Chapter 6
DEDICATIONS AND RESERVATIONS

Sections:

Article 1. General

13-6.01    Dedication of streets, alleys, and other public rights-of-way or easements.

13-6.02    Local transit facilities.

13-6.03    Public access.

Article 2. Parkland Dedications and Payment of In-Lieu Fees

13-6.04    Statutory authority.

13-6.05    Requirements.

13-6.06    Standards and formula for dedication of parkland.

13-6.07    Formula for fees in lieu of parkland dedication.

13-6.08    Fees in lieu of parkland dedication—Fifty (50) parcels or less.

13-6.09    Criteria for requiring both dedication and fee.

13-6.10    Determination of parkland dedication or fee or both—Procedure.

13-6.11    Suitability criteria for parkland.

13-6.12    Credit for common area open space.

13-6.13    Exempt developments and projects.

Article 3. School Site Dedications

13-6.14    Prerequisite to map approval.

13-6.15    School district—Commitment requirements.

13-6.16    School district—Payments to subdivider for site dedication.

Article 4. Reservations for Public Facilities

13-6.17    Prerequisite to map approval.

13-6.18    Standards for reservation of land.

13-6.19    Public agencies—Agreement to acquire.

13-6.20    Public agencies—Payment to subdivider.

13-6.21    Termination of reservation requirement.

Article 1. General

13-6.01 Dedication of streets, alleys, and other public rights-of-way or easements.

As a condition of approval of a final map or parcel map, the subdivider shall dedicate or make an irrevocable offer to dedicate to the City, or other public agency as the City may deem appropriate, all real property within the subdivision required for public use, including, but not limited to, streets and alleys, including waiver of access rights and abutters’ rights, drainage, public greenways, and scenic easements; public utility easements, including, but not limited to, water, sewer, electricity, gas, telephone, and cable television; avigation easements, buffer easements, and other public easements. In addition, the subdivider shall improve or agree to improve all streets and alleys, including access rights and abutter’s rights, drainage, public utility easements, bicycle and pedestrian paths, scenic easements, public greenways, and other public easements. Improvements to be constructed thereon shall be in accordance with Chapter 13-7.

Whenever a subdivider is required to dedicate roadways to the public, he may also be required to dedicate such additional land as may be necessary and feasible to provide bicycle paths for the use and safety of the residents of the subdivision.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.02 Local transit facilities.

As a condition of approval of a tentative map, the subdivider shall dedicate, or make an irrevocable offer of dedication, of land within the subdivision for local transit facilities such as shelters, benches, bus turnouts, park-and-ride facilities, and similar items which directly benefit the residents of the subdivision, if the City finds that transit services are or will, within a reasonable time period, be made available to the subdivision. Improvements to be constructed thereon shall be in accordance with Chapter 13-7.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.03 Public access.

Pursuant to and in accordance with Article 3.5 (Sections 66478.1 through 66478.14) of the Subdivision Map Act, the City shall increase public access to public natural resources in conjunction with its review and processing of subdivisions. Public access shall be provided to a natural resource, such as a river, stream, reservoir, or lake, when a lot or parcel created by a subdivision is proposed contiguous to such a resource. The City Council or the Minor Land Division Committee shall determine the nature, extent and design of such public access or the need to provide such access based on site conditions and constraints; the presence and proximity of other similar access to the public resources in the area; and the nexus established between any required access and the proposed subdivision and shall make all findings required by Article 3.5 when making such a determination.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

Article 2. Parkland Dedications and Payment of In-Lieu Fees

13-6.04 Statutory authority.

This article is intended to provide for parkland dedication, parkland fees in lieu of dedication, or a combination thereof in conjunction with the approval of residential development. These provisions implement the parks and recreation facilities master plan and the recreation, parks and open space element of the City’s general plan and are in accordance with Section 66477 of the Map Act (known as the Quimby Act).

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.05 Requirements.

As a condition of approval of a tentative map or tentative parcel map for a residential subdivision, the subdivider shall dedicate and/or reserve land, pay a fee in lieu thereof, or both, at the option of the City, for park or recreational purposes at the time and according to the standards and formula contained in this chapter.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.06 Standards and formula for dedication of parkland.

It is found and determined that the public interest, convenience, health, welfare and safety require that three (3) acres of property for each one thousand (1,000) persons residing within a subdivision be devoted to local park and recreational purposes. The responsibility of each subdivider will be established pursuant to the following formula:

Average number of people (pers.) per dwelling unit (du) in the City of Watsonville = 3.84 pers./du (US Census, 2000)

Average number of people per unit size and required per-unit acreage dedication:

2 bedroom unit – 2 persons/unit x 3 acres/1,000 pers. = 0.006/2 br unit

3 bedroom unit – 3.4 persons/unit x 3 acres/1,000 pers. = 0.010/3 br unit

4 bedroom unit – 5.1 persons/unit x 3 acres/1,000 pers. = 0.015/4 br unit

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.07 Formula for fees in lieu of parkland dedication.

