The St. Paul City Council will hold a hearing on the proposed changes to the Parkland Dedication ordinance on Wednesday, July 15, at 5:30pm, Council Chambers on the 3rd floor of City Hall, 15 Kellogg Boulevard West. We encourage your attendance and welcome comments in support of a stronger ordinance.
Please email, call, or write a letter to the City Council and Mayor, asking them to consider our amendments and supporting a strong ordinance. Sample letters can be found on our Current Projects page. Ask them to support 12% at both permitting and platting.
While we support Parkland Dedication, the ordinance being considered should not be passed without substantial amendments. Several exemptions are created and language is used that, in reality, would make it difficult to collect parkland dedication. For instance, “shall” has been changed to “may” so that the City “may require” it. It becomes a Parkland Dedication option and is no longer a Parkland Dedication ordinance in the spirit intended.
Another glaring problem is that the percentages are too low. While it may not seem that far off at first glance, 9% residential and 4.5% commercial/industrial at platting and 4.5% residential and 0.5% commercial/industrial at permitting, compared to other communities in the metropolitan area, it is. The average, and what has been upheld by the Minnesota State Supreme Court is 10%. Because St. Paul is mostly platted, the 4.5% and 0.5% rates will most often be used. These are maximums. There are exemptions in the draft that make it unlikely these maximums will be reached.
According to the City of St. Paul, there are 3,974 park acres in the city or 11.7%. To maintain that level of parkland, yet alone increase it as called for in city-approved plans such as the Great River Passage Master Plan, 12% parkland dedication, which we are recommending, is reasonable.
It is a wonky policy issue, to be sure, but it is a fundamental way to diversify the funding for our parks. To learn more, go to the “Get Involved” and “Current Projects” links.
For more information, call Shirley at 612-703-9044.
Thank you, and hope to see you on the 15th.