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File #: 2022-1946   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 5/3/2022
Title: Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Resolution Confirming the Park Street Business Improvement Area Annual Assessment Report for Fiscal Year 2022-23 and Levying an Annual Assessment on the Park Street Business Improvement Area. (Community Development 24061810)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - Assessment Report, 2. Exhibit 2 - Assessment Fee Schedule, 3. Exhibit 3 - Boundaries Map, 4. Exhibit 4 - Address List, 5. Resolution

Title

 

Public Hearing to Consider Adoption of Resolution Confirming the Park Street Business Improvement Area Annual Assessment Report for Fiscal Year 2022-23 and Levying an Annual Assessment on the Park Street Business Improvement Area. (Community Development 24061810)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

The Alameda City Council will hold a public hearing to levy an annual assessment on the businesses within the Park Street Business Improvement Area (BIA), which is managed on behalf of the City of Alameda (City) by the Downtown Alameda Business Association (DABA). The public hearing allows business owners in the BIA an opportunity to comment on or protest, the proposed annual assessment.

 

On April 19, 2022, the City Council adopted a resolution declaring its intention to set the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 BIA levy at the same level as the FY 2021-22 levy.

 

Staff is requesting that the City Council hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution to confirm the Park Street BIA’s annual report and to levy the annual BIA assessment, with no annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment, for FY 2022-23.

 

BACKGROUND

 

In 1989, following the Parking and Business Improvement Area Law of 1979 in the California Streets and Highway Code, the City Council established regulations for BIAs in the Park Street and Webster Street commercial areas. This staff report is for the Park Street BIA, which is managed by DABA.

 

The Park Street BIA is funded from fees collected by the City from all businesses within the business district. The pooling of resources improves the business district as a whole and directly benefits business owners through the general promotion of business activities and public events, beautification and ambiance, construction and maintenance of parking facilities, and special projects benefitting the business area.

 

State law and the Alameda Municipal Code (AMC) require the City Council to work in collaboration with a BIA advisory board. The board prepares an annual report and provides recommendations to the City Council on the proposed expenditure of BIA revenues for its geographic area. The AMC also requires an annual review by the City Council and a yearly consideration of the assessment.

 

On April 19, 2022, the City Council approved DABA’s annual assessment report for FY 2022-23, with its projected activities, budget (Exhibit 1). DABA has requested, due to the financial hardship presented to its membership by the pandemic that there not be an annual CPI adjustment to the assessment fees.

 

 

 

The City Council also received the BIA Assessment Fee Schedule (with no CPI adjustment, as requested), BIA Boundary Map, and the BIA Address list (Exhibits 2, 3, and 4). Lastly, the City Council adopted a Resolution of Intention to Levy an Annual Assessment on the Park Street BIA and set a public hearing for May 3, 2022.

 

DISCUSSION

 

The Park Street BIA is divided into two areas, Area A and Area B. Businesses in Area A are in closer proximity to the retail core, and pay a slightly higher rate than businesses in Area B. Per the AMC, each year the BIA assessment has an automatic CPI increase based on the San Francisco Area CPI. This year’s CPI of 4.2 percent, for example, would raise the minimum retail business annual fee by $14.00, to $350.00, in Zone A and by $7.00, to $179, in Zone B. DABA has requested, due to the financial hardship presented to its membership by the pandemic that there not be an annual CPI adjustment to the assessment fees.

 

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. The Resolution of Intent to Levy an Assessment was adopted on April 19, 2022. Notice of the May 3, 2022 public hearing was advertised in the Alameda Sun on April 21, 2022. 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 next step to levy the annual assessment is to hold the public hearing, which allows affected parties a final opportunity to comment. The FY 2022-23 assessment 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 19, 2022 meeting, it may choose to modify the assessment report-including changes to the proposed activities-based on public comments it receives at the May 3, 2022 public hearing. According to the AMC, Section 6-7.13(b):

 

During the course or upon the conclusion of the public hearing, the City Council may order changes in any of the matters provided in the report, including changes in the proposed assessments . . .

 

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 2022-23.

 

Staff is requesting that the City Council hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution to confirm the Park Street BIA’s annual report and to levy the annual BIA assessment, with no annual CPI adjustment, for FY 2022-23.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

                     The City Council may adopt a resolution to confirm the Park Street BIA’s annual report and to levy the annual BIA assessment, with no annual CPI adjustment, for FY 2022-23.

                     The City Council may decide to levy the annual BIA assessment, with the 4.2 percent annual CPI, adjustment for FY 2022-23.

                     The City Council may order changes in other matters provided in the annual report, such as proposed activities to be funded with BIA revenues, per AMC Section 6-7.13(b).

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

BIA 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 is in the form of Finance Department staff costs to process BIA billing and expenditures, estimated to be approximately $7,500 annually ($2,250 for WABA and $5,250 for DABA) and included in the Business License Program Budget (10024056).

 

Community Development Department staff estimates it costs $18,700 annually to support and participate in monthly WABA and DABA board meetings and subcommittee meetings. This cost has been absorbed within existing staff workloads to provide indirect financial support to the business districts. (Fund 241)

 

MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

 

The annual renewal of the BIA supports the goals of the Economic Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) through continued operation of the business association consistent with AMC Sec. 6-7 et seq.

 

EDSP Strategy 4 states: “The City of Alameda’s role is to continue to support existing shopping and dining districts by working with private property owners and business associations to improve retail spaces and the public realm.”

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This action involves government fiscal activities which do not include a 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).

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

There are no identifiable climate impacts or climate action opportunities associated with the subject of this report.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution confirming the Park Street BIA Report for FY 2022-23, and levying an annual assessment on the Park Street BIA, with no annual CPI adjustment.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Maxwell, Community Development Director

 

By,

Eric Fonstein, Development Manager

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Margaret O'Brien, Finance Director

 

Exhibits:

1.                     Annual Assessment Report

2.                     Assessment Fee Schedule FY 2022-23

3.                     Boundaries Map

4.                     Address List

 

cc:                     Gerry Beaudin, Interim City Manager

Downtown Alameda Business Association