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L.A. Wants To Make Land Developers Pay For Parks

The 731 Units in the Hollywood Palladium Development would turn into about $3.6 million for parks. (courtesy of Stanley Saitowitz / Natoma Architects Inc)
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The L.A. City Planning Commission approved new rules this past week that, if approved by the L.A. City Council, would increase the amount of money land developers have to contribute towards the construction and maintenance of local park space, according to KPCC.

L.A. is locked in the grips of a development boom. As high-rise residential towers replace parking lots in nearly every part of the city, the planning department noticed that nearly all of these projects were loopholed around contributing what are termed “Quimby Fees.”

Quimby Fees are fees levied on new houses and condos to pay for the construction of nearby parks. However, like so many other parts of the city’s antiquated planning language, L.A.’s current Quimby Fee legislation fails to levy charges upon multi-story residential development.

"The actual amount of funding was significantly one of the lowest levels in the state, and some categories were not covered by Quimbys," said David Ambroz, the Planning Commission president, to KPCC

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The planning commission wants to change that, and is proposing that developers of high-rise residential buildings pay the city a $5,000 fee for each new apartment. For new houses built on subdivided land, that fee doubles to $10,000.

The proposed changes would also modify exactly what types of parks the funds may contribute too. Current legislation stipulates the money be spent on tiny neighborhood parks within one-half mile of a new unit. That radius is extended to two miles under the proposed changes.

Alternatively, the Quimby fees could also be used for medium sized “community” parks within five miles of the development, or “regional” parks within ten miles.

The proposal now rests on L.A. City Council for approval.