Going Green

Each summer, the Cuyahoga Land Bank works to “green” vacant land left behind after a blighted house is demolished.  Vacant lots are either held for future development, transferred to the appropriate municipality or converted to other productive uses.  Our land reuse experts are always on the lookout for opportunities to reimagine vacant land and beautify our neighborhoods.

While vacant lots receive new grass seed that makes the lot visually appealing, maintaining these lots is expensive. That’s where the Cuyahoga Land Bank Side Yard Program makes a difference.  Through the Side Yard Program, eligible home or business owners can purchase the lot for a minimal cost.

Hundreds of Cuyahoga County residents and community-driven organizations have taken advantage of the Side Yard Program, expanding their properties, enhancing their neighborhood and improving property values.  Side yards can be used to expand yards for family and pets, patios, decks, garages or gardens.

In some cases, grant money is available for additional greening efforts on eligible properties for owners who meet program criteria (responsible owners with a track record of timely tax payments).  Funding is available to enhance the property with additional landscaping, fencing and tree planting.

“When we can work with homeowners to green side yards, their property values are stabilized, the street is beautified, and the formerly vacant lot is maintained and added back to the tax rolls,” says Lilah Zautner, Manager of Special Projects and Land Reuse at the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “It’s a win for everyone.”

We’ve compiled a program criteria and a complete listing of vacant lots available through the Cuyahoga Land Bank on our website..  Anyone interested in purchasing a vacant lot should contact Lilah Zautner at 216-698-4696.

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