Westchester Square BID gains Council approval

New Business Improvement District approved after Council recommended second comment period. On February 29, 2012, the City Council approved the Department of Small Business Services’ plan to create the Westchester Square Business Improvement District in the Bronx. The district will include 145 businesses along portions of East Tremont Avenue, Williamsbridge Road, and Westchester Avenue in the northeast Bronx. The district will have first-year budget of $320,000, with $120,000 allocated to sanitation services, $95,000 to administrative expenses, and $72,000 to marketing.

The proposal had to overcome some unforeseen procedural hurdles before its formation. The BID’s 30-day public objection period expired in November 2011. The Council’s Finance Committee, however, decided to postpone its vote on the proposal after discovering that the BID Steering Committee had not complied with public notice requirements. It had hand-delivered some of the notices for the Council’s objection-period triggering public hearing, rather than using the mail as required by law. Chair Domenic M. Recchia Jr. was concerned that the error would expose the BID to legal challenges, and decided to restart the hearing process to give the Steering Committee an opportunity to provide complying notice. The Steering Committee delivered proper notice for the new hearing, and a second objection period was triggered in early January. 9 CityLand 4 (Feb. 15, 2012). 

At the Finance Committee’s February 29 hearing, SBS First Deputy Commissioner Andrew Schwartz reiterated that the BID Steering Committee had satisfied the notice requirement, and stated that no valid objections to the BID had been filed. Local Council Member James Vacca urged his colleagues to approve the new district.

The Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve the BID, and the full Council followed suit.

Council: Westchester Square BID (Feb. 29, 2012).

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