Chapter 15.01
PARK DEDICATION AND PUBLIC ACCESS REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

15.01.010    Purpose.

15.01.020    Scope.

15.01.030    Amendment.

15.01.040    Definitions.

15.01.050    Conformance with General Plan and Local Coastal Program.

15.01.060    Dedication requirements.

15.01.070    Park dedication and public access standards.

15.01.080    In-lieu fees.

15.01.090    Review procedures.

15.01.100    Conveyance of land and fees.

15.01.110    Trust, administration.

15.01.010 Purpose.

(A)    The purpose of this chapter is to implement the park, recreation, open space and public access policies of the General Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan by providing for the orderly development of local park and recreation facilities to serve the residential communities of the County and public access facilities to serve local residents and visitors to the County. It is the intent of the County to assure the continued availability of adequate recreational land and facilities concurrent with the anticipated population increases and the reduction in other forms of open space lands in the urban and rural areas of the County.

(B)    This chapter provides an important element in the County programs to provide neighborhood parks conveniently located and accessible to serve local urbanized neighborhoods and centers of rural settlement; to establish a Countywide system of hiking and equestrian trails to provide access to various parks, recreation areas, riparian corridors, beaches, and open space areas; to provide for public access and use of the coastal beach and bluff areas; and to protect existing accessways and trails that have been used by the public. [Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982].

15.01.020 Scope.

This chapter requires as a condition of approval of a building, zoning or subdivision permit the dedication of land and/or payment of in-lieu fees for park and recreation purposes or the dedication of an easement for public access purposes where required to implement the recreational policies of the General Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan. Residential projects are required to contribute to neighborhood park development; both residential and nonresidential projects are required to dedicate trail and beach access easements where project sites include such easement dedication and determination of in-lieu fees, review procedures to determine where land and easements should be dedicated, and trust funds to collect and administer in-lieu fees for recreation facilities to serve the local communities. [Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982].

15.01.030 Amendment.

Any revision to this chapter which applies to the Coastal Zone shall be reviewed by the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission to determine whether it constitutes an amendment to the Local Coastal Program.

When an ordinance revision constitutes an amendment to the Local Coastal Program, such revision shall be processed pursuant to the hearing and notification provisions of Chapter 13.03 SCCC and shall be subject to approval by the California Coastal Commission. [Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982].

15.01.040 Definitions.

All terms used in this chapter shall be as defined in the General Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan glossaries. [Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982].

15.01.050 Conformance with General Plan and Local Coastal Program.

The park, recreation, and public access facilities hereby required shall conform to the Santa Cruz County General Plan including its various elements, and the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, as adopted and amended at the time of decision on dedication or fees. [Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].

15.01.060 Dedication requirements.

(A)    Park Dedication.

(1)    As a condition of approval of any permit to build a single unit structure, or multiple unit structure, or visitor accommodation structure, or mobile home park, or to construct an addition to an existing dwelling unit which will create additional bedrooms as defined in SCCC 13.10.700-B, and as a condition of approval of a tentative map of any land division, an owner shall be required to dedicate land, pay a fee in lieu thereof, or do a combination of both, for park and recreational purposes. Fees shall be determined and paid as of the date of the issuance of a building permit, or, in case of land division, at the time the final map or parcel map is filed. Fees shall be adopted by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.

(2)    Park and recreation fees and dedications required by this section shall not apply to reconstruction or replacement of a residential structure destroyed by a natural disaster, provided the replacement structure is the same type of unit and has the same number of bedrooms as the structure it replaces.

(B)    Trail and Beach Access Dedication. As a condition of approval for any permit for a residential, commercial, or industrial project, an owner shall be required to dedicate an easement for trail or beach access if necessary to implement the General Plan or the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, and only if the requirement for dedication complies with California Government Code Sections 65909(a) and 66475.4(b), and 66478.1 et seq. for land divisions. [Ord. 4836 § 119, 2006;* Ord. 4396 § 3, 1995; Ord. 4346 § 64, 1994; Ord. 4318 § 1, 1994; Ord. 3684 § 1, 1985; Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].

*    Code reviser’s note: Ord. 4836 had two sections numbered “119.”

