The City of Los Angeles has for many years been faced with a planning dilemma, lagging far behind all other major U.S. cities in green space and affordable housing. The local development boom has not substantially alleviated the problem and may have even added to it. In response, the City has recently passed legislation, Ordinance No. 184505 (the “Parks Dedication and Fee Ordinance”), which tries to strike a new balance between housing and open space considerations. It sets out a revised version of the City’s park or “Quimby” fee requirements. Its provisions extend to apartment projects as well as condominium developments. The amount and scope of those fees will be increased on the premise that those funds will help pay for steps to mitigate the impacts which ongoing residential development will have on parks and other recreational areas, even as the City continues to encourage additional multi-family construction.
A colleague of Joe Cobert, Craig Lawson, a highly regarded and knowledgeable land use consultant in Los Angeles (and a reader of The Joe Cobert Report), has written a terrific summary of the terms of the new ordinance, both its coverage and its exemptions. With his permission, we have sent a copy to the readers of The Joe Cobert Reort.
Note that the ordinance is not scheduled to be fully operative until February of 2017, 120 days after the currently prescribed “effective date” of October 20, 2016. The October date is very important right now because the exemption is tied to the effective date. The exemption reads as follows:
“Any project that would otherwise be subject to a park fee but has acquired vested rights under Section 12.26 A.3 of this Code prior to the effective date of this Ordinance, and/or has an approved vesting tentative tract map per Section 17.15, the application for which has been deemed complete prior to the effective date of this Ordinance, shall not be subject to a park fee.”
Clearly, absent modification of the Ordinance in the next few weeks, anyone who has a project “in the pipeline” in the City of Los Angeles needs to do everything possible to move the project to an exempt status in the next 30 days (by October 19).
The Joe Cobert Report will keep you informed about the Ordinance and the various issues raised thereby.