Western Reserve Land Conservancy’s 2018 Ohio Land Bank Conference, held October 23-24 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Downtown Columbus, offered up timely and essential information for more than 300 attendees from new and established land banks throughout Ohio. Participants included land bank board members and staff, government officials, community and economic development professionals and others interested in repurposing vacant and abandoned properties and revitalizing our neighborhoods.
Allan Mallach, author of The Divided City: Poverty and Prosperity in Urban America delivered the conference keynote address. Mallach, a senior fellow with the Center for Community Progress in Washington, D.C., spoke on what unequal and segregated cities mean for the people who live in them and how land banks play an important role in those cities.
The Conference featured dozens of informative sessions, including several led by Cuyahoga Land Bank staff, including:
Dennis Roberts, Director of Programs and Property Management, led a discussion on best practices in providing field service and vacant property maintenance as a critical part of managing land bank properties.
Michael Schramm, Director of IT and Research, served on a panel focused on how local colleges and universities can be a resource for land banks in reducing blight and revitalizing the community.
Lilah Zautner, Manager of Special Projects and Land Reuse, served as a panelist for a session called Beyond Blades of Grass: A Comprehensive Approach to Greening, which explored a comprehensive approach to greening from the regional perspective down to a single residential yard.
Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel, conducted conference sessions on expediting foreclosures using the Board of Revision, and legislation and legal issues facing today’s land banks, and preparing for the next round of legislative changes.
Cuyahoga Land Bank Executive Assistant Jacqui Knettel and Document Support staffer Sarah Normal led an informative panel on Sunshine Law for Land Banks, including rules on public record requests and open meeting requirements.
“Each year we look forward to gathering with other land bank professionals from around the state to share knowledge and discover new and creative ways others in our field are addressing blight in our communities,” says Gus Frangos, President and General Counsel for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.