The City’s parks and recreation facilities master plan and the recreation, parks and open space element of the City’s general plan require that each subdivision pay its share for the acquisition of neighborhood and community parkland that will serve the subdivision. When a fee is required to be paid in lieu of parkland dedication, the subdivider shall pay a fee equal to the fair market value of the land required to be dedicated in Section 13-6.06, as established by City Council resolution, and such fees collected shall be used only for purchasing land for neighborhood or community parks, funding the improvements to neighborhood and community parks, or a combination of both. The parklands and park improvements to be funded by a particular subdivision shall bear a reasonable relationship to the use of the park and recreational facilities by the future inhabitants of the subdivision. The City Council shall set the per acre fair market value of parkland by resolution.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.08 Fees in lieu of parkland dedication—Fifty (50) parcels or less.

If the proposed subdivision contains fifty (50) parcels or less, the subdivider shall pay a fee in lieu of dedication of parkland as prescribed in Section 13-6.06, Standards and formula for dedication of parkland, and in an amount determined in accordance with the provisions of Section 13-6.07, Formula for fees in lieu of parkland dedication. However, 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).

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.09 Criteria for requiring both dedication and fee.

In subdivisions of more than fifty (50) parcels, the subdivider may be required to both dedicate land and pay a fee in lieu of dedication in accordance with the following:

(a)    When only a portion of the land to be subdivided is proposed for a park, such portion shall be dedicated for park purposes and a fee computed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be paid for any additional land that would have been required to be dedicated.

(b)    When a major part of the park or recreational site has already been acquired by the City and only a small portion of land is needed from the subdivision to complete the site, the remaining portion shall be dedicated and a fee in lieu of dedication, computed according to this chapter, shall be paid in an amount equal to the value of the land which would otherwise have been required to be dedicated. The fee shall be used for the improvement of the existing park and recreational facility or for the improvement of other local parks and recreational facilities in the area serving the subdivision.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.10 Determination of parkland dedication or fee or both—Procedure.

Prior to the approval of the tentative map, the Community Development Director and the Director of Parks and Community Services shall prepare a report and recommend to the Planning Commission and City Council whether land should be dedicated or in-lieu fees should be paid, or both, by the subdivider, or any combination thereof.

The report and recommendation by the Community Development Director and Director of Parks and Community Services shall include the following:

(a)    The amount of land required; or

(b)    That a fee be charged in lieu of land; or

(c)    That land and a fee be required; and/or

(d)    That land be reserved for acquisition by the City for park purposes;

(e)    The location of the park land to be dedicated or use of in-lieu fees;

(f)    The approximate time when development of the park or recreation facility shall commence.

The recommendation of the Community Development Director and the Parks and Community Services Director shall be considered by the Planning Commission and City Council in its review of the tentative map.

At the time of filing the final or parcel map for recordation, the subdivider shall dedicate or reserve the land as appropriate and/or pay the fee as determined by the City.

A determination by the City as to whether land shall be dedicated, a fee shall be charged, or any combination thereof shall be final and conclusive.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.11 Suitability criteria for parkland.

(a)    Parkland proposed for dedication shall meet the following criteria:

(1)    Land suitable for parkland dedication shall be developable and unencumbered by environmental or other constraints. Such land shall be of the size and shape necessary to accommodate the design and construction of year round active recreational uses such as dedicated sports fields, tennis courts, playgrounds or other uses consistent with the City of Watsonville parks and recreational facilities master plan.

(2)    Land suitable for parkland dedication shall have sufficient public street frontage to allow for access.

(b)    Unless otherwise determined by the City Council, the following limitations shall render land proposed for park land dedication as being unsuitable:

(1)    Land which slopes ten (10%) percent or more;

(2)    Riparian setback areas, detention basins or other environmental mitigation areas;

(3)    Drainage courses, creeks and wetlands;

(4)    Proposed park sites of insufficient size or irregular shape which will not support recreational uses;

(5)    Land containing overhead utilities, high pressure gas mains, contaminated soils or other factors which render such sites unsuitable for recreational uses;

(6)    Designation and development of lands for bike or pedestrian trails are considered public rights-of-way similar to streets and shall not be considered for parkland dedication.

If determined by the City Council that land exhibiting any of these limitations located adjacent to suitable park land which if combined with said parkland will provide benefit and enhancement to recreational activities therein, a partial park land dedication credit, not exceeding twenty-five (25%) percent of the actual square footage dedicated to the City.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.12 Credit for common area open space.

