On June 10, 2019, Parks and Recreation director presented an increase for a Park Fee for builders of residential units at the City Council Preliminary meeting. When a fee is collected, a park must be built in the area. The fee can only be used to buy land and build a park.It can’t be used for the up keep of the new park. The balance of the park fee fund is currently $5,381,101.
Right now the park fee is $467.47 per single family unit and $323.96 per multifamily unit. Park and Recreation staff want to raise the single family fee to $2,065 per unit and the multifamily fee to $1,443 per unit. That is about a 441.75% increase for single family and about a 445.43% increase for multifamily. My first reaction when I saw these numbers was, have they lost their minds! Amazingly, the city council members did not have any reaction to these exorbitant increases that would have made loan sharks blush.
Some of you may be asking, what if these future residents don’t want a park? Everyone doesn’t use parks. Some people, like my spouse, have terrible allergies and going to a park would cause an allergy attack. The developers can’t opt out of the fee, even if their buyers don’t want a park.
If these steep increases are passed when they come up for a vote, be ready for new single family housing prices and new apartment rents to go up. Why? Even my young puppy knows when it costs a developer more to build a house or apartment, they will pass that cost right along to the consumers. With housing prices and rents already at an all time high in Plano, we need this fee increase like we need a hole in the head. This leads me to wonder if anyone in the Parks and Recreation Department, or on council, understands basic economics.
I understand that the cost of land and construction has gone up. It is understandable that the bureaucrats in the Parks and Recreation Department would suggest an increase. However, a 400% one is outrageous. Try a 50% increase in one year. That way the price of building new homes won’t be affected that much.
There are currently 63 parks in Plano. According to Plano’s website they are…..
This does not included one park that has not broken ground yet, athletic fields, or trails. With 64 parks do we need anymore? I think the answer is obviously no. Most towns around the nation have one city park and maybe a baseball field. I don’t know of any town or small city that has 64 parks, different athletic fields, and trails. The vote on the increase will be at the June 24th city council meeting, and I have a suggestion for our council members. Lets keep housing costs from going up by retiring the park fee all together, and residents in new developments can use one of the 64 parks we already have.
This is Plano’s Political Pit Bull Signing Off