• The Quimby Act is Amended to Allow Cities and Counties to Create Greater Park Access
  • October 3, 2013 | Author: Christopher J. Diaz
  • Law Firm: Best Best & Krieger LLP - Walnut Creek Office
  • Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1359 (AB 1359) into law allowing cities and counties to use developer paid Quimby Act fees to provide parks in neighborhoods other than the one in which the developer’s subdivision is located. Previously, a city or county could only use these fees to provide parks that served the developer’s proposed subdivision. Overall, AB 1359 provides cities and counties with opportunities to improve parks and create new parks in areas that would not have benefited before.

    The Quimby Act has long been used by public agencies to develop parkland and recreational facilities. The fee is imposed on developers as a condition of public agency approval of a tentative map or parcel map. Public agencies were limited, however, in how the funds could be used. In particular, cities and counties were required to use the fees for parks that served the developer’s proposed subdivision. AB 1359 has now lifted this limitation if certain requirements are met.

    1. The neighborhood where the city or county is proposing to use the fees to provide parks must have fewer than three acres of park area per 1,000 members.
    2. The neighborhood where the proposed subdivision is located must have at least three acres of park area or more per 1,000 members.
    3. The city or county must hold a public hearing before using the fees in another neighborhood.
    4. The city or county must find it reasonably foreseeable that the new subdivision’s residents will use the park facilities in the other neighborhood.
    5. And finally, the city or county must use the fees in areas consistent with the city or county’s local Quimby Act ordinance and General Plan.

    AB 1359 makes one other addition to the Quimby Act. It now allows a city or county to enter into a joint or shared use agreement with one or more public districts in order to provide additional park and recreational access.