Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka is making news again for his aggressive stance on dilapidated properties- especially those purchased by people outside of Cleveland and hoping to make a quick buck.
Judge Pianka’s work was previously highlighted on Rust Wire and in this New York Times Magazine cover story last year. (Read more about him here.)
The Plain Dealer reports he is ordering absentee owners of vacant homes to pay restitution to neighbors whose property values have been eroded by the vacant structures nearby.
“What is happening (in Cleveland) is certainly at the forefront of initiatives seeking to impose liability upon the owners of substandard properties,” Frank S. Alexander, a professor at Emory University School of Law and general counsel for the Center for Community Progress, told The Plain Dealer.
What do you think? Is this a good way to deal with such properties?
Next American City is carrying a very interesting story about Cleveland’s battle to return vacant land to productive use.
A collection of foundations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and private citizens are collaborating to return agriculture to the city. What’s unique about Cleveland’s efforts, however, is the level or coordination and the overarching vision for a greener, more cohesive neighborhoods, according to the article.
The process has been dubbed, Reimagining a More Sustainable Cleveland and it has the support of the mayor, the state government and a handfull of well endowed foundations.
“We’re talking about pushing people together into dense urban nodes,” said Terry Schwarz, interim director of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. “We’re coming up with a way of managing the landscape enough so it looks like an intentional wildlife corridor. It makes the spot where development occurs obvious.”
Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo) made the headlines at Politico today for “exploding” on AIG officials.
Following a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Wednesday, Kaptur reportedly accused an AIG trustee of sending money to banks that are exploiting her constituents.
“They hire outside people to come in and rape us,” Kaptur said, her voice rising. “It’s outrageous.”
Outrage. I like it! Continue reading
The Ohio House of representatives has passed a moratorium on foreclosures, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
House Bill 3 will place a six-month moratorium on foreclosures, under certain conditions.
As promised, here is the second part of our interview with journalist and author Alex Kotlowitz, who is speaking Monday in Cleveland.