Chillicothe — The Ross County “Land Bank” continues to take more action outside of Chillicothe, including looking for a workaround for eyesores that can’t be addressed since there are almost no building or zoning codes outside of Chillicothe.
The Ross County Land Reutilization Corporation met Monday, led by its board president, Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney.
Feeney said township fire departments might be able to declare a building uninhabitable or to condemn it. Then the Land Bank can partner with them to clear eyesores or nudge their owners into action, and sell cleared lots.
He said Chillicothe has codes and standards that most of the villages and townships don’t. (Those may cost owners and slow any changes they make, but they are intended to promote safety.)
This is in part in response to a Bainbridge resident who has appealed to the Land Bank to clear a house next to her home that she says has fire damage and no utilities, the ownership is in an estate or is unclear and unresponsive, but has obnoxious squatters living in it.
The land bank is also still looking for a new director. Feeney said their leader has been a city employee “wearing a second hat,” but the Land Bank job continues to grow, and they hope to have a proposal at the next meeting to be able to hire someone more separate from the city since is not a city position.
The Land Bank also has a potential buyer wants to buy and build houses on two of their cleared lots, and has cleared the Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant (read that story).
Properties that the Land Bank is selling are listed online by First Capital Realty. Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney is the contact person for the Land Bank.