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Jan 20

City-owned vacant lots

Posted on January 20, 2021 at 12:04 PM by Jessica VanderKolk

A neighbor asked us about vacant, city-owned lots during a recent City Commission meeting, so here is some information about those, for everyone's benefit.

We currently have 725 vacant city properties. "Vacant" means the lot doesn't have any structures, like water towers or lift stations, but it does include parks and parking lots. If the lot is not used for a public purpose, we assess and place a value on the parcels.

Of those properties that are not exempt, the proposed 2021 state equalized value is $685,060.

How we sort city-owned parcels:
  • Can be listed with a real estate agent
  • Should be maintained for development opportunities
  • Can be turned into side lots
  • Should be considered to give to the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority, due to the amount of surrounding land, and/or little or no private ownership in the area
Over the last six or seven years, we have used inquiries, bulk direct mail notices of availability, and a lot sale event to remove about 300 city taxable parcels from that list. Lot sales have been on hold since because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have a handful we are working to process.

We planned a bulk mailing last spring, to seek interest on parcels we designated as side lot opportunities, and planned to list others with a real estate agent. Unfortunately, the pandemic disrupted those plans.

Depending on staff capacity, we hope to pursue the sale of taxable vacant lots in 2021.

Grassy, empty lot with a sidewalk at the lower left corner