by AmyJo Brown
The Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh announced this morning the launch of a website intended to help their campaign against an effort to create a Lawrenceville business district.
The website, www.nobid.org, is an attempt to make registering opposition to the district easier — offering a templated form and walking property owners through the steps they need to ensure their "no" votes are counted.
Spearheaded by the Lawrenceville Corporation, the district, if approved, would assess an additional tax of $10 per foot of commercial property on about 350 property owners along Butler Street and Penn Avenue in order to raise money to enhance services ordinarily provided by local government, such as street cleaning and light-pole maintenance. (For more details, see this Jan. 16 City Paper story.)
Once proposed, improvement districts fail only if owners of 40 percent or more of the affected property owners actively object by registering their disapproval with the city clerk's office. Otherwise, the owners are assumed to support the proposal.
Property owners have until Feb. 28 to "vote" by sending a letter of objection to the City Clerk. At least 140 property owners will have to speak in opposition for the proposal to be halted. Otherwise, it will go to Pittsburgh City Council for a vote.