Chinatown no-BID activists, predominantly made up of small property owners, have also been crying foul over the last several years. This came to a head when the Chinatown community had to scramble to get official objection forms signed by property owners within the allotted 30 day period as prescribed by BID law. Regardless of the geographic size of a proposed BID service district the City, inexplicably, limits the amount of time for objection forms to be handed in to 30 days. This means that a one-block-BID and a seventy five block BID with thousands of tax lots has the same short period to object. This is ludicrous and speaks to the built-in-bias in favor of pro-BID developers and the Mayor's office which heavily supports BIDs. The way the system is currently designed, it behooves any group to draw in thousands of tax lots in order to ensure a limited amount of objections due to the short objection period and verification process.
Despite this overwhelming obstacle, the no-BID-Chinatown property owners have eclipsed the pro-BID supporters. The claims made by CPLDC, Margaret Chin, and the Small Business Service that 97% of Chinatown supports a BID, are bogus because there is no system to authenticate any ballot survey turned in to the SBS. There is also no way for SBS or Council Members to claim that every single pro-BID ballot is verified and authentic. The only vetted documents are the ones that are objections because they are accompanied by notarized signatures and copies of deeds (as required by law). These are legally binding documents, whereas unverified support ballots probably are not.
While property owners wishing to oppose the BID scramble to officially object, multi-million dollar public relations firmed who are buoyed by multi-billion dollar real estate developers are throwing out lies and playing with semantics to confuse the issue of BIDs popularity while slinging mud at legitimate opposition.
Zella Jones sent this letter to the editors of the Downtown Express Newspaper referring to the BID process in general, but in response to the proposed expansion of the NoHo BID, which she was able to stop, and the SoHo BID which is in the formation process right now.
She has spoken out in favor, however, of a Chinatown BID. With these built in flaws to the process, we're not clear why Jones sees fit to have a BID in Chinatown, but not one in her neighborhood.