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Asheville City Council approves a downtown BID

At the latest meeting the council made its final vote on a Business Improvement District in downtown — here’s what that means for the neighborhood.

A view of the asheville city skyline

A feasibility study was conducted and recommendations made in spring of last year.

Photo by AVLtoday

A Business Improvement District (BID) is officially making its way downtown. At the Tuesday, June 11 meeting, Asheville City Council approved the establishment of a downtown BID in a 6-1 vote. The plan, proposed by the Asheville Downtown Association + Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, moved through state-statute-mandated steps for some months and has garnered both widespread support and opposition.

But now that the BID has begun, we’re breaking down what this means for downtown.

Basics of a BID

Simply put, a BID is a defined city area where property owners pay a special tax to fund and control additional services or improvement projects. BIDs are managed by a nonprofit organization and a board of directors.

Within three months, the City of Asheville will put out a request for proposals for a managing organization; a public hearing will be held before a contract is executed. There will also be a call for board applications, and voting members will include commercial property owners and renters, residential property owners and renters, and community representatives.

The city will approve the annual BID budget, which was set initially at $1.25 million, and determine the yearly tax rate, which was approved at 0.0877 cents per $100 of taxable value. Assessments will be levied for the 2025 tax year. For small businesses and low-income residents, consultants suggested an application for fee relief.

A map of the bid area of downtown asheville

I-240, Knoxville Place, Hilliard Avenue, Asheland Avenue, South Charlotte Street, and College Place make up the BID’s boundaries.

Map via City of Asheville

The direction for downtown

The BID board will decide what services are provided and projects supported, but the city’s resolution laid out initial general categories under which they’ll fall:

  • Safety and hospitality services will initially be a group of unarmed community stewards who will receive training to engage with the public, provide assistance, and connect people who are unhoused with community services.
  • Cleaning services include litter removal, pressure washing, weed removal, and graffiti abatement.
  • Special projects may include landscaping, events, business retention services, and holiday decor.
  • Administration will include overhead and management.

Public input and feedback will be sought annually (or more), annual reports to the city will be required, and a formal evaluation will be conducted in year four.

Dive into more details in the city’s resolution.

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