Lynchburg’s spot blight program provides the city with an effective tool to get blighted properties out of the hands of absentee property owners. Historic properties can then be acquired by sympathetic investors and unsafe, non-historic properties that may be discouraging investment in surrounding properties can be removed.
Lynchburg provides a good model, not just because of the similarities in the two communities, but because City Attorney Walter C. Erwin, III is acknowledged as an expert resource around the commonwealth. More than 140 blighted properties have been addressed throught the program since it began in 1999. In 2009 he presented on blight reduction at the Virginia Municipal League Conference, and the proceedings from his session provide a thorough overview of tools and policies. It’s well worth downoading and filing with your revitalization resources.