The land bank would be a nonprofit, public entity run by the city and funded by the city. In 2011, the state authorized the creation of 10 land banks. If Rochester wants in on the action, it has to submit an application by the end of the month. There’s no cost estimate attached, but the city indicates it has an existing and staff budget for this kind of work. Syracuse and Buffalo already have land banks.
Land banks give governments more flexibility. Rochester’s land bank will not have eminent domain power. From a state site supporting land banks:
Land Banks have the ability to clear titles and forgive back taxes, expediting the process of bringing properties in New York back to market. Properties can be held and combined into larger tracts to make development more attractive for investors. Giving more control to local governments means that strategies can be tailored to meet the needs of communities with different conditions, needs and goals.
Rochester has indicated it wants a land bank for its Project Green strategy, which calls for abandoning entire blocks. (No one at City Hall likes to talk about Project Green, even though the city’s has an entire website devoted to it.)
The legislation for Rochester’s land bank suggests it will be limited in scope in the beginning. It will focus only on properties for which the city has identified a use. The land bank is only estimated to tackle 50 properties in the first couple years. The city has a couple thousand problem properties.
Links of the Day:
– Siena Research Institute wants us to believe Ted O’Brien has gained 19 points since its poll last month. I don’t doubt O’Brien has made gains. The latest poll sampled more Democrats and added a question about negative ads, which favors O’Brien.
– Have you noticed abortion hasn’t been an issue in campaigns in Upstate New York? Until now.
– A Buffalo area state senator’s 2005 bankruptcy came to light less than a week before Election Day.
– Check out this interactive photo Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the Jersey Shore. Be sure to scroll to the bottom.
– Redheads might get skin cancer, even when they avoid the sun!