Business Improvement Area Proposal

 

The Everett Station District Alliance is again considering the creation of a business improvement area (BIA) to ensure the safety, cleanliness, and prosperity of the neighborhood around Everett Station.

A BIA is a special assessment district established to maintain and enhance a neighborhood, building a positive reputation that attracts new business, residents, customers, and visitors. Designed as a self-help mechanism, property owners come together to fund safety, cleaning, and economic development efforts for their mutual benefit.

Video by City of Seattle on what BIAs are & do

The current BIA proposal builds on existing efforts.  Despite achieving 60% support among potential ratepayers in March 2020, ESDA suspended its pursuit of a BIA at that time due to the economic uncertainty of the pandemic.  In 2021, ESDA had substantial conversations about when and what a new BIA proposal might be, and conducted extensive outreach to private property owners via a survey.  Based on these efforts and outreach, the new proposal has been adjusted to reflect what we've heard from property owners:

  • Prioritize safety & cleaning

  • Right-size boundaries and budget

  • Build-in accountability.


ESDA will now be contacting the potential ratepayers to learn whether they would support the BIA proposal.  If private property owners representing more than 60% of the projected assessment are in support, then ESDA would engage the Everett City Council in potentially creating the BIA.

Proposed 2022 BIA Budget Pie Chart.png

Presentation on 2022 BIA Proposal, delivered at ESDA's 2021 Annual Membership Meeting

PROGRAMS & SERVICES
Safe & Clean

  • Private safety patrols every night.

  • Neighborhood ambassadors during the week to:

    • monitor for safety,

    • clean up needles, human waste, litter, and graffiti,

    • connect people in need to social services,

    • monitor for illegal parking, and

    • serve as ambassadors during weekly farmers market and other events.

  • Cleanups of major trash piles.

  • Removal and recycling of discarded pallets to prevent unsanctioned burning.

  • Provide public trash bins, lighting, and security cameras.

Parking

  • Provide consistent parking signage and enforcement for businesses.

Neighborhood Enhancement

  • Bring back the Wednesday Farmers Market and support other neighborhood events.

  • Invest in physical improvements, such as street light banners and murals.

Marketing, Communications, & Economic Development

  • Maintaining website and online platforms, convening community stakeholders, meeting with city staff, and hosting BIA meetings.

Accountability & Management

  • Property owners will have control over the budget and work plan through a Ratepayer Advisory Board, Annual Ratepayer Meeting, and performance tracking.

  • The BIA program will be managed by a part-time program manager, with most services contracted out.

Fact Sheet

2022 BIA Fact Sheet Thumb.png

Petition

2022 BIA Petition Cover Thumb.png

Budget

2022 BIA Budget Thumb.png

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you have questions about the proposed BIA?  We'll update this section with answers to questions that we're regularly hearing from property and business owners and the community at large.  Email your questions to brock@everettstationdistrict.com.

Who is the Everett Station District Alliance (ESDA)?

The ESDA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting an environment for success and improvement in the Everett Station District neighborhood around the Everett Station Transit Center. Began within conversations in 2015 and officially incorporated in June 2017, it consists of property and business owners in the area and community stakeholders dedicated to creating an economically and socially thriving Everett Station neighborhood.

What is a Business Improvement Area (BIA)?

A BIA is a special assessment district established to maintain and enhance a neighborhood, building a positive reputation that attracts new business, residents, customers, and visitors. Designed as a self-help mechanism, property owners come together to fund safety, cleaning, and economic development efforts for their mutual benefit.

How was this BIA proposal created?

The current BIA proposal builds on the prior efforts in 2019-2020.  That effort included a technical assistance from an expert consultant in BIAs, a steering group of private property owners, and much direct outreach to private property owners.  Despite a unanimous vote of support by city council in December 2019 and achieving 60% support among potential private property ratepayers in March 2020, ESDA suspended its pursuit of a BIA at that time due to the economic uncertainty of the pandemic.  In 2021, ESDA had substantial conversations about when and what a new BIA proposal might be, and conducted extensive outreach to private property owners via a survey.  Based on these efforts and outreach, the new proposal has been adjusted to reflect what we've heard from property owners.

 

How will you determine whether private property owners support the proposal and when will city council take it up?

ESDA is now contacting the potential ratepayers to learn whether they would support the BIA proposal.  If private property owners representing more than 60% of the projected assessment are in support, then ESDA would engage the Everett City Council in potentially creating the BIA.

