Chapter 12.03
NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS

Sections:

12.03.010    Purpose.

12.03.020    Parkland transfer upon residential land subdivision.

12.03.030    Neighborhood park development fee.

12.03.040    New construction.

12.03.050    Accounting procedures – Reports.

12.03.060    Expenditure of fees.

12.03.070    Refunds.

12.03.080    Neighborhood park development fee as additional and supplemental requirement.

12.03.090    Appeals.

12.03.100    Limitation on appeal to court.

12.03.110    Definitions.

12.03.010 Purpose.

A purpose of this chapter is to protect the public safety, health and welfare of city residents by providing a means to bring about the development of neighborhood parks, mainly to serve new residences. A purpose is to have the development that creates the new neighborhood park demand participate in paying some of the costs of the new neighborhood parks. It is not the purpose of this chapter to have new development cure existing deficiencies in neighborhood park service, although some incidental cure of existing deficiencies may occur. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.020 Parkland transfer upon residential land subdivision.

A. The owner or owners of each new residential subdivision in the city or of a new phase of a phased residential subdivision may voluntarily agree to convey land (to include, at the option of the owner, park improvements thereon) to the city for use as a neighborhood park in the subdivision.

B. The land (and improvements) are subject to the determination of the city manager that the land (and improvements) are suitable for neighborhood park purposes.

C. In addition, the value of transferred land (and improvements) is subject to the reasonable agreement of the city manager based upon the value of the land, improvement materials, and reasonable labor cost of installation and/or construction.

D. The city manager’s determinations or method for determination may be set out in the subdivision agreement.

E. The agreed-upon value of the land (and improvements) shall be a credit belonging to the owner of the subdivision that may be used, to include by assignment, to offset the neighborhood park development fees arising out of development in the subdivision, including other phases of the subdivision where applicable. The credit is not valid to offset the fees in areas other than the subdivision. If the amount of the credit is greater than the amount of the neighborhood park development fees arising out of development in the subdivision, including other phases of the subdivision, the owner or assignee(s) are not entitled to any rebate or refund of the excess credit. However, the owner may, with the written approval of the city manager, declare any amount of the agreed-upon value of the property conveyed to the city to be a gift to the city. The portion of the value declared to be a gift shall be deducted from the agreed-upon value of the property to determine the amount of the credit belonging to the owner.

F. Subject to council approval, the city may agree to buy a lot in a subdivision to be designated as a park. Subject to owner approval, the city may pay for the property in cash or partly in cash and partly in neighborhood park development fee credits.

G. For any property conveyed to the city under this section, upon conveyance of the property to the city, the city agrees to designate the land as neighborhood park land. The city may, but need not, improve the property. The city may leave the property in its natural state for use as a park. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.030 Neighborhood park development fee.

A. After July 1, 2003, all residential development (excluding mobile homes) in the city for which a building permit is required shall be subject to the payment of a neighborhood park development fee; provided, however, if before that date a building permit application has been received by the city, then no such fee shall be required for the permitted development. After July 1, 2003, all residential development by means of mobile homes for which approval by the building official is required under PMC 15.04.050(A) shall be subject to the payment of a neighborhood park development fee; provided, however, (1) if before that date a request for such approval has been received by the city, then no such fee shall be required for the approved development, (2) no such fee shall be required for mobile homes locating in any mobile home park validly existing in the city on July 1, 2003, and (3) no such fee shall be required for any mobile homes locating in a mobile home park that has paid the fee for each space in the mobile home park.

B. The fee shall be due and collected at the time of building permit application and the permit shall not be issued until the fee is collected. For a mobile home, the fee shall be due and collected at the time of the request for approval under PMC 15.04.050(A) and the approval shall not be granted until the fee is collected.

C. The amount of the fee may be set by resolution of the council from time to time, based upon a report showing the neighborhood park level of service (the number of acres of neighborhood parks per 1,000 residents of the city), a rough average cost per acre of residential land in the city (in lot sizes) together with the reasonable cost of developing and equipping a neighborhood park, the number of occupants per dwelling unit for single-family dwelling units and for multifamily dwelling units, all reduced by the amount of 15 percent for an equitable adjustment. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.040 New construction.

The neighborhood park development fee is applicable to the construction of new residential dwelling units. The fee is not applicable to mere additions to single-family or multifamily residences, except where the addition adds a separate dwelling unit or units in which case the fee is applicable. The fee is not applicable to the mere reconstruction (e.g., after a fire, etc.) or remodeling of existing single-family or multifamily residences, where the number of dwelling units is not increased. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.050 Accounting procedures – Reports.

