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Oklahoma City takes abandoned property issue to Boston meeting with seven other cities

Nels Petersen, president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors, and six other city and realty leaders, will get training through Boston’s Community Progress Leadership Institute.
by Richard Mize Published: March 15, 2014

Oklahoma City, at the center of a legislative brouhaha over what to do about abandoned properties, is sending seven people next week to training in Boston to learn how to put blighted and abandoned properties back into productive use.

Now that’s some city planning training I can’t wait to hear about.

The delegation includes Nels Petersen, president of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors, who also is chairman of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors Government Affairs Committee. The training will be Tuesday-Friday through Boston’s Community Progress Leadership Institute.

The Oklahoma Association of Realtors “is very supportive of a leader from the real estate profession being invited to contribute to this conversation and looks forward to seeing the results,” said Matt Robison, vice president for government affairs for the trade group.

Interesting, because the Oklahoma Association of Realtors opposes what Oklahoma City has recently done to deal with vacant and abandoned properties.

The trade group came out hard for House Bill 2620, by Rep. Steve Martin, R-Bartlesville, which would erase the city’s pride and joy when it comes to the issue — a property registry — and ban all cities from such data collection and regulation.

“The city’s goal is to create a multi-pronged program that identifies abandoned properties so that efforts can be made toward rehabilitation, redevelopment or demolition,” the city said in a press release about the special training.

The Realtors want to lop off the first prong. The Martin bill banning such registries seems to be its top priority this legislative session.

The Realtors want to replace registries with a plan more to their liking: HB 3363, by Rep. Jon Echols, R-Oklahoma City.

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by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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