Side Lot Program

Expanding Potential

This program allows responsible land owners to purchase vacant lots adjacent to their existing home. The side lot program requires that landowners demonstrate a history of property maintenance that is compliant with municipal codes, free of waste, and maintained to a degree that provides an overall benefit to the neighborhood.

The Broome County Land Bank Side Lot Program requires that applicants must:

  • Live in and own property adjacent to the lot
  • If not the owner of the adjacent lot, applicants must live within Broome County or an adjacent county
  • Be in substantial compliance with local building and zoning regulations
  • Be current on all real estate taxes and assessments
  • Not be prior owner to a property that was foreclosed upon
  • Be able to maintain the lot in accordance with all local building and zoning codes
  • Present a detailed plan for use of the property and have a maintenance plan in place
  • Present evidence of proof of funds to acquire property
Tree stump fairy house on Francis side lot

The overarching goal of the side lot program is to provide parcels to interested landowners to return the property to its highest and best use, and to put the property back on the municipality’s tax rolls. Oftentimes these side lots are the result of a housing demolition project. Homeowners of adjacent property will be given priority for the purchase of side lots. The Land Bank typically requires that the applicant combine the lot with their existing property.

Other acceptable uses of side lots include community gardens and green space. A neighborhood association can lease a side lot from the land bank for the purpose of installing a community garden. These gardens could be a component of a beautification initiative or food distribution network. We also make Land Bank owned lots available for urban gardeners to utilize (with Land Bank approval) to create a neighborhood gateway effect based on the location, size, and future use of the lot.