Chapter 17.20


17.20.010    Dedication of land for park and recreation purposes.

17.20.020    Standards for determinations.

17.20.030    Amount of land to be dedicated and/or amount of fees in lieu of land dedication.

17.20.040    Establishing the fair market value of land for calculating in lieu fees.

17.20.050    Payment of fees only.

17.20.060    Park site selection.

17.20.070    Credit for recreational improvements.

17.20.080    Limitations on use of land and fees.

17.20.090    Credit for private park amenities.

The City Council hereby finds that the establishment of the land dedication requirements and in lieu fees under this ordinance is statutorily and categorically exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) because such establishment merely establishes a funding mechanism for the provision of future projects and, as such, this ordinance is not “an essential step culminating in action which may affect the environment” and environmental review under CEQA will be performed when projects funded by operation of this ordinance are chosen and defined. Kaufman & Broad-South Bay, Inc. v. Morgan Hill Unified School Dist., (1993) 9 Cal.App.4th 464. City staff is hereby directed to prepare and file a Notice of Exemption, under CEQA, within 5 working days of adoption of this ordinance. (Ord. 1642 § 3, 2003)

17.20.010 Dedication of land for park and recreation purposes.

A. In accordance with the City of Gardena General Plan including the Recreation Element of the Plan and in accordance with the Subdivision Map Act (Government Code Sections 66410 et seq.) and specifically Government Code Section 66477, the City of Gardena does hereby require either the dedication of land, the payment of fees, or a combination of both for the park or recreational purposes as a condition of the approval of a tentative or parcel map for residential subdivisions.

B. The City also requires either the dedication of land, the payment of fees, or a combination of both for park or recreational purposes as a condition of the approval of a parcel map for a division of land not a subdivision for purposes of construction of a residential structure or structures.

C. Subdivisions containing less than five (5) parcels and not used for residential purposes shall be exempted from the requirements of this section. A condition, however, shall be placed on the approval of such parcel map and if a building permit is requested for construction of a residential structure or structures on one or more of the parcels within four (4) years, the fee may be required to be paid by the owner of each such parcel as a condition to the issuance of such permit. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.020 Standards for determinations.

A. The provisions of this Ordinance shall apply to all subdivisions for the purpose of residential development. This Ordinance does not apply to commercial or industrial subdivisions or to condominium projects or stock cooperatives which consist of the subdivision of airspace in an existing apartment building which is more than five (5) years old when no new dwelling units are added.

B. The amount of land dedicated or fees paid shall be based upon the residential density, which shall be determined based on the approved or conditionally approved tentative or parcel map. There shall be a rebuttable presumption that the average number of persons per household by units in a structure is the same as that disclosed by the most recent available federal census or a census taken pursuant to Chapter 17 (commencing with Section 40200) of Part 2 of Division 3 of Title 4 of the Government Code.

C. Subdividers may offer evidence of the actual population densities of their proposed projects for determination by the City Council. The City Council shall consider the evidence submitted and if it finds that the actual population density will differ from the presumed density, it shall use the actual density to calculate the required land or in lieu fee. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.030 Amount of land to be dedicated and/or amount of fees in lieu of land dedication.

A. The dedication of land, or the payment of fees, or a combination of both shall be based on a minimum of three (3) acres of usable park area, as defined in this Ordinance, per 1000 persons residing within the subdivision.

B. The amount of land or the calculation of a fee in lieu of land to be dedicated by a subdivider in accordance with this Ordinance shall be calculated by the following formula:

1. Park and Recreation Formula:

A = .003 x (UP)

2. Definition of terms:

A = local park space obligation in acres

U = total number of approved dwelling units

P = population density per unit

.003 = total acreage standard of 3.0 acres per 1000 population

C. The city may accept combinations of land, recreational facilities and fees, with the respective amounts to be determined in the sole discretion of the city, so long as the aggregate fair market value of the land, recreational facilities and fees does not exceed the limits established in this chapter.

D. The amount and location of land to be dedicated or the fees to be paid shall bear a reasonable relationship to the use of the park and recreational facilities by the future inhabitants of the subdivision.

E. Where a fee is required to be paid in lieu of land dedication, the amount of such fee shall be calculated in accordance with the formula and shall be based on the fair market value of the unimproved land to be subdivided. This shall be determined by multiplying the required acreage “A” by the land value per acre.

