City of AustinFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 2023 Texas State Legislature passed new regulations on how cities may collect parkland dedication (PLD) fees.
The 2023 Texas State Legislature passed new regulations on how cities may collect parkland dedication (PLD) fees. House Bill (HB) 1526 addresses regulations for expanding parkland in Texas cities with a population greater than 800,000. Signed into law on June 10, the bill requires changes to Austin’s regulations for new developments starting January 1, 2024.
HB 1526 reduces the City’s authority to administer parkland dedication fees, prescribes new formulas for parkland dedication and fees in lieu, and places caps on the amount of parkland that can be required and fees that can be charged. PARD estimates that new fees per dwelling unit will be 40 to 70% of those currently charged. The new law also prevents the City from placing any parkland requirements on commercial development, which will nullify the amendments approved by the Austin City Council in 2022.
Currently, PLD fees support parkland at 9.4 acres per 1,000 residents. HB 1526 changes that to 0.075 acres per 1,000 residents in the Central Business District (CBD), 0.75 acres per 1,000 in the urban area, and 3 acres per 1,000 in the suburban area. Changes to PLD fees may limit the City’s ability to meet parkland dedication targets. It’s likely these impacts will most directly affect areas designated as CBD and urban.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department is working with other City departments and partner cities to draft a new ordinance to comply with HB 1526. The new ordinance must be adopted no later than December 1, 2023, and will apply to all multifamily, hotel, and motel applications submitted on or after January 1, 2024.
Boundaries must be set for CBD, urban, and suburban areas for parkland dedication purposes. The Austin City Council will host a public hearing regarding the boundaries at their October 19 meeting. Proposed boundaries can be viewed at AustinTexas.gov/PLD.