Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mayor signs land bank bill into law

With the stroke of his pen, Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed the land bank bill into law, making Philadelphia the largest U.S. city to have a procedure for land disposition.

Mayor signs land bank bill into law

Maria Quinones-Sanchez
Maria Quinones-Sanchez

With the stroke of his pen, Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed the land bank bill into law, making Philadelphia the largest U.S. city to have a procedure for land disposition.

Supporters of the land bank packed the mayor’s reception room today to witness the bill signing – the outcome of a six-year campaign for Philadelphia to do something with its blighted and abandoned plots of land around town.

The purpose of the land bank is to turn vacant, abandoned properties into productive, usable spaces. Council and the Nutter administration will work to transfer all of the tens of thousands of taxpayer-owned properties to the land bank, thus consolidating them into one entity. Currently, any number of three city agencies handles land transfers. The new system is intended to make it easier for developers to work with the city in transforming trash-strewn lots into vibrant parcels of land.

Council President Darrell Clarke and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez, the prime backers of the legislation, congratulated each other on reaching an agreement to bring the measure to life. In December, they agreed to terms that a Vacant Property Review Committee would oversee the land disposition process.

“We don’t have that number today,” Nutter said of the cost of the land bank, but promised that “it works.”

He said he expects the ordinance to be fully operational by the end of this calendar year.

 

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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