There is symbolism in the first pair of properties to pass through the Land Bank, which are located in Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez’s 7th District and Council President Darrell Clarke’s 5th District. The Councilwoman introduced the Land Bank legislation, which passed in December 2013, and she has remained its biggest supporter. Clarke was the Land Bank’s hardest won supporter, who only backed its creation once district councilmembers retained more measures of control over city property transfers in their districts, through layers of councilmanic approval and passage through the inter-agency Vacant Property Review Committee (VPRC). The VPRC reviews all proposals for moving property through the Land Bank, and an appointee of the Council President chairs the committee.
At its April meeting, the VPRC recommended approval of today’s two property conveyances. In the 7th, 1908 East York Street will go to Jeffery Marshall of Meadowbrook, PA for use as a single family home, according to the VPRC agenda. In the 5th, 1140 Mount Vernon Street will go to Gary Clarke and Rachel Collins for new construction.
This first set of transfers comes nearly six months after the Land Bank received its first property deposit.
Despite today’s approved property dispositions, the Land Bank’s inventory will see a net gain: City Council also voted in support of a bill transferring 27 city-owned parcels into the bank.