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Dripping Springs revises parkland ordinance 

By Sahar Chmais
DRIPPING SPRINGS – Given the city’s quick growth and expansion, Dripping Springs City Council has revised the Parkland Dedication Ordinance to meet the need for public lands and open space.
New revisions to the ordinance, which was last updated in 2007, will ensure that neighborhoods, communities and regional parks can accommodate the growing populations in the city limits and the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).
The following revisions were made:
Parkland Dedication Criteria 
• Parkland dedication of land would only be required for residential developments.
• One acre/23 dwelling units, or 5% of the overall acreage for the project for developments with fewer than 23 dwelling units proposed.
• Properties within the Historic Districts with fewer than 23 dwelling units proposed are not subject to parkland dedication.
Fee-in-Lieu 
• Fee-in-lieu is required instead of dedication of land for all properties not located within the city limits unless an alternative design is approved.
• Fee-in-lieu is required where less than one acre would be required to satisfy parkland dedication or is an option if an applicant would rather pay fee-in-lieu in  accordance with the fee schedule instead of dedicating land.
• If an applicant wants to propose a hybrid of payment of fee-in-lieu and dedication of  parkland, this would be required to go before the Parks and Recreation Commission  for recommendation and the City Council for final approval.
• Fee-in-lieu amount is calculated as the average estimated fair market value per acre of land being subdivided within 24 months of the application for the plat/site  development permit.
• Fee-in-lieu funds can be used to purchase or improve parks and trails.
Park Development Fee 
• The proposed ordinance provides for a Park Development Fee of $648 per dwelling  unit to meet the need for active recreation parks for the City and ETJ. The fee was  calculated based on the total park acreage within the City and ETJ, as well as the  number of persons per household. This fee is to be used for maintenance, improvement, or purchase of parks.
These changes were discussed over the course of three Parks and Recreation Commission meeting workshops before they were presented to council. The Planning and Zoning Commission also held a public hearing in December. Changes were unanimously approved by both commissions.
The new revisions to the ordinance are currently in effect. To read the new ordinance in its entirety,  please visit http://www.cityofdrippingsprings.com/page/city.code_ords

 

About Author

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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