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NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella | January 10, 2010
The incoming mayor, Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, could have a tremendous impact on improving the city's housing market by committing to lowering property taxes and pushing for a land bank authority to help the city get control of vacant homes, said Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III, executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. The city has seen its tax base erode as it struggles to compete with the declining home prices and lower tax rate of the surrounding counties, Landers said.
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NEWS
By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun | October 14, 2010
Plans for apartments, offices, stores and possibly a public elementary school near the Dorsey MARC train station hit a snag this week when an Elkridge woman appealed the rezoning of the 122-acre property. "I think the zoning change was inappropriate," said Gail Sigel, who filed her appeal of the county zoning board's 3-2 approval of the rezoning on Wednesday. "I don't think it's a wise decision for the county. Our schools are overcrowded. " Sigel and other critics have said they'd rather see a conventional office park on the land than the 954 planned apartments mixed with offices and stores planned by Preston Partners.
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NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 6, 2009
After a three-hour hearing that included rare testimony from Baltimore's sitting mayor, the city's Planning Commission yesterday unanimously endorsed Mayor Sheila Dixon's proposal for a new agency to streamline the sale of city-owned vacant property. The proposal for the quasi-governmental Land Bank Authority now goes to the City Council for consideration. "What we are doing is broken, and we admit it," Dixon said, addressing the nine-member commission for about 15 minutes. "Every day that we do not do something another lot becomes vacant."
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella | January 10, 2010
The incoming mayor, Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, could have a tremendous impact on improving the city's housing market by committing to lowering property taxes and pushing for a land bank authority to help the city get control of vacant homes, said Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III, executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. The city has seen its tax base erode as it struggles to compete with the declining home prices and lower tax rate of the surrounding counties, Landers said.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 5, 2009
City Council members said yesterday that they are seeking changes to Mayor Sheila Dixon's proposal to transfer thousands of city-owned properties to a new quasi-governmental agency, as the mayor began a public push for a plan she says is needed to revitalize Baltimore. The changes, drafted by Councilman William Cole IV and City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, are designed to ensure that property is returned to the city if the new land bank fails, require the head of the new agency to be a city resident and set standards to gauge the agency's success.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 4, 2009
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's plan to create a quasi-government agency to sell city-owned vacant land is facing opposition from elected leaders worried that the organization could conduct its business outside public scrutiny and wouldn't be financially viable. Dixon envisions a nonprofit Land Bank Authority, partially modeled on a successful program in Michigan, that would take the titles to many of the 10,000 city-owned vacant lots and houses and sell them to responsible buyers. Handling the sales process outside the immediate scope of city government would cut the red tape associated with purchasing land, she says.
NEWS
March 5, 2009
Despite owning more than 9,000 abandoned properties in Baltimore, the city sells about 250 a year to community developers and individuals. At that rate, Baltimore will never rid itself of this behemoth of blight. That lopsided ratio argues strongly for a better system of selling these rundown houses and vacant lots so that they can be returned to the tax rolls. Mayor Sheila Dixon has proposed creation of a land bank that would take control of the city's vast inventory of abandoned houses and streamline a process known to be cumbersome and time-consuming.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel | March 13, 2009
The proposal to set up a Land Bank Authority for Baltimore may well, as Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration contends, streamline the sale of vacant city-owned property. But it is unlikely that the mere creation of the entity would substantially reduce Baltimore's backlog of abandoned houses and empty lots. That's because the fundamental reasons there continue to be so many vacant properties in the city - about 30,000, a third of them city-owned - are economic, not bureaucratic. Indeed, the very existence of vacant properties can be traced to the most basic of economic principles: supply and demand.
FEATURES
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,SUN ARCHITECTURE CRITIC | December 6, 2004
Will the Old Goucher Historic District become Baltimore's next hot neighborhood? The answer could depend on what happens to one of the district's most prominent buildings when it goes up for auction next week. The former headquarters of the Federal Land Bank of Baltimore, built starting in 1926 at 2315 St. Paul St., will be offered for sale at 2 p.m. Dec. 14. Now largely vacant, the six-story structure is one of the largest office buildings in the historic district where Goucher College operated before moving to Baltimore County in the 1940s.
