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City Council Proposes Creation Of ‘Land Bank’ To Deal With Vacant Properties

(Credit: Mike Dunn)

(Credit: Mike Dunn)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – City Council is looking at creating a new kind of bank — a “Land Bank” — that would be responsible for disposing of 30,000 vacant properties scattered throughout Philadelphia.

Any investors looking to develop abandoned parcels in Philadelphia now have to jump through any number of bureaucratic hoops and deal with a wide range of agencies that may control the properties. The creation of a single land bank would streamline that process. The Land Bank plan was introduced this past week by Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez.

“Some of us have an interest in affordability, accessibility, all over the city. So establishing those priorities will be important. That’s not what we have now,” she says.

The land bank would affect city agencies that have abandoned parcels—not quasi-public agencies like PIDC.