Linden Lab appears to be either changing its policy or strategy regarding abandoned land.
I have noticed several times in the last few weeks that abandoned mainland parcels have either been taken off the market or have not been put on sale when abandoned. I have observed this only when there is a large amount of abandoned land in a given region.
In some cases all of the abandoned land in a region is joined together, in others only adjacent abandoned parcels are joined and elsewhere there are regions where the abandoned parcels are not joined. My impression is that this aspect of it is simply a question of when the parcels were abandoned and how recently a Linden has had reason to visit the region to tend to an issue involving abandoned land (for example, a parcel on which objects have been left behind and had to be returned).
But the bigger picture of why the land is not being put up for sale after being abandoned is what got my attention.
In the past, abandoned land could sit there literally for years before being put up for auction or sold, in some cases, to an adjacent land owner. But for almost two years abandoned parcels have either automatically gone on sale once abandoned or reserved for the person or group that has just abandoned it for a limited amount of time (one to 24 hours) and then put on sale. This policy has been evolving.
Now however – at least in mainland regions with a high percentage of abandoned land, when you abandon a parcel, it is not reserved for you to repurchase nor does it immediately go on sale. Instead the “Not for Sale” notice is posted in the About Land window and the description of the parcel directs one to the Abandoned Land page in the Knowledge Base…
There have been reports of a shortage of Linden Homes in recent months and residents seeking them have had to wait. With a large percentage of abandoned mainland available, it might make some sense to dedicate it to some new approach to Linden Homes.
But whether LL goes that route or not, it’s long overdue that they take up the issue of abandoned land. In RL when you go through an area where most of the land is for sale you think, “What’s going on here? What’s wrong with this place? Why is everybody leaving?” These are not good questions for newcomers to SL to be asking when they explore the Mainland.
I have referred in the past to Governor Linden as an “absentee landlord.” Is the Governor about to do something on the important issue of abandoned land? I certainly hope so. I wonder how long we will have to wait to see? It’s another one of those “in the meantime…” items that faces LL. How about this, Governor? Whatever it is you’re doing, how about at least putting some trees on these square acres and acres of empty land while we’re waiting? At least it would make things look nicer for visitors, explorers and the neighbors who live in these places and are paying you tier.