15.01.070 Park dedication and public access standards.

(A)    Parks. The amount of land to be dedicated and developed or fees to be paid shall bear a reasonable relationship to the use of the park and recreational facilities by the inhabitants of the new development. By provisions of this chapter, owners of new development shall be responsible to provide for a portion of park need created by their development—three acres of developable parkland improved for park use for every 1,000 new residents. Based on this standard, the area required to be dedicated shall be 400 square feet for every one-family, and 300 square feet for every multiple-dwelling unit, mobile home, or visitor accommodations unit, as defined in SCCC 13.10.700-V, that is planned for the development. This land shall be in addition to any setback or open space area required by the zone district regulations. If land is dedicated in excess of the park dedication requirements then the excess land may be used in calculating the number of dwelling units allowed. Up to 25 percent of the park dedication requirement may be met by dedication of land within the 100-year floodplain if the County determines that the site is appropriate as a park site under the provisions of SCCC 15.01.090(C), that the land is suitable for park use, and no permanent structures are required in this area. Planned developments and real estate developments (as defined in Sections 11003 and 11003.1 and any successor provisions of the Business and Professions Code) which contain common open space areas usable for active recreation purposes may receive park dedication credit to the extent that this land exceeds the normal common open space requirements for such development projects.

(B)    Trails.

(1)    Where dedication is required for public access, the following minimum requirements shall apply:

(a)    Shoreline access easements shall be a minimum of five feet wide.

(b)    Easements along proposed trail corridors or adopted trail corridors or for blufftop lateral access shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide.

(2)    The County may require a wider easement if necessary to accommodate the intended level of use.

(3)    Trail easements may be located within open space areas required by the zone district regulations. Where a trail easement is required on developable land, this land shall be used in calculating the number of dwelling units allowed. Trail easement dedication requirements shall be in addition to any park dedication requirements.

(C)    Lateral Access.

(1)    Beach lateral access easements shall include the entire sandy beach area, and shall include the area up to the first line of terrestrial vegetation or up to the base of the bluffs or the base of the seawall, where present.

(2)    This land shall be in addition to any other dedication or setbacks or open space areas required by the zone district regulations and shall not be used in calculating the dwelling units allowed. [Ord. 4496-C § 78, 1998; Ord. 3684 § 2, 1985; Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].

15.01.080 In-lieu fees.

(A)    Amount of Fee. The fees to be paid in lieu of land dedication and development shall be established by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.

(B)    Credit for Improvements. If the developer provides park and recreational improvements to park land, the value of the improvements together with any equipment located thereon shall be a credit against the requirements of this chapter.

(C)    Limitations—Use. The land, fees, or combination thereof are to be used only for the purpose of developing new or rehabilitating existing park and recreation facilities which will serve the residents of such development and the local community area. [Ord. 4985 § 1, 2008; Ord. 4318 § 2, 1994; Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].

15.01.090 Review procedures.

(A)    Owner Preference. Notwithstanding that the final decision will rest with the County, at the time of filing a tentative subdivision map or other development application, the owner shall, as part of such filing, indicate whether he prefers to dedicate land for park, recreation, or public access purposes, or pay a fee in lieu thereof, or do a combination of both. If the owner prefers to dedicate land and improvements, he shall suggest the specific land and improvements he desires to provide.

(B)    Determination. At the time of development approval, the approving body shall determine whether to require a dedication of land within the development, payment of a fee in lieu thereof, or a combination of both, and shall determine the specific location of land to be dedicated and/or, where the developer is entitled to a credit for improvements as provided in SCCC 15.01.080(B), the amount of fees to be paid. For development which only involves a division of land of less than 50 parcels, only the payment of fees shall be required unless dedication of land is necessary in order for the development to be consistent with the General Plan or Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan.

(C)    Park Site Review Process.

(1)    The staff of the Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services Department shall prepare a park site review report as required by this subsection, whenever an application for one or more of the following permits or approvals is submitted in accordance with Chapter 18.10 SCCC for a parcel located within the “D” Combining District, whenever the Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services Department Director, or a member of the Board of Supervisors acting pursuant to SCCC 13.10.418(A), determines that the parcel should be evaluated:

(a)    A building permit for a new single-family dwelling or a new second unit;

(b)    A coastal development permit for a new single-family dwelling or a new second unit;

(c)    A land division permit;

(d)    A commercial development permit;

(e)    A policy amendment; or

(f)    Any other development permit processed at Level V or greater.

