Local News in Brief : Newport Beach : Parkland Fees Charged Developers Are Raised

The City Council has approved a 37% increase in builders' fees to create city parks to balance new development.

The increase, from $5,029 to $6,894 per house or dwelling unit to be built, represents the increased value of parkland within the city, officials said. The resolution, which takes effect immediately, was passed without comment from developers.

The increase was based on a higher "median market" value of city parklands in a recent appraisal by the firm of Charles P. Wadsworth, MAI, of Newport Beach, city officials said. Since the city's first appraisal in 1979, the firm determined that the value of parklands has increased from $447,000 per acre to $612,833.

City Manager Robert L. Wynn said the increase would have little impact on developers. "They (developers) pass it on to the customer," he said. "But we argue that it also increases the value of the land. If you have a park nearby for your kids to play on, then that's a good thing."

In 1977, the council began requiring a ratio of five acres of parkland for each 1,000 people expected to reside in a proposed subdivision and charging park fees to ensure that the land could be purchased.

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