It seems like we’ve been talking about the proposed Chinatown Business Improvement District for a very long time. The discussion is not over quite yet. The City Council has decided to schedule a second public hearing to give anyone who’s interested an opportunity to speak out on the controversial plan.The hearing will take place next Wednesday, September 7th, at noon, at Emigrant Savings Bank, 49-51 Chambers.
Opponents of the BID were not at all happy with the way the first Finance Committee hearing was handled back in May. Quite a few people had trouble getting inside to speak. A number of them quarreled with security guards, who said the small meeting room could not accommodate everyone who wanted to attend.
In a letter to property owners who had filed objections, Chin (a BID backer) wrote, “we want to ensure that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion on the proposal.”
Opponents say they’re concerned a BID would add new and unnecessary financial burdens in a neighborhood that’s suffering economically. They’re also worried that the business district will quicken the pace of gentrification, forcing out independent business owners and longtime residents.
Chin is hopeful a vote on the BID can take place by the end of this month.