. 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 that more outreach efforts are needed to ensure that all relevant stakeholders are given an opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process regarding

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