The Property Reinvestment Board is comprised of five individuals, in accordance with State law and City ordinance. These individuals include: a City Council member appointed by the President of City Council; the Chairman of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster, or a person designated by them; a member of the Lancaster City Planning Commission appointed by the Commission’s Chairman; the Director of the Department of Community Planning Economic Development , or a person designated by them; and one citizen designated by the Mayor of the City of Lancaster. Together, these individuals form the Property Reinvestment Board.
The Property Reinvestment Board (PRB) in Lancaster City is responsible for ensuring that properties that are in poor condition are rehabilitated in a timely manner to avoid negative impacts on the surrounding area. Blighted properties can cause health hazards, decrease property values, and disrupt the enjoyment of nearby residents. The PRB works with property owners to encourage them to maintain or redevelop their own properties. If property owners fail to take action, the PRB may step in to start a rehabilitation process to ensure the safety and well-being of the neighborhood.
The PRB follows a process to address blighted properties. First, properties that have been condemned for at least three months are eligible for consideration of declaration of blight. The PRB then holds hearings to learn about the owner’s intentions and plans for rehabilitation. If the owner decides to rehabilitate the property, they must acquire a building permit, provide a rehabilitation plan, and pay delinquent taxes and municipal liens. A refundable deposit of 10% of the estimated rehabilitation cost, or $1,000, whichever is less, is also required.
If the owner does not agree to rehabilitate the property, the PRB evaluates the property against blight criteria and may vote to send a Notice of Blight. The owner has 30 days to appeal the decision, and if they do not, the property is transmitted to the Planning Commission for certification of blight. The property may then be considered for taking by eminent domain by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Lancaster (RACL), or the owner may have the opportunity to enter into a rehab agreement with RACL. The PRB’s goal is to ensure that blighted properties are rehabilitated to maintain a safe and high-quality living environment for all residents of Lancaster City.
The Property Reinvestment Board is held on the second Thursday of every month at Council Chambers City Hall Annex (Marion Street entrance) 120 N. Duke St. Lancaster, PA at 5:30 p.m.
Role of City Staff
The City staff has several responsibilities related to the Board, including performing secretarial duties, negotiating agreements with property owners, submitting legal advertising on the city website and in the local newspaper, and coordinating inspections and posting legal notices on subject properties. These tasks involve administrative work to support the Board’s operations and ensure compliance with legal requirements.