By Nathan Pilling
XENIA — Greene County officials are looking to establish a land bank corporation as a way to address blighted properties in the area.
County commissioners are expected to vote on the establishing legislation for the Greene County Land Bank following a pair of public input meetings, tentatively scheduled for July 12, according to Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson.
The land bank would act as a “pass through” entity that could acquire properties that were at least two years tax delinquent, clear them of those back taxes and turn the property over to a previously identified end user, Huddleson said.
“We have a lot of properties within the county that the free market has not been able to rectify,” he said. “We have properties that are tax delinquent, and the amount of taxes due on the property doesn’t make it feasible for a developer to acquire the property, pay the back taxes, renovate or demolish and rebuild on the property.”
“Those back taxes … have been owed for at least two years, the odds of pursuing those and getting them back are slim to none, meanwhile the rest of the property values in the neighborhood are being drug down by these delinquent properties,” he said.
In order to be eligible for land bank consideration, an applying municipality would have to specify an end use for the property, according to Huddleson.
“The commissioners were adamant that they wanted an end user identified before property would be acquired by the land bank,” Huddleson said. “They don’t want to just amass dilapidated properties.”
Draft legislation for the corporation limits the number of properties the land bank could own to six per municipality and 24 on the aggregate.
A project committee, made up of the county commissioners, the county treasurer, as well as representatives from the cities of Beavercreek, Fairborn and Xenia, in addition to one township representative and one representative from the balance of the political subdivisions in the county, would have the full authority to take action on the projects brought to the land bank.
The draft legislation for the corporation also contains a sunset provision, which would terminate the land bank after five years unless the Greene County Board of Commissioners voted to extend its life.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.