Monday, July 14, 2008

City Land Banks: Time for Cincinnati?

Indianapolis has just started a land bank . The city is making available unsold tax sale properties to the public. Basically the City of Indianapolis seeks to acquire abandoned, tax delinquent, and other problem properties, hold and maintain them temporarily, and make them available to non-profit or for-profit developers. Through this effort the City of Indianapolis will return troubled properties to productive and economically viable use, eliminate public safety hot spots, and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.

Several cities have these types of land banks, so we pose the question, Why not Cincinnati? At present, in OTR almost everything is "given" to 3CDC or a "preffered developer", why not open up the process to more people? I like the Indy program as it gets property back on the tax roles, my only criticism is that there is no restrictive covenant that permits must be pulled within a certain period of time. I think were Cincinnati to do this, that they could "correct" what I see as a deficiency, maybe 3CDC could be persuaded to 'divest" some of the properties they hold into a land bank?

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