New ordinance requires developers to chip in more for green space

A new ordinance going into effect Jan. 1 requires developers of new residential or commercial projects to set aside land for green space or pay a fee to the Park Board to create a park area within a half mile of the project.

The City Council and the Park Board recently approved the new Parkland Dedication Ordinance.

“This ordinance is long overdue,” said Park Board President John Erwin. “The Park Board and city, along with our legislators, have been working toward this for years as a way to provide park land and facilities in growing districts of the city that are essential to urban vibrancy and resilience.”

Developers working on projects downtown will have to provide 288 square feet of green space for every unit in the project. Outside of downtown, developers will have to provide 436 square feet of space for every residential unit. The developers also have the option of paying a fee of $1,500 per residential unit in lieu of creating green space.

Commercial developers, meanwhile, working on projects more than 5,000 square feet will be required to provide 100 square feet of land or a payment of $200 for each potential job created by the development.

Affordable housing units are exempt from the ordinance as are redevelopment projects unless new units or employees are added to the project.