[Adopted 6-5-2014 by Ord. No. 20]
The City of Troy recognizes that blight, vacant lots and structures harm the safety and economic strength of individual blocks and neighborhoods, as well as the City of Troy as a whole. It further recognizes that the existence of the vacant, abandoned and tax-delinquent properties forces a municipality to absorb the financial losses related to unpaid school, county and City taxes as well as the increased costs of maintenance and fire and police responses to these areas.
It is the intent of this legislation is to provide proactive tools to mitigate costs, spur investment and improve property values within the land bank area. The land bank would ensure clear, transparent and efficient operations by serving as a single entity to acquire, hold and dispose of vacant property with the participation and approval of City Council. The resulting decreases in delinquent taxes and emergency response costs will benefit the City financially as well as improve the quality of life for residents in those areas where abandonment and blight are successfully addressed.
A land bank should prioritize long-term community and economic development, protecting and restoring the integrity of neighborhoods, creating a positive economic impact through Troy as a whole, and should adopt disposition policies that encourage a range of beneficial uses by permitting disposition of property for development of: housing; economic development that creates jobs for community residents; community facilities that provide needed services and enrichment opportunities; side and rear yards; urban agriculture; and community open space.
For the purpose of this article, certain terms, words and phrases are herein defined.
Word usage. In the interpretation of this chapter, the provisions and rules of this section shall be observed and applied, except where the context clearly requires otherwise. Words used or defined in one tense or form shall include other tenses. Words in the singular number shall include the plural. The word "shall" is mandatory and not discretionary. The word "may" is permissive or discretionary.
Words defined. When used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings herein ascribed to them:
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS or BOARD
- The Board of directors of a land bank.
- FORECLOSING GOVERNMENTAL UNIT
- A "tax district" as defined in Subdivision 6 of § 1102 of the Real Property Tax Law.
- LAND BANK
- A land bank established as a type C not-for-profit corporation under this chapter and in accordance with the provisions of New York State Not-For-Profit Corporation Law Article 16.
- A City.
- REAL PROPERTY
- Lands, lands under water, structures and any and all easements, air rights, franchises and incorporeal hereditaments and every estate and right therein, legal and equitable, including terms for years and liens by way of judgment, mortgage or otherwise, and any and all fixtures and improvements located thereon.
- TROY COMMUNITY LAND BANK
- The property reutilization corporation organized and incorporated in Rensselaer County, New York and shall be used interchangeably herein with "land bank."
Permanent Board. The land bank shall be governed by a Board of Directors, composed of 11 members. Four members of the Board shall be appointed by the Mayor; four members of the Board shall be appointed by majority vote of all the members of City Council; two members shall be appointed from the school districts in the City of Troy, one representative from each; and one member shall be appointed by majority vote of the other members.
Qualifications. Members shall include individuals with expertise in relevant areas, including but not limited to planning, finance, law, economic development, real estate development, open space, and architecture, and shall live or have a primary office in the City of Troy, New York.
At least two members of the Board must be employees, members, or board members of nonprofit or advocacy organizations working in the field of housing or community development. These members shall have particular knowledge of conditions and needs in neighborhoods with significant rates of vacant and/or publicly owned properties.
At least three members of the Board must be residential, owner-occupied property owners in neighborhoods with significant rates of vacant and/or publicly owned properties.
Members shall serve three-year terms. All appointments shall be for three-year terms with the exception of the first Board appointed. The first two appointments by the Mayor shall be for a term of one year and two appointments for three years. Two City Council appointments shall be for terms of one year and two appointments for two years. The two appointments from the school districts shall be for terms of one year and three years. The member-appointed vote shall be for a term of three years.
