New Law Allows for Local Land Banks in Sterling Heights and other Michigan Cities

A new law gives Sterling Heights, Warren, St. Clair Shores, and other Michigan cities the ability to form their own land banks.

House Bill 4375, which was recently signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, amends the Land Bank Fast Track Act to expand the definition of a “qualified city” to include cities with a population of 50,000 or more if that city is not located in a county that already had a county authority. Of Michigan’s 83 counties, 48 operate a county land bank.

The cities that would be newly eligible to create a local land bank authority under the bill include Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and Wyoming in Kent County; St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights and Warren in Macomb County; and Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County.

What does the Land Bank Fast Track Act provide?

The Land Bank Fast Track Act facilitates the acquisition, rehabilitation, and disposal of publicly owned property, including property foreclosed due to tax delinquency. Land banks acquire and own property; initiate actions to quiet title to property; and manage, sell, exchange, lease, renovate, develop, or demolish property in their inventory.

Why was the Act amended?

County or state land banks often acquire blighted properties through foreclosure before reselling them to public or private entities or individuals. In the past, Detroit was the only qualified Michigan city authorized to operate its land bank authority. The amendment offers additional cities with similar authority.

The creation of additional local land banks creates the potential for more land development and/or rehabilitation, which could affect property values.

Help is available

The municipal attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions regarding municipal law. To speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal