WILMINGTON — Taylor Stuckert, Executive Director of the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), spoke to the Wilmington Rotary Club which meets at noon on Mondays at Damon’s Restaurant.
Stuckert stated the CCRPC works throughout the county on things such as land use or thoroughfare planning; zoning; policies related to housing and development; demographic data and economic development; and community development (parks, etc.).
His topic for his talk to Rotary was land banks.
Stuckert said the state opened the opportunity for land banks in Ohio in 2015. The organizations fall under code similar to CICs, that are created by a government, but are private and non-profit.
Clinton County created the Clinton County Land Re-utilization Corporation in 2016 to operate as a land bank. The focus was to be on vacant, abandoned properties, where the condition of those properties impacted the properties around them. The land bank also can effectively mitigate large amounts of back taxes.
Funding is complicated. The land bank received $1 million — the funds reimburse for work completed, such as purchase of a property, razing of a structure on a property and asbestos determination and removal.
Stuckert also said that because of the work done and the way the funds are administered, the land bank plans to hold the properties it has acquired for three years before working to move them into the redevelopment phase.
Funds come through the Neighborhood Initiative Program, and the Clinton County Land Bank is focusing on residential properties, initially. To date, 38 properties have been acquired. Seventeen have had the structures removed, and 20 have had asbestos inspections.
Ideally, the highest and best use of a rehabilitated property would be to construct a new house on the property, providing living space and someone to care for the property, pay taxes, etc.
For some parcels, this is not practical due to size or other factors. In those cases, it might be sold to adjacent property owners. The property also may be sold to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. Or, they can be sold to private developers.
There are restrictions on the pricing and presentation of the properties, when they are sold, which also folds into the three-year time frame for holding the properties.
Stuckert stated that property may be acquired by the land bank through donation; assignment of deed in lieu of foreclosure; it can be purchased by the land bank; or it can be the result of a tax foreclosure.