|Commercial developers will now be required to dedicate parkland to the City or pay a fee in lieu of dedication. The Austin City Council, led by Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter, voted unanimously to revise the Parkland Dedication Ordinance to include the commercial requirements and approved an updated fee schedule to be added to the FY23 Budget.|
“These changes require commercial developers to pay their fair share and help us to secure critical trail connections,” said Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter, a parks advocate. “Our parks attract new industries and entrepreneurs, and commercial developers benefit. Residential taxpayers should not be the only ones burdened with providing parkland to match Austin’s rapid growth.”
As established in a previous ordinance, affordable housing projects will be exempt from residential parkland dedication requirements. “On Thursday we also broadened the exemptions for affordable housing, further reducing the pressure on residential development,” said Mayor Pro Tem Alter. “We don’t have to choose between parkland and affordable housing.”
“Parkland dedication is a well-established tool to expand access to parkland as we grow, enhancing the quality of life for long-time Austinities and newcomers alike,” the Mayor Pro Tem added. The updated Parkland Dedication Ordinance will help the City to meet a goal of providing a park within walking distance of every Austinite as the City continues to grow. “An investment in our parks is an investment in the long-term health of our community,” said Alter.