G. Fees shall by payable at the time of the recording of the final map or parcel map. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.040 Establishing the fair market value of land for calculating in lieu fees.

A. The fair market value of the unimproved land to be subdivided shall be established by one or a combination of the following methods:

1. The fair market value of the unimproved land can be determined by the use of accepted assessment practices and may be based on the current assessed value of adjustments, if necessary, to reflect current fair market value in accordance with the standards established by the practices of the County Assessor.

2. If the City Council or the developer objects to the valuation, either party may employ a recognized, qualified certified neutral real estate appraiser, at the developer’s expense, to obtain an appraisal of the property. The City Council or their designated representative shall be provided with a certified copy of the appraisal report in order to calculate and substantiate the in lieu fee.

3. The City Council and the developer may agree to a fair market value of the unimproved land through the use of a certified copy of the current escrow instructions establishing full purchase value, comparable sales record, or other mutually agreed procedures or methods.

B. A land valuation or appraisal shall be determined a minimum of ninety (90) days prior to map recordation. Written notice of the proposed valuation shall be provided by first class mail, postage prepaid, to the developer along with the City Council’s calculation under the above section.

C. Such notice shall be deemed served upon deposit in the United States mail. The developer may object to the assessed valuation and subsequent fee within thirty (30) days of service of the valuation notice. Such objection must be in writing and presented to the City Council by mail or in person at one of its regularly scheduled meetings. The City Council may object within thirty (30) days of service of the valuation notice by a resolution adopted by a majority of its members. If there are no objections made within thirty (30) days, all objections to the proposed value for use in calculating the in lieu fees are deemed waived. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.050 Payment of fees only.

Only the payment of fees may be required in subdivisions containing fifty (50) parcels or less, except that when a condominium project, stock cooperative, or community apartment project exceeds fifty (50) dwelling units, dedication of land may be required notwithstanding that the number of parcels may be less than fifty (50). (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.060 Park site selection.

The City Council shall determine if park space shall be provided and the design and location of such space and any amenities thereon. This determination shall be made in accordance with the principles and standards for local park and recreational facilities. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.070 Credit for recreational improvements.

If the subdivider provides park and recreational improvements to the dedicated land, the value of the improvements to the dedicated land or the value of the improvements together with any equipment located thereon shall be a credit against the payment of fees or dedication of land required by this chapter. Excepting, however, that the subdivider and the City Council, upon recommendation of the Director of Community Development, must agree in advance and in writing with such expenditures based on current and verified prices and costs for such improvements and equipment. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.080 Limitations on use of land and fees.

A. Any park land or fees shall be received by the city and pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be used only for either acquiring land or developing new or rehabilitating existing park and recreational facilities that serve the area from which they were derived.

B. The City Council shall develop a schedule specifying how, when and where it will use the land or fees, or both, to provide park or recreational facilities to serve the residents of the subdivision. Any fees collected under this chapter shall be committed within five (5) years after the payment of such fees or the issuance of building permits on one-half of the lots created by the subdivision, whichever occurs later. If the fees are not committed, they, without any deductions, shall be distributed and paid to the then record owners of the subdivision in the same proportion that the size of their lot bears to the total area of all lots within the subdivision. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)

17.20.090 Credit for private park amenities.

A. Common interest developments as defined in Section 1351 of the Civil Code, shall be eligible to receive a credit, as determined by the City Council, and in substantial accordance with the provisions of the Recreation Element of the Gardena General Plan, against the amount of land required to be dedicated, or the amount of fee imposed pursuant to this chapter, for the value of private open space within the development which is usable for active recreational uses.

B. The proposed private area for park and recreational purposes must provide that:

1. The private ownership and maintenance of the area is adequately provided for by written agreement, covenants and restrictions; and

2. The use of the private area is restricted for park and recreation purposes by recorded covenants which run with the land in favor of the future owners of property within the development and these covenants cannot be amended or eliminated without the consent of the city.

C. The City Council may adopt more specific guidelines and standards to be utilized in determining the actual percentage of credit that may be given for private park and recreational facilities in any proposed subdivision. Such guidelines and standards shall be adopted by Resolution of the City Council.

The City Council may by resolution adopt regulations regarding the administration of this chapter and establishing any procedures, interpretations and policies considered necessary or desirable to carry out this chapter. (Ord. 1642 § 1, 2003)