A. All fees collected under this chapter shall be deposited in the newly established neighborhood parks development projects fund. The finance director shall establish a separate designated reserve account for neighborhood parks and shall maintain records for the account. All interest earned by the fund shall be allocated to the account. All interest shall be retained in the account and expended for the acquisition of land and the development of neighborhood parks.

B. The finance director shall provide an annual report on or before May 1st of each year for the previous calendar year on the fee account showing the source and amount of the moneys collected, earned or received, and neighborhood park improvements that were financed in whole or in part by the fees. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.060 Expenditure of fees.

A. Neighborhood park development fees shall be expended for the acquisition of land and the development of neighborhood parks only. The fees shall be expended or encumbered for such uses within six years of collection, unless there exists an extraordinary and compelling reason for fees to be held longer than six years. Such extraordinary or compelling reasons must be identified in written findings by the city council.

B. Neighborhood park development fees shall not be imposed to make up for deficiencies in existing neighborhood parks.

C. The fees shall not be used for maintenance or operation.

D. Regarding the expenditure of the fees, the term “development of neighborhood parks” includes but is not limited to planning, land acquisition, construction, engineering, architectural, permitting, financing, costs of equipment and goods, and administrative expenses, and any other similar expenses and costs reasonably related to the development of a neighborhood park.

E. In the event that bonds or similar debt instruments are issued for the advanced provision of city improvements for which the fees may be expended or to reimburse the city for such improvements, the fees may be used to pay debt service on such bonds or similar debt instruments to the extent that the facilities or improvements provided are consistent with the requirements of this section and are used to serve the development of neighborhood parks. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.070 Refunds.

A. The current owner of property on which the neighborhood park development fee has been paid may receive a refund of such fee if the city fails to expend or encumber the fees within six years of collection, or such greater time as may be established in written findings by the city council documenting extraordinary or compelling reasons for extension beyond six years. (The term “current owner” excludes but is not limited to the following: an assignee of credits or later owner of the property.) In determining whether fees have been encumbered, the fees shall be considered encumbered on a first-in, first-out basis. The city shall notify potential claimants by first class mail deposited with the United States Postal Service at the last known address of each claimant.

B. The request for a refund must be submitted to the city manager in writing within one year of the date the right to claim a refund arises or within one year of the date notice is given, whichever is later. Any fees that are not expended within these time limitations, and for which no application for refund has been made as herein provided, shall be retained and expended on the development of neighborhood parks. Refunds of the fees under this subsection shall include any interest earned on the fees. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.080 Neighborhood park development fee as additional and supplemental requirement.

The neighborhood park development fee is additional and supplemental to, and not in substitution of, any other requirements imposed by the city on the development of land or the issuance of building permits. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.090 Appeals.

A. Within 10 days’ delivery of notice of the decision of the building official or city manager to the appellant, a person may challenge the imposition of a fee imposed pursuant to this chapter by filing with the city clerk a written notice of appeal with a full statement of the grounds and an appeal fee of $200.00 or such other amount as may be fixed from time to time by resolution of the council. The city may continue processing the building permit application if the notice of appeal is accompanied with a bond or other security in an amount equal to the neighborhood park development fee.

B. The appellant bears the burden of demonstrating that the amount of the fee was not calculated according to the procedures established in this chapter.

C. At a regular meeting following the filing of the appeal, the council shall fix a time and place for hearing the appeal, and the city clerk shall mail notice of hearing to the appellant at the address given in the notice of appeal. The hearing shall be conducted by the council at the time and place stated in the notice, and the determination of the council shall be announced at the conclusion of the hearing or at the next regular meeting of the council. The determination of the council shall be final, subject to appeal to the superior court for the state of Alaska, at Palmer. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.100 Limitation on appeal to court.

Any judicial action or proceeding to attack, review, set aside, or annul the reasonableness, legality or validity of the neighborhood park development fee must be filed within 60 days following the final determination of the council; provided, that the notice from the council notifies the appellant of such time limit. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)

12.03.110 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

A. “Dwelling unit” means a structure or portion thereof providing independent and complete cooking, living, sleeping and toilet facilities for one family.

B. “Neighborhood park” means a park that is less than two acres in size, that prohibits overnight camping and that prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol on the grounds. (Ord. 603 § 4, 2003)