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New NY Bill to Turn Vacant Lots Into Community Gardens

07.26.13 Julia Dawidowicz

Your local rat and syringe-infested vacant lot may soon be replaced by flowers, chickens, and happy families, if NY state legislature passes new “public benefit” bill. The bill proposes to offer major tax breaks to vacant lot owners who let the community access and benefit from their property.

“Vacant lots in New York City are blights to our communities,” Councilman Steve Levin (D–Willliamsburg) tells The Brooklyn Paper. “With this legislation, the property owner benefits by not having to pay property taxes on land they aren’t using and the community gets publicly accessible, environmentally friendly, healthy open space. It is a win-win for the public and property owners.”

There are currently hundreds of acres of vacant lots throughout the city that provide communities with nothing more than untouchable eyesores. While it’s disheartening that the owners of these spaces, many of whom are corporations based nowhere near the sites themselves, need financial motivation to finally do something productive with their wasted lots, the bottom line is that this bill will mean a greener and prettier NYC. We can dig it. (Photo: South Slope News)