Frustrated by the trash-laden vacant lot next to your house? If the lot is owned by the city, Baltimore is making it easier for you to buy the land at minimal cost.
Under a new policy announced yesterday, the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Land Resources Division will sell city-owned vacant lots adjacent to occupied properties at a fixed price. There are about 6,000 vacant lots owned by the city, many of them blighted and often littered with debris.
The city will sell the lots for $500 (per 1,500-square feet) to adjacent owner-occupants and for $1,000 to non-owner occupants. Appraisal costs will be waived.
To qualify, a property owner must be current on all taxes and water bills and have no open citations. The purchaser must also agree not to develop the lot for use as a residence or commercial property for 10 years.
An owner will be permitted to install on the side lot the following items subject to zoning approval: deck, garage, shed, temporary storage container or gazebo. The land also can be used for gardens or pocket parks.
The policy is part of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s “Vacants to Value” program to encourage developers and homebuyers to return blighted properties to productive use and generate tax revenues for the city. Here’s more info.