Parkland Dedication is a local government requirement imposed on subdivision and site plan applications mandating the dedication of land for a park and/or the payment of a fee to be used by the governmental entity to acquire land and/or develop park facilities. The City of Austin passed its first Parkland Dedication Ordinance in 1985, updated in 2007 updated in 2016 and again in 2023. Frequently Asked Questions about the new Ordinance. 



Public Hearing Notice for HB1526 changes to Parkland Dedication on October 19, 2023 
On June 10, 2023, House Bill (HB)1526 went into effect, and will apply to all new development applications beginning January 1, 2024. HB 1526 applies to cities with more than 800,000 residents, affecting the parkland dedication requirements for all proposed multifamily and hotel/motel uses. HB 1526 requires all territory within the City’s municipal boundaries to be designated as suburban, urban, and central business district for the purpose of assessing the average land value to set parkland dedication fees in each geographic area. In accordance with HB 1526, the City must hold a public hearing on the designations after a 30-day notice period, on October 19, 2023. A draft of the proposed geographic areas is available for review below. Public comment will be received during the public hearing.  

Staff Proposed Geographic Areas Map


Parkland Dedication Ordinance

In response to Council Resolution No. 20140807-093 the Department issued the Parkland Fee Methodology Report ('Report") on November 19, 2014, which concluded that the existing PLD fee and the formula for determining the amount of land required were insufficient to maintain the current quality of life. On December 11, 2014 the City Council approved Resolution No. 20141211-219 directing the Department to develop a proposed ordinance implementing Report's recommendations. A new Ordinance No. 20160128-86 was adopted on January 28, 2016. For more information on parkland dedication ordinances in general please see the 2010 John Crompton Report.

All Parkland Dedication ordinances must meet the following criteria:

  1. A calculation to determine dedication requirements and;
  2. Adherence to the Nexus Principal and;
  3. Limitations on expending fees in lieu. 

Nexus Principle

The principle relates to the establishment of an “essential connection” between the demand generated by a development and the park or park improvement being constructed with the resources provided by the developer. Land or fees must be used to benefit those who will live in the development.  The City of Austin expends fees within 2 miles of a development to ensure the fees benefit those residents. The funds, then, can only be spent on new facilities and not maintenance.

Limitations on Expending Fees

A reasonable time frame for fund expenditure must be stated. The Austin ordinance states that the fees must be expended within five years from the date they were received, unless less than 50% of the residential units in the subdivision have been constructed. In that case, the period for expenditure is extended another five years. See the timeframe for expenditure. A refund may be requested in writing for any units not constructed not later than 180 days after the expiration of the five years, or 10 years, as applicable. See process for refund.

Commercial Parkland Dedication Requirements only apply to applications between January 1st - December 31st, 2023

Beginning January 1st, 2023, new commercial developments within the Austin Full Purpose jurisdiction, including office, retail, industrial, and hotel uses, will be required to dedicate parkland or pay fee-in-lieu of dedication in proportion to their impact on the park level of service. This will ensure that the City’s park system will keep pace with the rapid growth in its workforce, maintaining a high-quality of life for residents and workers alike. A new development’s impact is based on the number of workers expected to occupy the new commercial space discounted by their relative opportunity to access parkland, representing the full-time equivalent population of the new development and referred to as the ‘Functional Population.’  The variables used in determining the functional population vary by the use category of the new development and may be subject to annual update similar to the variables used in the residential parkland dedication requirements. 

Additional information and resources related to the Commercial Parkland Dedication Ordinance can be found at

Parkland Dedication Rules

Rules that govern the administration of Parkland Dedication Land Development Code 25-1-601 to 25-1-609 can be found in the Parkland Dedication Operating Procedures. This document explains adopted rules for land dedication, fee payment and fee expenditure.


A subdivision or site plan applicant shall provide for the parkland needs of its residents or workers through the dedication of suitable land for park and recreation purposes or by payment of a fee in-lieu of land dedication and park development. Land dedication requirements are based on maintaining the level of service for community parks and greenbelts at 9.4 acres per 1,000 residents. Code criteria governs when City may require dedication of land on-site including if the proposed development is in a park-deficient area. An interactive Park Deficient Area Map depicting areas that the director of the Parks and Recreation Department has determined lack sufficient parkland can be viewed on the Property Profile GIS Viewer. An area is considered park-deficient if there is no park, private parkland open to the public, or school park within ¼ mile inside the Parkland Dedication Urban Core or within ½ mile outside the urban core. Inside the urban core, land dedication is capped at 15% of the gross site area unless the Land Use Commission approves increased land dedication to address a critical park shortage or provide connectivity. Dedicated parkland must also meet park standards outlined in the Parkland Dedication Operating Procedures.

Both the fee-in-lieu of land and park development Parkland Dedication fees are subject to annual review during the budget adoption period. The review is based on the change in the cost of service for PARD to provide new parkland and park amenities. Applications are subject to the fee rates in effect at the time of their submittal.

The PLD fee calculation to align with the newly adopted Parkland Dedication Ordinance and fee structure set by HB1526, and will be back online in Spring 2024. Please email with questions about parkland dedication fees.


Single Family Fees Fee In-Lieu of Land Park Development Fee Total Fee per Unit
Low Density Fee (Less than 6 units per acres) $5,276.16 $985.18 $6,261.34
Medium Density Fee (6 to 12 units per acres) $4,145.56 $774.07 $4,919.63
High Density Fee (more than 12 units per acre) $3,203.38 $598.15 $3,801.53
Hotel/Motel Density $1,998.91 $373.24 $2,372.15


Multi-family and Hotel/Motel Fees Per Unit Fee Per Hotel Key Fee
Geographic Area    
Central Business District $2,203.88 $1,763.10
Urban $5,821.97 $4,657.58
Suburban $6,815.53 $5,452.42





Link to Ordinance establishing fees

Link to adopting Ordinance

Early Determinations

A Parkland Early Determination (PED) is a process which allows the Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) to review a project early to determine parkland requirements: land dedication; payment of a fee in-lieu; or a combination of fee and land. This process and the resulting document are required as part of any subdivision application, with the exception of a Project Assessment (these will have a PED generated as part of the review).

A PED is required for all subdivision completeness check submittals. There is no fee for a PED, and the process takes approximately two weeks to complete. It is recommended that this request be submitted to PARD at least three (3) weeks prior to submittal for completeness check. At the conclusion of the review you will receive a signed letter from PARD that will indicate parkland requirements for the proposed project. This letter will be required to enter into the completeness check process for your proposed subdivision.

To receive a PED, complete the request form provided in the link below.

An owner consent letter granting permission for PARD to research the property is required to complete the form as well as providing basic facts about the project such as the location, proposed use, and proposed number of new residential units. Additional fields allow you to provide more context to the request, such as any related cases (zoning, PUD ordinances, neighborhood plans, etc) or a preliminary concept plan of the proposed development.

After completion of the form, you will receive an email confirmation that the form was submitted and received by PARD.

If at any point you have a question about your request or how to complete the form, please contact us at

Parkland Dedication Fee in Lieu and Development Fee Collection and Expenditure Information are available at  Parkland Dedication Expenditures