Initial Board members. The first term of the Board members shall commence on the date of the first Board meeting. The initial members of the Board of the corporation shall be:
Appointed by the Mayor: Dylan Medlock-Turek, for a term of one year; and
Appointed by the Mayor: Brian Barker, for a term of one year; and
Appointed by the Mayor: Frank Sarratorri, for a term of three years; and
Appointed by the Mayor: Heather King, for a term of three years; and
Appointed by the City Council: Diane Cubit, for a term of one year; and
Appointed by the City Council: __________, for a term of one year; and
Appointed by the City Council: Patrick Madden, for a term of two years; and
Appointed by the City Council: ____________, for a term of two years; and
Appointed by the Troy City School District: ______________, for a term of one year; and
Appointed by the Lansingburgh School District: Cynthia DeDominick, for a term of three years; and
One appointment by the Board as a whole for a term of three years.
In the event that a vacancy occurs, the replacement will be appointed by the entity that originally filled that position. If the replacement is for an unexpired term, the replacement shall be for the remainder of the term.
Appointments to the Board will be made by resolution of the appointing foreclosing governmental unit.
Any public officer shall be eligible to serve as a Board member, and the acceptance of the appointment shall neither terminate nor impair such public office. For purposes of this section, "public officer" shall mean a person who is elected to a municipal office. Any municipal employee or appointed officer shall be eligible to serve as a Board member.
The members of the Board of Directors shall select annually, from among themselves, a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, a Treasurer, and such other officers as the Board may determine, and shall establish their duties as may be regulated by rules adopted by the Board.
The board shall establish rules and requirements relative to the attendance and participation of members in its meetings, regular or special. Such rules and regulations may prescribe a procedure whereby, should any member fail to comply with such rules and regulations, such member may be disqualified and removed automatically from office by no less than a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board, and that member's position shall be vacant as of the first day of the next calendar month. Any person removed under the provisions of this subsection shall be ineligible for reappointment to the Board, unless such reappointment is confirmed unanimously by the Board.
A vacancy on the Board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
Board members shall serve without compensation, shall have the power to organize and reorganize the executive, administrative, clerical, and other departments of the land bank and to fix the duties, powers, and compensation of all employees, agents, and consultants of the land bank. The board may reimburse any member for expenses actually incurred in the performance of duties on behalf of the land bank.
The board shall meet in regular session according to a schedule adopted by the Board, and also shall meet in special session as convened by the Chairman or upon written notice signed by a majority of the members.
A majority of the members of the Board, not including vacancies, shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business. All actions of the Board shall be approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Board present and voting; provided, however, no action of the Board shall be authorized on the following matters unless approved by a majority of the total Board membership:
Adoption of bylaws and other rules and regulations for conduct of the land bank's business;
Hiring or firing of any employee or contractor of the land bank. This function may, by majority vote of the total Board membership, be delegated to a specific officer or committee of the land bank, under such terms and conditions, and to the extent, that the Board may specify;
The incurring of debt;
Adoption or amendment of the annual budget; and
Sale, lease, encumbrance, or alienation of real property, improvements, or personal property.
Members of the Board shall not be liable personally on the bonds or other obligations of the land bank, and the rights of creditors shall be solely against such land bank.
Vote by proxy shall not be permitted. Any member may request a recorded vote on any resolution or action of the land bank.
Each director, officer and employee shall be a state officer or employee for the purposes of §§ 73 and 74 of the Public Officer's Law.
The land bank shall file its certificate of incorporation as attached with the Secretary of State in accordance with the procedures set forth in the New York State Not-For-Profit Corporation Law Article 16.
A land bank may employ a secretary, an executive director, its own counsel and legal staff, and such technical experts, and such other agents and employees, permanent or temporary, as it may require, and may determine the qualifications and fix the compensation and benefits of such persons. A land bank may also enter into contracts and agreements with municipalities for staffing services to be provided to the land bank by municipalities or agencies or departments thereof, or for a land bank to provide such staffing services to municipalities or agencies or departments thereof.
The land bank created hereunder shall possess all authority and powers as specified in Article 16 of the New York State Not-For-Profit Corporation Law.
The land bank is authorized to convey, exchange, sell, transfer, lease as lessor, grant, release and demise, and pledge any and all interests in, upon or to real property of the land bank in the form and by the method determined to be in the best interests of the land bank.