The Cuyahoga Land Bank is not only innovative and effective for fighting blight and restoring properties, it also plays an important role in policy and advocacy at the state and federal level. Cuyahoga Land Bank president Gus Frangos and Land Bank staff attorney Doug Sawyer wrote and advocated for the recent passage of Senate Bill (SB) 172 which enacts a number of amendments to SB 353, which authorized the establishment of county land banks in Ohio and was drafted by Frangos in 2009.
SB 172 enhances the ability of the courts, boards of revision, land banks and other governmental agencies to remove and repurpose blighted, vacant and abandoned properties more efficiently. The bill was sponsored by Senator Tom Patton, who was also the chief sponsor of SB 353 in 2009.
Ohio’s County Land Bank Legislation is considered the gold standard nationwide in the eyes of many practitioners. SB 353 has proven to be useful for urban centers and rural counties alike. “The amendments in SB 172 will further enhance this extraordinary land banking tool,” said Frangos.
Frangos and Sawyer worked with the Ohio Legislative Services Commission to craft the bill and then successfully obtained bi-partisan support for its passage. Both were present at the bill’s signing with Governor John Kasich in June, 2014.
The passage of SB 172 is the latest success in the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s policy leadership. Cuyahoga Land Bank staff continue to be the “go-to” for best practices, research and transactional expertise.
Sawyer said, “The intent of our advocacy efforts is to have a positive impact not only in Cuyahoga County, but also nationally as communities around the country face similar challenges.”