An anticlimactic Business Improvement District update from Mountain Xpress:
After a lengthy public hearing, Asheville City Council voted 6-0 to delay a vote on the controversial Business Improvement District proposal until Sept. 25 due to concerns about the governing structure, finances, and details of its services.
The public hearing saw Council chambers and two overflow rooms packed. BID supporters arrived early and occupied the front rows of the chamber’s seats, sporting blue stickers. Outside, some of the BID’s opponents banged on drums and held a rally against the proposal.
Many of the BID proponents, including longtime planners, former downtown board members and business owners, emphasized their work in improving the area and asserted that the special tax and services district is necessary to keep it a regional and national attraction. Joe Minicozzi, for instance, noted the almost endless amount of cigarette butts that volunteers have removed from downtown streets; the BID would address this problem and others.
Opponents of BID ranged from hoteliers concerned about the tax burden to activists condemning the proposal as an undemocratic “city within a city” dominated by wealthy property-owners.
Category: Asheville News