Land Bank Proposal Gets Alteration

Land Bank Proposal Gets Alteration

Four years ago we wrote about legislation allowing for the creation of land banks. We asked in that Brief why the General Assembly could not have just expanded the powers of existing redevelopment authorities to accomplish the goals of land banks.

Legislation to do that without taking away “…the ability of a community to create a land bank or affect existing land banks in any way” was proposed in 2017. It passed the Senate last July and the House last week, though the more recent version is different in some respects.

The Senate proposal amends the Urban Redevelopment Law, the House version amends the Land Bank Law.   Another change is that a land bank jurisdiction only in counties of the second class A through eighth class may designate a redevelopment authority as a land bank.  This means Philadelphia and Allegheny County would not be eligible to utilize this arrangement (the City of Pittsburgh land bank’s policies mentioned how the City, the URA, and the land bank were to interact).

If a redevelopment authority in one of the classes of counties is designated as a land bank the proposal spells out how the exercise of powers and accounting of finances are to be handled.