What are the services proposed?

The proposed plan would primarily consist of a safety & cleaning program (72% of budget), with contracted nighttime patrols and daytime multi-functional ambassadors.  The ambassadors would also be central to a parking program (5%) that helps enforce on-street parking restrictions adjacent to businesses with unimproved right-of-way, and a neighborhood enhancement program (7%), that supports events such as the Wednesday farmers market and adds minor aesthetic improvements.  A small amount (5%) would be reserved for basic organizational communication efforts and the remaining expenses are for overhead (8%), consisting of a part-time program manager and accounting expenses.

How is this proposal different than the previous proposal?

  • More focus on critical needs of safety and cleaning

    • Nightly private patrols.

    • Daytime neighborhood ambassadors.

  • Boundaries right-sized to focus on providing BIA services to property owners who most want to receive the services.

    • Property owners outside of boundary may request to join.

  • Smaller budget, lower rates. 

    • Budget is 40% smaller.

    • ESDA's non-BIA activities funded by charitable donations.  

    • Assessment on land value lowered from 67¢ to 50¢/$1000.

    • Overhead costs decreased from full-time executive director to part-time program manager.

  • Increased transparency and accountability measures.​​​

What is a BIA Assessment on properties?

The assessment is a fee, which supporters consider an investment in a better neighborhood. It is not a tax. It is a self-help tool for creating a strong public-private partnership with local jurisdictions to address the needs and wants of property owners.

 

How is the BIA assessment calculated?

The assessment is calculated be adding an assessment on the land area (4¢ per square foot) with an assessment on the county's assessed market value for the property (50¢ per $1,000 ). The overall assessment would be increased each year by the consumer price index, but not less than 3% and not more than 5%.

Would the City of Everett pay into the BIA?

The state law that allows the establishment of BIAs specifies that BIA assessments only apply to businesses.  The City of Everett contributes to the Downtown Everett BIA on a proportionate basis as private ratepayers.  The City had agreed to do as much for the ESDA's prior proposal in 2019.  The ESDA's current proposed petition specifies that the City of Everett would contribute $70,000 annually to the BIA, which is approximately what the City would pay if it were a private ratepayer.

What is the budget for the BIA?

The proposed budget of the BIA is estimated to be $290,000, which accounts for $10,000 in estimated uncollected assessments and $70,000 from the City of Everett.

  • Safety & Cleaning: 72%

  • Parking: 5%

  • Neighborhood Enhancement: 7%

  • Marketing, Communications, & Economic Development: 5%

  • Overhead: 5%

  • Uncollected Assessments: 10%

How long will the BIA exist?

The BIA will sunset after 5 years, necessitating a renewal through city council with the support of ratepayers representing 60% of the BIA area's assessment amount.

How will accountability be integrated into the BIA plan?

  • Ratepayer Board: A Ratepayer Advisory Board will be appointed by the City, and will be constituted of ratepayers representing the broad diversity of private property owners in terms of size and land uses.  It will meet quarterly to set and review budgets, and set performance metrics and review whether the BIA is achieving expectations.

  • Annual Ratepayer Meeting & Report: An annual ratepayer meeting will be held for ratepayers (private property owners) to receive a performance update, discuss priorities, and approve the following year's budget.

  • Budget: The annual budget will be approved annually by the membership, ratepayer advisory board, and the City.

  • Sunset: The BIA will sunset after 5 years, necessitating a renewal through city council with the support of ratepayers representing 60% of the BIA area's assessment amount.

 What's New   

  • More focus on critical needs of safety and cleaning.

    • Nightly private patrols.

    • Daytime neighborhood ambassadors.

  • Boundaries right-sized to focus on providing BIA services to property owners who most want to receive the services.  Property owners outside of boundary may request to join.

  • Smaller budget, lower rates. 

    • Budget is 40% smaller.

    • ESDA's non-BIA activities funded by charitable donations.  

    • Assessment on land value lowered from 67¢ to 50¢/$1000.

    • Overhead costs decreased from full-time executive director to part-time program manager.

  • Increased transparency and accountability measures.

ESDA BIA 2022 Map Website.png

This new BIA proposal would establish four discrete, contiguous areas where, based on our past BIA effort, there already exists overwhelmingly support to receive BIA services. Other property owners may request to join, and could either join through the city council process or by contracting with the BIA to receive services.