Phila. City Council passes resolution that would help renew Roxborough District’s charter

The Roxborough District, a neighborhood improvement district in Northwest Philadelphia, is now one step closer to having its charter renewed.

On Thursday, Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution that paves the way for a pair of public hearings and an ordinance that would keep the district operating for another five or ten years.

The district’s current five-year charter expires on June 30, 2013. A simple majority of district business and property owners is needed for an ordinance renewing the charter to be approved by Council.

There are currently 289 members.

Thursday’s resolution also calls for the Roxborough Development Corporation, a nonprofit, to continue its managerial role with the district.

Fourth District City Councilman Curtis Jones drafted the document.

“A good community is judged by its commercial corridors. People doing that work are tireless advocates for the best, small town in the City of Philadelphia, which is Roxborough,” said Jones.

The district runs roughly along both sides of Ridge Avenue – the neighborhood’s main commercial corridor – from Main Street to 7220 Ridge Ave.

Businesses and property owners each pay a percentage of their property’s assessed value to help fund, among other things, street cleaning initiatives and beautification efforts.

Bernard Guet, RDC’s executive director, said the new charter does not change anything in terms of the district’s boundaries and budget.

“It’s just going to keep everything going the way it is now,” said Guet.

If approved, individual assessments would increase by three percent each year of the new charter. If a property or business owner was currently paying $200, for example, they would be charged $206 the first year of the new charter.

The first public hearing would likely be held in 2013. 

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