City to Offer Property Owners Vacant Lots for $100 Plus Other Costs (Cleveland Heights Patch)

Cleveland Heights owns several vacant, residential lots around the city. And that number is only going to grow as more homes destroyed in the foreclosure crisis are bought by the city through various grants and are demolished.

In order to get rid of some of that land, the city is offering some of the bare yards it doesn’t plan to use to the owners of adjoining properties for $100 plus closing costs.

Cleveland Heights City Council passed an ordinance at Tuesday night’s meeting with new procedures for transferring the titles of city-owned lots that won’t require approval from council members.

“Neighbors have put up with eyesores next to them probably for years,” said Vice Mayor Dennis Wilcox after the meeting. Residents will now be able buy the spaces at a low cost and increase the size of their yards, plant trees or create a garden.

With money from various federal and county programs and organizations, including the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Cuyahoga County Land Bank, the city has purchased blighted homes and either repaired and sold them or tore down those that couldn’t be saved.

As a result, the city has acquired dozens of vacant lots, and it will take on more as more dilapidated, abandoned and nuisance homes are taken care of.

“We don’t want this inventory of vacant lots to keep accumulating,” said Wilcox.

Rick Wagner, manager of housing programs for the Cleveland Heights, said the city owns 38 lots.

City Manager Robert Downey has the authority to sell lots for $100 plus closing costs to adjoining property owners that are interested. If more than one person wants to snag the space, they can bid on the land, which starts at $100 plus closing costs and will go to the highest bidder, or they can split the space. The land would be divided among those interested and sell for a total of $100 plus closing costs, “provided the parties are willing to pay the costs of a lot resubdivision including survey costs,” according to the new ordinace.

Residents next to lots purchased with money from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program have to meet certain income guidelines in order to have the opportunity to buy that land, according to council documents.

Downey will report the sales to council. The city will notify owners next to the lots.

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