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File #: 2017-4180 (15 minutes)   
Type: Regular Agenda Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/2/2017
Title: Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Resolution Confirming the Park Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) Annual Assessment Report for Fiscal Year 2017-18; and Levying an Annual Assessment on the Park Street BIA. (Community Development 227)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Assessment Report, 2. Exhibit 2 - Fee Schedule, 3. Exhibit 3 - Boundaries Map, 4. Exhibit 4 - Address List, 5. Resolution, 6. Presentation, 7. Protest Letter, 8. Response to Protest Letter, 9. Protest Letter2

Title

Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Resolution Confirming the Park Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) Annual Assessment Report for Fiscal Year 2017-18; and Levying an Annual Assessment on the Park Street BIA. (Community Development 227)

Body

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

From: Jill Keimach, City Manager

 

Re: Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Resolution Confirming the Park Street Business Improvement Area (BIA) Annual Assessment Report for FY 2017-18 and Levying an Annual Assessment on the Park Street BIA

 

BACKGROUND

 

In 1989, the City Council created Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) in the Park Street and Webster Street commercial areas.  These BIAs were established in accordance with the Parking and Business Improvement Area Law of 1979 in the California Streets and Highways Code.  This report is for the Park Street BIA, which is managed by the Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA).  Revenues from the BIA directly benefit business owners in specified geographic zones through the general promotion of business activities and public events, beautification and ambiance, construction and maintenance of parking facilities, and special projects benefitting that business area. 

 

The BIA is funded from fees collected by the City from all businesses within the geographic zones.  The Park Street BIA is divided into two areas, Area A and Area B. Businesses in Area A are closer in proximity to the retail core, and pay a slightly higher rate, than businesses in Area B.  Other than an automatic annual San Francisco Area Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, authorized by the original Ordinance 2435, the City has not increased assessments since inception of the BIA.  This year’s CPI increase of 3.5% raises the minimum retail business annual fee by $10.00, to $313. 

 

On April 18, 2017, the City Council approved DABA’s annual assessment report for the next fiscal year (FY 2017-18), with its projected activities, budget, and financial documents (Exhibit 1) and received the BIA Assessment Fee Schedule, BIA Boundary Map, and the BIA Address list (Exhibits 2, 3, and 4). The City Council also adopted a Resolution of Intention to Levy an Annual Assessment on the Park Street BIA. 

 

DISCUSSION

 

In developing and adopting its proposed activities and budgets, DABA held meetings with Park Street business owners.  The meetings were announced through business association invitations, newsletters, and/or personal contact.  It is anticipated that these efforts will lead to the approval of the Park Street BIA budget by its Board of Directors at its April 25, 2017 meeting.

 

The annual BIA assessment requires a two-step process.  First, the City Council must approve the annual report and pass a Resolution of Intent to Levy an Assessment and, second, hold a public hearing to levy the assessment.  Notice of the public hearing was advertised in the Alameda Journal on April 21, 2017.  All BIA members were mailed notification of the public hearing, in addition to instructions on how to protest the BIA renewal, should they wish to do so. 

 

The public hearing allows affected parties a final opportunity to comment on the proposed assessment.  The FY 2017-18 assessments cannot be levied if protests are received by the owners of businesses in the area which will pay fifty percent (50%) or more of the assessment.  While the City Council approved the assessment report at its April 18 meeting, it may choose to modify the assessment report-including changes to the proposed activities-based on the public comments it receives at the May 2 public hearing.  The City Council can also confirm the report as filed.  After the hearing, the City Council may adopt a Resolution confirming the report as originally filed or as changed.  Adoption of the Resolution will constitute the levy of the assessment for FY 2017-18. 

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Business Improvement Area billing is done concurrently with Business License billing.  Revenues from the BIA directly benefit business owners in specified geographic and benefit zones through the promotion of business and similar eligible activities.  The primary financial impact to the General Fund will be in the form of Finance Department staff costs to process BIA billing and expenditures, estimated to be approximately $4,644 annually and included in the Business License Program Budget (Fund 001, Program 2450).  This staffing cost has been absorbed within existing staff workloads to provide indirect financial support to the business districts.

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The renewal of the BIA supports the goals of the Economic Development Strategic Plan through continued operation of the business association consistent with A.M.C. Sec. 6-7 et seq.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This action involves government fiscal activities which do not involve commitment to any project which may result in a potentially significant physical impact on the environment and is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), pursuant to CEQA Guidelines section 15378(b)(4).

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Public hearing to consider Adoption of Resolution confirming the Park Street BIA Report for FY 2017-18 and levying an annual assessment on the Park Street BIA.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Potter, Community Development Director

 

By,

Eric Fonstein, Development Manager

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Elena Adair, Finance Director

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Assessment Report for the Park Street Business Improvement Area

2.                     BIA Assessment Fee Schedule FY 2017-18

3.                     BIA Boundaries Map

4.                     BIA Address List

 

cc:                     Downtown Alameda Business Association