The Seattle City Council on Monday approved a plan to collect more money for street-cleaning and marketing from property owners across a larger stretch of the University District.
The vote was 6-2. Council President Burgess voted for the new, larger business improvement area (BIA), along with Councilmembers Bruce Harrell, Jean Godden, Tom Rasmussen, Sally Bagshaw and Mike O’Brien. Council members Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata voted against it, calling the process that led to the plan unfair.
Seattle’s BIAs — there are current nine across the city — raise money by taking special assessments from landholders, with the amounts based on property values.
The plan drew opposition from some condo and business owners who said they won’t receive much benefit in return for paying into the BIA. It also attracted resistance from people worried about gentrification and about the University of Washington playing an outsized role in the evolution of the somewhat grungy but beloved district.
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Two dozen people Monday wore red scarves to City Hall to urge a “no” vote. They might now sue to try to block the plan.
Proponents said the larger BIA will give locals the resources they need to better clean the district, work against crime and guide high-density real-estate development.