COLUMBUS— State Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) today introduced legislation to update and modernize land banking in Ohio.
Senate Bill 356 will update current law by creating a more efficient land bank acquisition process while protecting the constitutional rights of landowners and lien holders.
“For 10 years land banks have operated successfully in our state,” said Senator Dolan. “This legislation helps to modernize the acquisition process by providing consistency and clarification to the existing land banking and tax foreclosure laws.”
Currently 57 counties have established land banks across Ohio. Since 2010 these land banks have been productive in addressing the harmful effects of abandoned properties and have shown a positive economic impact on communities.
The goal is to acquire blighted and/or abandoned properties and repurpose them to productive use, making them taxable properties.
Examples of a land bank project might include rehabbing houses for disabled veterans and sober living facilities, developing properties for residential living and renting or converting vacant lots into community gardens, small parks and parking for businesses.
Senate Bill 356 is a result of Dolan's work with the Ohio Lank Bank Association on necessary changes to current land bank and tax foreclosure laws in order to maintain its effectiveness.
“The Ohio Land Bank Association works to strengthen Ohio communities, stabilize neighborhoods, increase the tax base and remove blight in some of the most challenging areas and with some of the most challenging properties. We are profoundly grateful to Senator Dolan for sponsoring this critical legislation, which helps advance our mission,” said Gus Frangos, President of Ohio Land Bank Association. “Senator Dolan recognized the importance of this community development work from the very beginning when he helped Representative Tom Patton pass the original Ohio land bank bill, Senate Bill 353, in 2009.”
Senate Bill 356 will now be referred to a committee for consideration.