Council Approves Parkland Dedication Changes on First Reading
Council passed changes to the parkland dedication ordinance on first reading at their Thursday, November 12 meeting. This ordinance requires new residential development to dedicate land or pay fees to account for the impact the development has on our city’s parks, in order to ensure that development pays for itself in providing park space to new residents.
Proposed changes to the existing ordinance are the result of a year and half long stakeholder process. They include making fees dependent on the density of the development, instead of a flat fee per unit. Additionally, the formula used for parkland dedication would increase from 5 acres per 1,000 residents to 9.4 acres, in order to ensure that Austin’s parkland keeps pace with the city’s growth. As the ordinance has not been updated since 2007 and Austin’s fees are among the lowest in the country, these increases ensure that fees match the cost of parkland acquisition.
The ordinance returns to Council December 17. The proposed changes garnered the full support of Council Member Pool at Council, as well as when the ordinance came through the Open Space, Environment, and Sustainability Committee last May. Overall, our office believes the proposed changes go a long way toward maintaining Austin’s reputation as a leader in parks and open space.
Click here to see projects which have been funded through parkland dedication in 2014.