Landbanking could be coming to a shrinking New York community near you under legislation sponsored by Assembymember Sam Hoyt.
Both the Assembly and Senate have passed legislation he sponsored that will allow counties to create and operate a land bank for the revitalization of vacant and abandoned property. Land banks allow local governments to overcome legal restraints on the conversion of public land and public liens on private land into performing assets.
“The impact that land banking can have on our region is tremendous. This program has already been incredibly successful in Genesee County, Michigan as a way of reducing blight, enabling productive use of vacant parcels and properties and returning these lots to the tax rolls,” said Hoyt.
Michael Clarke, Executive Director of Buffalo LISC, praised the legislation, noting that “communities across Erie County and across the state have begun to work together to address the vacant property issues that afflict our regions. The newly passed land bank legislation, based on highly regarded best practice models, adds a powerful tool for redeveloping New York’s distressed areas and rebuilding healthy and sustainable neighborhoods.”
Land banks allow counties to take ownership of vacant properties for liens much more quickly than under the current system; strategically sell vacant parcels owned by the county land bank; and link contiguous parcels together as one larger parcel for sale to developers looking at large projects.
The legislation, A08059, passed in the Assembly June 17 and in the State Senate June 18. Land banks would be subsidiary corporations of the New York State Urban Development Corporation.
“Land banks remove barriers to redevelopment and reduce blight through faster acquisition and better management of vacant properties. Our vacant property problem in this region is very serious, but this legislation will help ease this crisis and spark economic development. I hope that Governor Paterson moves quickly to sign this into law” concluded Hoyt.