Chapter 3.75
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

Sections:

3.75.010    Area established – Modification of boundaries.

3.75.020    Levy of assessments.

3.75.030    Programs.

3.75.040    Assessment methodology.

3.75.050    Rate changes.

3.75.060    Deposit of revenues.

3.75.070    Collection schedule.

3.75.075    Exemption for new businesses.

3.75.080    Delinquent payments.

3.75.090    Notices.

3.75.100    Disputes.

3.75.110    Expenditures.

3.75.120    Members advisory board.

3.75.130    Business improvement district fund oversight and programmatic support.

3.75.140    Repealed.

3.75.010 Area established – Modification of boundaries.

A. As authorized by Chapter 35.87A RCW, there is hereby established an Edmonds downtown business improvement district (“EDBID”) within the following boundaries as shown on the map attached to the ordinance codified in this chapter as “Attachment A” (when a street or alley is named, the area boundary is the centerline of the right-of-way including vacated portions unless otherwise specified in the description). The EDBID includes the parcels with the tax ID numbers set forth in Attachment B to the ordinance codified in this chapter, which is incorporated herein as if set forth in full (for additional detail, please see the attached map). In case of a conflict between the list of parcels (Attachment B) and the map (Attachment A), the map shall control.

B. Modification or expansion of the boundaries delineating the area that contains the EDBID shall be permissible in accordance with the criteria and requirements set forth in RCW 35.87A.075. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.020 Levy of assessments.

To finance the programs authorized in ECC 3.75.030, the owners and operators of businesses (collectively, “members”) in the EDBID described in ECC 3.75.010 shall pay and be subject to a special assessment in the amount listed in Table 1 below. The assessment shall be measured by the type and square footage of the business, subject to calculations and limitations in ECC 3.75.040. Residential properties and the residential component of mixed-use properties shall not be subject to the special assessments. Commercial properties, or the portions thereof, that are vacant (do not contain a business) shall not be assessed. [Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.030 Programs.

Assessment revenues may be used for any combination of the following component programs, but not for any other purpose:

A. Marketing and Hospitality.

1. Maps/brochures/kiosks/directories.

2. Web site.

3. Social media.

4. Marketing/advertising campaigns.

5. Holiday decorations.

6. Street performers/artists.

7. Historic education/heritage advocacy.

8. Special public events.

B. Safety and Cleanliness.

1. Maintenance.

2. Security.

3. Pedestrian environment enhancements.

C. Appearance and Environment.

1. Design enhancements.

2. Neighborhood advocacy and communication.

3. Streetscapes/lighting/furniture.

D. Transportation.

1. Transportation alternatives.

2. Directional signage.

3. Parking management and mitigation.

E. Business Recruitment and Retention.

1. Education/seminars.

2. Market research.

3. Business recruitment.

F. Administration.

1. Contract staff and professional services.

2. Administration costs. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.040 Assessment methodology.

The special assessment amount shall be based on the type of business multiplied by the square footage of a business. There shall be two business classifications for the purposes of calculating the assessment: “open door” businesses (e.g., restaurants, retailers, banks, etc.); and “by-appointment and/or office-based” businesses (e.g., hair salons, doctors, lawyers, nail salons, insurance providers, counselors, financial advisors, professional services firms, assembly or production of goods, corporate offices, etc.). Open-door establishments are assessed at a higher rate than by-appointment/office-based businesses due to the relatively higher benefit that open-door businesses are expected to receive from the programs. Table 1 shows the annual assessment for both classifications of businesses based on their square footage within the EDBID.

Table 1 

Square Footage

Assessment for “Open Door”

Assessment for “By-Appointment/
Office-Based”

0 – 499

$90 quarter ($30 per month)

$30 quarter ($10 per month)

500 – 999

$105 quarter ($35 per month)

$45 quarter ($15 per month)

1,000 – 1,999

$120 quarter ($40 per month)

$60 quarter ($20 per month)

2,000 – 4,999

$135 quarter ($45 per month)

$75 quarter ($25 per month)

5,000 and over

$150 quarter ($50 per month)

$90 quarter ($30 per month)

Assessment calculations shall be based on the city of Edmonds’ business license records. Governmental entities, public utilities, nonprofits operating under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) shall not be assessed. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.050 Rate changes.

Changes in the assessment rate shall only be made by ordinance and as authorized by state law. [Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.060 Deposit of revenues.

The city of Edmonds will create a business improvement district fund within the city of Edmonds budget; a separate subaccount designated as the Edmonds downtown business improvement district account (called “the account”). The following monies shall be deposited in the account:

A. All revenues from assessments levied under this chapter;

B. Gifts, grants and donations;

C. Interest and all other income from the investment of account deposits;

D. Reimbursements due to the account;

E. Delinquency charges from delinquent accounts; and

F. Transfers from other city funds; provided, that liabilities of the EDBID shall not be an obligation of the general fund or any other special fund of the city. [Ord. 3929 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.070 Collection schedule.

A. Assessments shall be paid and collected on a quarterly basis; provided, that members may opt to pay the full yearly assessment at the time of the billing for the first quarter.

B. Assessments for members located within expanded boundaries of the EDBID shall be collected the first full quarter after inclusion in the EDBID. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3929 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.075 Exemption for new businesses.

New businesses located within the Edmonds downtown business improvement district shall be exempt from special assessments imposed pursuant to this chapter for a period of one year from the date a business license is issued by the city of Edmonds. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3965 § 1, 2014].

3.75.080 Delinquent payments.

If the assessment is not paid within 60 days after its due date, a delinquency charge shall be added and calculated at an interest rate of 12 percent per annum of the due amount. The finance director is authorized to use a city of Edmonds approved collection agency to collect any unpaid assessments. Use of a collection agency will result in a business paying the agency’s fee on top of the amount of the BID assessment plus delinquency charges. [Ord. 3929 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.090 Notices.

Notices of assessment, installment payments, or delinquency, and all other notices contemplated by this chapter shall be sent to the EDBID member by ordinary mail to the mailing address shown on the business license as maintained by the city clerk. Failure of the member to receive any mailed notice shall not release the member from the duty to pay the assessment and any interest and delinquency charges on the due date. [Ord. 3929 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.100 Disputes.

Any member seeking to challenge the amount of an assessment or delinquency charge may submit additional information concerning the assessment classification and/or square footage of the business to the finance director or designee, who may adjust the assessment based on Table 1 if he determines that the original classification and/or square footage was erroneous. The finance director shall provide a written determination to the member, which may be appealed to the city’s hearing examiner within 10 days of the finance director’s determination by paying an appeal fee in the amount of $250.00 and filing a notice of appeal with the city clerk that sets forth the alleged error in the finance director’s determination. The member has the burden of proof before the hearing examiner to show that the assessment or delinquency charge is incorrect. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3929 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.110 Expenditures.

Expenditures from the account shall be made upon vouchers drawn by the finance director and shall be used exclusively for the purposes defined in ECC 3.75.030. [Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.120 Members advisory board.

The EDBID shall be governed by a member advisory board comprised of an odd number of at least seven but no more than 11 members from the EDBID membership. The board shall be composed of both open-door and by-appointment office-based EDBID members, respectively, in rough proportion to the dollar value of assessments to be levied on each classification of businesses. In addition, the finance director and the community services/economic development director shall be nonvoting, ex officio members of the board.

The member advisory board shall be responsible for proposing any amendments to EDBID bylaws for city council approval and policy guidelines to the city council that will address, among other matters, the composition and method of appointing or electing board members. The member advisory board shall also provide advice and consultation to the finance director, and to any individual or agency, that may be hired to manage the day-to-day operations of the business improvement district program, on all matters related to the operation of the program.

Each year no later than October 31st the member advisory board shall submit to the city council a proposed annual work program and budget for the following year, unless otherwise approved by the city council. The board shall address and discuss member concerns and questions regarding the EDBID and program; review all reports submitted to the finance department by the member advisory board or program administrator, if hired; and sponsor the annual member meeting. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3941 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3914 § 1 (Att. A), 2013; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.130 Business improvement district fund oversight and programmatic support.

The finance director shall administer the BID fund for the city with authority to:

A. Consider adjusting the assessment amount based on an erroneous classification or square footage;

B. Collect the assessments; refund assessments when overpaid or otherwise improperly collected; extend the deadline for payment; and waive delinquency charges and interest whenever the delinquency results from extenuating circumstances beyond the member’s control, such as a casualty loss causing premature closure of the business, bankruptcy, or the total principal payment due to the city (exclusive of penalty and interest) is $10.00 or less;

C. Calculate and collect the interest for late payments; and

D. Accept and deposit advance payment of assessments by members; accept donations from governmental agencies, the public, and owners and operators of businesses.

E. The community services/economic development director shall provide general support and advice on matters related to programs, projects, activities and administration of the EDBID. [Ord. 4081 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].

3.75.140 Contract for program management.

Repealed by Ord. 4081. [Ord. 3909 § 1, 2013].