Austin City Council has updated parkland dedication requirements for new developments - one of the core tools used to grow the City’s parks system. After a recent City Council decision, the parkland cost factor has been capped for fiscal year 2023 at 10% greater than the previous fiscal year. Additionally, Council Members set new fees for Commercial Parkland Development that will go into effect on January 1, 2023. Council also passed multiple amendments to the existing Residential Parkland Development requirements, that will now also apply to commercial developments.
Due to the rapid increase in land prices and the concern about potential impacts to new developments, City Council decided to limit the increase of a key factor in the calculation of the parkland fees, Land Cost per Person, to be 10% greater than it was the previous fiscal year, from fiscal years 2022 to 2023. In accordance with Council’s decision, the fiscal year 2023 Parkland Dedication fee will be 45% lower than previous calculations indicated based on the average cost of parkland.
New commercial developments within the Austin Full Purpose jurisdiction, including office, retail, industrial, and hotel uses, will be required to dedicate parkland or pay fee-in-lieu of dedication in proportion to their impact on the park level of service beginning January 1, 2023. This will be applied to any subdivision, site plan, or building permit filed on or after January 1, 2023 that proposes additional applicable commercial square footage. This measure will advance the City’s park system in an effort to keep pace with the rapid growth in the area’s workforce, thereby maintaining a high-quality of life for residents and workers alike.
City Council passed multiple amendments to the existing requirements regarding parkland dedication for residential developments, that will also apply to new commercial developments. The first was to ensure that fee rates do not change during the review cycle, and instead are locked at the time of the project’s permit application. A second amendment expands the applicability of the affordable housing waiver to all types of government-operated affordable housing programs. A third amendment provides clarification on the crediting of dedicated parkland within the 25-year floodplain.
Another City Council directive outlines a multi-departmental stakeholder process to explore further changes to the Parkland Dedication ordinance including outreach to park advocates, housing affordability advocates, and development representatives. Additional information regarding the stakeholder engagement process will be provided in the coming weeks.
Find information about Parkland Dedication including the fee schedule for residential and commercial developments at AustinTexas.gov/PLD.