Where common area open space is provided by a proposed subdivision which will be owned and maintained by a homeowners association and if such open space is developed with parks and recreation facilities and improvements, a partial credit not to exceed fifty (50%) percent of the parkland dedication or in lieu fee obligation may be granted by the City Council if it finds it is in the public interest to do so and if it finds that all of the following standards are met:

(a)    The park and recreation improvements proposed for credit are consistent with the general plan and the parks and recreation facilities master plan.

(b)    The open space for which credit is proposed is a minimum of three (3) acres and provides five (5) of the following basic park elements which will meet the recreation and park needs of the subdivisions residents:

(1)    Children’s play apparatus area (minimum one-half (0.5) acre);

(2)    Landscaped areas (minimum one-half (0.5) acre);

(3)    Game court area (minimum one-quarter (0.25) acre);

(4)    Turf playfield (minimum one (1) acre);

(5)    Picnic area (minimum one-quarter (0.25) acre);

(6)    Recreation center building (minimum area six thousand five hundred (6,500) square feet).

(c)    The ownership and maintenance of the park and recreation facilities are adequately provided for by the organizational documents of the homeowners association.

(d)    The use of the common area open space for which credit is granted is restricted by recorded covenant and may not be used for any other purpose.

The City Council shall make written findings that the standards set forth in this section have been met when granting credit for common area parks and recreational facilities and improvements.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.13 Exempt developments and projects.

The provisions of this chapter do not apply to industrial/commercial subdivisions, 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 and where no new dwelling units are added.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

Article 3. School Site Dedications

13-6.14 Prerequisite to map approval.

As a condition of approval of a final subdivision map, a subdivider who develops or completes the development of one or more subdivisions within a school district shall dedicate to the school district such lands as the City Council deems to be necessary for the purpose of constructing, thereon, schools necessary to assure the residents of the subdivision adequate elementary school service. In no case shall the City require the dedication of an amount of land which would make development of the remaining land held by the subdivider economically unfeasible or which would exceed the amount of land ordinarily allowed under the procedures of the State Allocation Board. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to a subdivider who has owned the land being subdivided for more than ten (10) years prior to the filing of the tentative map.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.15 School district—Commitment requirements.

The requirement of school site dedication shall be imposed at the time of approval of the tentative map. If within thirty (30) days after the requirement of dedication is imposed by the City the school district does not offer to enter into a binding commitment with the subdivider to accept the dedication, the requirement shall be automatically terminated. The required dedication may be made any time before, concurrently with or up to sixty (60) days after the filing of the final map on any portion of the subdivision.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.16 School district—Payments to subdivider for site dedication.

The school district shall, if it accepts the dedication, repay to the subdivider or his successors the original cost to the subdivider of the dedicated land, plus a sum equal to the total of the following amounts:

(a)    The cost of any improvements to the dedicated land from the date of the school district’s offer to enter into the binding commitment to accept the dedication;

(b)    The taxes assessed against the dedicated land from the date of the school district’s offer to enter into the binding commitment to accept the dedication; and

(c)    Any other costs incurred by the subdivider in maintenance of such dedicated land, including interest costs incurred on any loan covering such land.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

Article 4. Reservations for Public Facilities

13-6.17 Prerequisite to map approval.

As a condition of approval of a map, the subdivider shall reserve sites, appropriate in area and location, for parks, recreational facilities, fire stations, libraries or other public uses according to the standards contained in this chapter.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.18 Standards for reservation of land.

Where a park, recreational facility, fire station, library, or other public use is shown on an adopted precise plan, specific plan, or adopted general plan containing policies and standards for those uses, the subdivider may be required by the City to reserve sites as so determined by the City in accordance with the definite policies and standards contained in the above precise plan, specific plan, or general plan. The reserved area must be of such size and shape as to permit the balance of the property within which the reservation is located to develop in an orderly and efficient manner. The amount of land to be reserved shall not make development of the remaining land held by the subdivider economically infeasible. The reserved area shall conform to the adopted precise plan, specific plan, or general plan and shall be in such multiples of streets and parcels as to permit an efficient division of the reserved area in the event that it is not acquired within the prescribed period.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.19 Public agencies—Agreement to acquire.

The public agency for whose benefit an area has been reserved shall, at the time of approval of the final map or parcel map, enter into a binding agreement to acquire such reserved area within two (2) years after the completion and acceptance of all improvements, unless such period of time is extended by mutual agreement.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.20 Public agencies—Payment to subdivider.

The purchase price shall be the market value thereof at the time of the filing of the tentative map plus the taxes against such reserved area from the date of the reservation and any other costs incurred by the subdivider in the maintenance of such reserved area, including interest costs incurred on any loan covering such reserved area.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)

13-6.21 Termination of reservation requirement.

If the public agency for whose benefit an area has been reserved does not enter into such a binding agreement, the reservation of such area shall automatically terminate.

(§ 1, Ord. 1274-11 (CM), eff. February 24, 2011)