NEWS
By John Fritze and John Fritze,Sun reporter | May 14, 2008
Baltimore officials will have broad power to sell city-owned property and acquire new lots under a bill signed into law yesterday by Gov. Martin O'Malley intended to address the city's vast collection of vacant property. The land bank, a long-standing priority for Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration, will speed the sale and, Baltimore officials hope, the redevelopment of thousands of vacant properties by clearing hurdles the city typically faces with land sales. "We need something that's going to do something in a more massive, aggressive way to streamline the process," Dixon said after the bill was signed in Annapolis.
NEWS
By Lorraine Mirabella | January 10, 2010
The incoming mayor, Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, could have a tremendous impact on improving the city's housing market by committing to lowering property taxes and pushing for a land bank authority to help the city get control of vacant homes, said Joseph T. "Jody" Landers III, executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. The city has seen its tax base erode as it struggles to compete with the declining home prices and lower tax rate of the surrounding counties, Landers said.
NEWS
By JACQUES KELLY | July 4, 2009
My curiosity led me to walk a few blocks from my front door and ask just what was happening at the old Federal Land Bank building on St. Paul Street. This elegant 1923 limestone structure, vacant for years, was obviously being thoroughly renovated, but there was no posted notice giving details or a completion date. I knew of no media hype about it, either. I found an opening in a construction fence at 24th Street, sidestepped piles of bathroom tiles and other construction materials and supply bins, and asked the workers.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel | March 13, 2009
The proposal to set up a Land Bank Authority for Baltimore may well, as Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration contends, streamline the sale of vacant city-owned property. But it is unlikely that the mere creation of the entity would substantially reduce Baltimore's backlog of abandoned houses and empty lots. That's because the fundamental reasons there continue to be so many vacant properties in the city - about 30,000, a third of them city-owned - are economic, not bureaucratic. Indeed, the very existence of vacant properties can be traced to the most basic of economic principles: supply and demand.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 6, 2009
After a three-hour hearing that included rare testimony from Baltimore's sitting mayor, the city's Planning Commission yesterday unanimously endorsed Mayor Sheila Dixon's proposal for a new agency to streamline the sale of city-owned vacant property. The proposal for the quasi-governmental Land Bank Authority now goes to the City Council for consideration. "What we are doing is broken, and we admit it," Dixon said, addressing the nine-member commission for about 15 minutes. "Every day that we do not do something another lot becomes vacant."
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 5, 2009
City Council members said yesterday that they are seeking changes to Mayor Sheila Dixon's proposal to transfer thousands of city-owned properties to a new quasi-governmental agency, as the mayor began a public push for a plan she says is needed to revitalize Baltimore. The changes, drafted by Councilman William Cole IV and City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, are designed to ensure that property is returned to the city if the new land bank fails, require the head of the new agency to be a city resident and set standards to gauge the agency's success.
NEWS
March 5, 2009
Despite owning more than 9,000 abandoned properties in Baltimore, the city sells about 250 a year to community developers and individuals. At that rate, Baltimore will never rid itself of this behemoth of blight. That lopsided ratio argues strongly for a better system of selling these rundown houses and vacant lots so that they can be returned to the tax rolls. Mayor Sheila Dixon has proposed creation of a land bank that would take control of the city's vast inventory of abandoned houses and streamline a process known to be cumbersome and time-consuming.
NEWS
By J. Howard Henderson | June 16, 2008
As affordable-housing advocates await Baltimore's appointment and first meeting of the Land Bank Task Force this month, we have concerns about the creation of the proposed Land Bank Authority as authorized by recent state legislation. While we welcome the city's efforts to address vacancies, its land bank plan, released in October 2007, called for several steps to take place before the creation of an authority would even be considered. An authority would bypass traditional checks and balances to which other city agencies and programs are accountable.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | March 4, 2009
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's plan to create a quasi-government agency to sell city-owned vacant land is facing opposition from elected leaders worried that the organization could conduct its business outside public scrutiny and wouldn't be financially viable. Dixon envisions a nonprofit Land Bank Authority, partially modeled on a successful program in Michigan, that would take the titles to many of the 10,000 city-owned vacant lots and houses and sell them to responsible buyers. Handling the sales process outside the immediate scope of city government would cut the red tape associated with purchasing land, she says.
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