Demone Smith, Masten District Councilmember, submitted the following resolution authorizing the creation of a regional land bank. The resolution was unanimously approved by the Common Council last Tuesday. Erie County is on board, so are the Cities of Lackawanna, Niagara Falls and Tonawanda. Michael Clarke, Executive Director of LISC-Buffalo, told me in a conversation this morning, "...this is a very strong cooperative agreement and an important step forward in dealing with abandonment and vacancy on a regional level."
The resolution is part of an application that the City and County are submitting to New York State later this week. New York State's Empire State Development issued the request for proposals. According to Michael Clarke the strong inter-municipal cooperation spelled out in the resolution for the Buffalo Niagara Land Improvement Corporation is something that Albany expected. LISC-Buffalo have been at the leading edge of the policy development in dealing with these issues. Six years ago LISC-Buffalo published Blueprint Buffalo (2006) which helped set the stage for this critically important policy shift.
See: Getting Smarter about Decline, November 2006