Parkland Dedication: What the Ordinance Says

The Parkland Dedication Ordinance requires residential developers to contribute either land or money toward the local park system. Rather than directly dedicating parkland on their sites, most developers have met the requirement by paying a fee-in-lieu – based on land values and varying widely from tract to tract. PARD staff has proposed amendments that would change this to a flat fee per unit, applicable to all new housing. Here are the main provisions of the ordinance, with notes on the proposed amendments:

Assesses a fee which "shall be used for the acquisition and/or improvement of neighborhood parks which will be available to and benefit the residents of said subdivision and located within the service area defined by PARD" – generally within 1 mile. The money is for acquisition or improvements but not for maintenance, operations, programs, staff, or special events.
Proposed amendment: Change "subdivision" to generic term such as "all new housing units."

Requires residential developers to dedicate five acres of parkland on-site for every 1,000 residents or pay a fee-in-lieu of equivalent value or a combination of the two. (Note: Downtown units are calculated to have 1.7 residents/unit, as opposed to 2.1 or 2.3 elsewhere in the city.)
Proposed amendment: Changes to flat fee of $650 per unit, when PARD accepts fee-in-lieu option from developer.

Applies only to residential developers subdividing raw land or replatting.
Proposed amendment: Applies to all new residential development.

Applies to single-family homes (but only for projects with four or more lots) and multifamily projects, including mixed-use with residential.
Proposed amendment: Applies to all new residential and mixed-use projects, unless specific waivers apply.

Gives PARD the right to take land on the site rather than a fee, if desired. PARD prefers to do so when 1) the area is not adequately served by neighborhood parks, or 2) on-site acreage is adjacent to, or offers connectivity with, existing parks, greenbelts, trails, and waterfront.
Proposed amendment: No change.

Allows a developer to receive up to half credit for private park amenities.
Proposed amendment: No change.

City code reference: 25-4-212

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle