Thanks to the Pioneer Press for publishing an article about the Parkland Dedication ordinance. Its worth noting that John Manillo is actually in support of the Friends’ position. Also, our recommendations might sound a bit high, but keep in mind, way back in 2006, the Planning Commission unanimously supported (because of staff recommendation based on analysis of what was needed to maintain the same level of parks as development put more pressure on the system) a per unit residential fee of $3,000 and 12% dedication. Staff report cites 11.7% parkland currently.
In 2013, the MN Legislature gave Minneapolis and St. Paul clear legal authority to collect dedication at both platting and permitting. In 2006, when legal authority was unclear and St. Paul was passing the current ordinance, the understanding was that the formula of basing dedication on parking would be tried, but if it didn’t work, it would be fixed. Here we are, 2 years after being granted legal authority and 9 years after “giving it a try”. The time has come to do this and do it right.
The Friends based our proposal on the earlier recommendation. We adjusted the per residential fee both for inflation and adopted City plans that call for acquisitions, and the percentage on what neighboring communities are collecting and our current 11.7% parkland. Development is happening all over the metro, indicating that the market can handle a good Parkland Dedication ordinance.
In a comparison of 29 metro communities, the average fee in 2014 was $3,284, with some ranging as high as $6,500. St. Paul’s current recommendation of $1,200 is at the bottom of the barrel. Plus, the proposed percentages are based on buildable land, not total acreage as the current ordinance requires. Multiple exemptions have also been added.
Contact Mayor Coleman and the City Council before the August 12 vote, urging them to support our recommendations.
Here are links to the Pioneer Press article and the public hearing. Friends’ comments begin at the 2:00 mark in the video.