Ethan Harris of the Clark County Land Bank giving a presentation on properties they have handled.

The Clark County Land Bank, also known as the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation (CCLRC), was developed in May 2014. It is currently operated by a Board of Directors as a Legal Licensed Corporation (LLC), with Clark County Commissioner, David Herier, serving as a Director alongside Charles Swaney, Joyce Chilton, John Detrick and Stephen T. Metzger as Chairman of the Board. The Land Bank is a quasi-governmental, non-profit organization, created and dedicated to the reuse and revitalization of blighted, vacant or otherwise non-performing properties in Clark County, including villages, as well as New Carlisle and Mad River Township.

Ethan Harris, planner with the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation (CCLRC), with the support of Land Bank Director and Housing Connection supporter, Clark County Commissioner David Herier, presented the Land Bank and its processes to the Southeast Neighborhood Association (SENA), on Wednesday, October 26, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 1612 South Belmont, in Springfield. Harris explained that the Land Bank receives funding from the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP) and from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) to acquire blighted or otherwise discarded properties victim to the foreclosure crisis in 2000. The properties fall within certain vicinity, usually five or more foreclosed properties within a general region. The acquired properties are then turned into gardens, green space and even community parks and given to an adjacent property owner (who is in positive standings with area property taxes), non-profit organization property transfer, or to a business for development.

Harris expressed that the CCLRC is a community driven project, meaning in order for the project to work, the community needs to be involved in wanting to revitalize the area. In order for the Land Bank to acquire the land, it must be within the parameters for the Land Bank to purchase the properties. Under the regulations of the development grant received, the Land Bank must hold he deed and maintain the acquired property for three years, before a transfer takes place. Harris also explains that in rare cases the dwelling on the property may be in repairable condition, in this case the property may be sold to a citizen at a reduced price, in conjunction stipulations of purchase the citizens must repair and bring the property up to code. In the instance that residential properties are for sale, the Land Bank posts the listings for residential homes for sale, at 1013 South Limestone Street, Springfield, Ohio. If a taxpayer is interested in acquiring a parcel that the Land Bank does not own, but may have access to due to the foreclosure of the parcel, the Clark County Land Bank may be able to assist in the transaction as well.

The Land Bank also offer the Side Lot program; a taxpayer may pay two hundred and fifty dollars for the CCLRC to clear the property of any back taxes, liens and demolition to ensure that the new owner has a clear deed to the green space. This program allows taxpayers that have a side lot or adjacent to their property, the Land Bank will transfer that property’s deed to the taxpayer for two hundred and fifty dollars plus minimal closing cost.

With a grant of $1.8 million dollars from the NIP through the OHFA, the program allows the Land Bank to acquire a property in one of the target areas, with a non-performing or blighted dwelling on the lot, tear down the home and create green space for the community. To date the CCLRC has acquired thirty-nine properties; eight of those properties revitalized have been turned into green space, transferred to adjacent property owners, and even turned into free gardens and libraries for the community. In the past five years, the CCLRC has invested $500,000 dollars in the Clark County area, which includes aiding the City of Springfield in tearing down structures that would have otherwise cost the city in upwards of $40,000. However, the CCLRC uses local small businesses to complete their jobs, keeping the work local and the cost to a minimum. The cost to the CCLRC to green space or landscape a lot is close to $6,000, the Land Bank committee must maintain the lots if there is no interest in the property by adjacent property owners, non-profit organizations or area businesses.

Harris explained that the goals of the CCLRC are to collaborate with local community members, non-profit organizations and government entities and to develop green space, as well as expand the target areas for revitalization. The Clark County Land Bank is open Monday thru Friday 7:30a.m-4:30pm, located in the Springview Government Center, 3130 E. Mains Street, Suite A, in Springfield, Ohio. Ethan Harris welcomes any questions or information request about the Clark County Land Bank by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visiting www.clarkcountyohio.gov or by calling (937) 521-7181 or (937) 521-2182 to speak with any member of the Clark County Land Bank director and planning committee. Local area contractors may also inquire about proposals and future demolition sites through contacting Anette Ulery at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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