City needs new policy on sale of vacant lots
Years ago, my wife and I had a vacant house right on the other side of our driveway. We lobbied every local politician in office at the time to have the city knock it down. Finally it happened and there was left a lot roughly the size of the one in the article from The News on April 30. We hoped we could go and pay the $500 at auction and have a nice yard finally for our dog and us to enjoy.
Long story short – others outbid us intending to build. They since have been told they cannot build and the lot has been sitting there rotting ever since. The owners show up twice a summer when the fines arrive in their mailbox to chop down the waist-high weeds, and the sidewalk is never shoveled in the winter.
This is a different issue from the one the article outlined, but both problems could have been averted if the city would institute a policy of offering vacant lots to anyone right next door first. If the vacant lot is bordered by two inhabited buildings, then those two could first bid to own it if any of them desired it. The city would also be assured that someone who would work to improve the lot would own it.
It would also be desirable for the city to get its story straight on what can and cannot be done with these old undersized lots.