(2)    The Parks and Recreation Commission and Board of Supervisors shall review this report to determine County policy regarding dedication and/or purchase of all or part of the site, payment of in-lieu fees, improvement of the site by the applicant, or a combination of these.

(3)    Residential development of a park site can be found consistent with the County General Plan only if:

(a)    An appropriate park area is dedicated as part of the development; or

(b)    An appropriate alternative park site is designated by the Board of Supervisors through a General Plan amendment.

(4)    Park Site Review Factors.

(a)    The topography, soils, drainage, access, location, and general utility of the land in the development and land available for dedication;

(b)    Lands offered for dedication will substantially comply with the General Plan and the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan, or suitable alternative park sites in the area are identified;

(c)    The size and shape of the development and land available for dedication;

(d)    Coordination of dedications by several owners of contiguous parcels or with existing contiguous public lands, to accomplish useful grouping of land;

(e)    The area or local recreation or access facilities to be privately owned and maintained by the future residents of the development;

(f)    Written recommendations from the Parks and Recreation Commission;

(g)    Proximity of project area to existing population centers;

(h)    Specific and general needs related to area;

(i)    The existing facilities and area;

(j)    The activities, programs and projects of other agencies;

(k)    Development needs or the nature of improvements required.

(D)    Public Access Review. Dedication of an easement for public access shall be required if adverse environmental impacts and use conflicts can be mitigated, as determined by the decision-making body, and if one of the following situations exists:

(1)    The parcel is designated as primary public shoreline access or as a location appropriate for neighborhood shoreline access in the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan as adopted and amended at the time of the decision on dedication.

(2)    Dedication is required to protect established access which has been in long and continuous use by members of the public. Such use shall be determined by the decision-making body based upon public testimony.

(3)    The parcel is located within the Urban Services Line, and:

(a)    It is between the first public roadway and the shoreline, and there is no dedicated public access to the shoreline within 650 feet; or

(b)    It is inland of the first public road and residents have been using the property to gain access to the shoreline. Such use shall be determined by the decision-making body based on public testimony.

(4)    The parcel is located outside the urban services line, is between the first public road and the shoreline, and either (a) there is no dedicated public access to the shoreline within one-half mile; or (b) there is no other dedicated public access and the beach is less than one-half mile long.

(5)    The parcel is located within a designated trail corridor on the Local Coastal Program land use maps, or along an adopted trail route.

(6)    If the parcel is located on the shoreline, dedication of an easement for lateral beach or blufftop access shall also be required. [Ord. 4772 § 4, 2004; Ord. 3596 § 1, 1984; Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].

15.01.100 Conveyance of land and fees.

(A)    Land. When land is to be dedicated for park purposes, it shall be conveyed to the County in fee. When an easement is required, the owner shall make an irrevocable offer of dedication to the County.

(B)    Fees. When a fee is required, it shall be paid to the County at the time of the issuance of a development permit (for mobile or home parks only) or building permit, or in the case of a land division, at the time the final map is recorded, whichever occurs first, after adoption of this section. [Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].

15.01.110 Trust, administration.

(A)    Land and fees shall be held in trust by the County and administered by the Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services with the approval of the Board of Supervisors. Administration and use of land and fees may be transferred to a County service area, district, city or association by order of the Board of Supervisors. The Director of the Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services will make an annual report on funds accrued with respect to the progress of the program for acquisition and development.

(B)    With the approval of the Board of Supervisors, interest earned from fees held in trust by the County and administered by the Department of Parks, Open Space, and Cultural Services shall be utilized for the ongoing maintenance of the Countywide parks system and maintained under the general supervision of the Auditor-Controller. [Ord. 4174 § 1, 1992; Ord. 3482 § 1, 1983; Ord. 3338 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3186 § 1, 1982; Ord. 3183 § 1, 1981; Ord. 3064, 1981; Ord. 2822, 1979; Ord. 2800, 1979; Ord. 2673, 1979; Ord. 2600, 1978; Ord. 2506, 1977; Ord. 2341, 1976; Ord. 1853, 1973].