Council’s Land Bank Tug-Of-War

 

The vacant lot at Point Breeze Avenue at Titan Street, by Tom Gralish for the Inquirer

The vacant lot at Point Breeze Avenue at Titan Street, by Tom Gralish for the Inquirer

  • As the number of City Council sessions left in the year dwindles to three, the Inquirer reveals a bit of unease that Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez’s land bank bill is still not law. The legislative protraction for the measure — one that most urbanists are deeming sensible and necessary — centers on Council President Darrell Clarke’s insistence for the involvement of the extant, yet insufficient Vacant Property Review Committee (VPRC). The Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations and the Land Bank Alliance see the VPRC as redundant and prohibitive of the bank’s mission of the quick and democratic development of the city’s vacant lots. Quiñones-Sánchez offers a compromise: the permission, but not mandate of the VPRC contingent on councilmanic prerogative.
  • The African-American Chamber of Commerce and the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP have officially endorsed the Goldenberg Group’s Market 8 casino proposal for Center City. Although NewsWorks notes that several prominent African-Americans are among its investors, the support should also be seen in light of the Urban Affairs Coalition and Urban League’s assistance with minority training and hiring.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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