The Daily Record
May 23, 2019
Govans property owners on York Road will decide whether to create a business improvement district and pay a new tax in exchange for more services.
If approved, property owners will pay 22 cents for every $100 of assessed property value to fund 3.5 employees in charge of trash and upkeep in the area.
Earlier this month, the Baltimore City Council and Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young approved a bill designating a two-mile stretch of York Road — between Northern Parkway and 39th Street — as a business improvement district. Now, it requires a 58% backing from over 100 York Road property owners, who will receive a mailer this week, for it to go into effect.
“This is really meant to strengthen the community of property owners on York Road,” said K.C. Kelleher, communications director for Baltimore’s 4th Council District.
Legislation to create the district was first introduced in September by Councilman Bill Henry. For years the city has worked to improve the area, which has been plagued with trash, crime, business failures and deteriorating property values.
In April 2014, the Urban Land Institute Baltimore released a report recommending the creation of a mixed-use development in the area and improvements to crosswalks, roads and transportation systems. A 2015 plan from the York Road Collective, a nonprofit in the area, also outlined a detailed plan to fix the deteriorating community.
The entire project is expected to cost $300,000 annually, with $195,000 coming from property owners and $100,000 from additional sources. Nonprofits, government buildings and religious institutions will be exempt from the tax but encouraged to contribute.
Loyola University Maryland has pledged $250,000 to the BID Board over a three-year period. For years, members of the York Road Initiative at the university have canvassed the area, raising support for the project and the tax.