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RECREATION AND PARKS

Quimby Program
Frequently Requested Information

Quimby Quarterly Report
April 24, 2012
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BACKGROUND

The State Quimby Act (California Government Code §66477) was first established by the California legislature in 1965. It provided provisions in the State Subdivision Map Act for the dedication of parkland and/or payment of in-lieu fees as a condition of approval of certain types of residential development projects. The legislation was initiated in response to California's increased rate of urbanization and the need to preserve open space and provide parks and recreation facilities for growing communities. The State Quimby Act allows local agencies, such as the City of Los Angeles, to establish ordinances requiring residential subdivision developers to pay impact fees that can be used to purchase and develop land and/or recreational facilities.

To implement the State Quimby Act the City established the Subdivision Fees Trust (Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 17.12) in 1971. A separate park impact fee, the Zone Change Park Fee (Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 12.33), which applies to the finalization of zone changes for multi-unit residential projects, including rental projects, was established by the City in 1985.  The fee schedule, collection, and administration of the Subdivision Fees Trust and the Zone Change Park Fee program are identical. Together these sections are colloquially referred to as the City’s “Quimby Code.”

Pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 17.12, most residential development projects requesting a subdivision or a zone change are required, as a condition of approval of the project, to either dedicate land for recreation and park purposes or pay a fee in-lieu (Quimby Fees). The in-lieu fee is calculated on a per unit (for condominiums) or per lot basis, with the amount of the fee dependent on the zoning of property.

The Department of City Planning (DCP) is responsible for determining if a project will be required to dedicate land for recreation and park purposes or pay a fee in-lieu. The amount of land required to be dedicated or the amount Quimby Fees required to be paid is also determined and calculated by the DCP. If a project is required to pay Quimby Fees those fees are collected, and administered by, the Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP); specifically the RAP Planning and Construction Division.

USE OF QUIMBY FEES

Any land required to be dedicated and/or fees required to be paid pursuant to the City’s Quimby Code are to be used to acquire new parkland or fund capital improvements at existing recreational and park facilities which will serve residents of the new development.  City and State law do not allow for Quimby funds to be used to offset staff operation and maintenance costs, to purchase materials and supplies, or to replacement equipment.

Currently, fees can only be spent, and land can only be dedicated, within a service radius of one to two miles from the development that paid the fee. This geographic restriction is based on a requirement in the City’s Quimby Code that Quimby land dedications and fees must be used in a manner that complies with the City’s Public Recreation Plan (a portion of the Service System Element of the City’s General Plan). According to the City's Public Recreation Plan, the service radius is the geographic area whose population the park or facility serves. Neighborhood parks and facilities have a service radius of up to one mile from the park or facility. Community parks and facilities have a service radius of two miles. Definitions of neighborhood and community parks and facilities can be found in the Public Recreation Plan.

QUIMBY PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION

The City’s Quimby Program is administered by RAP Planning and Construction Division. The RAP Planning and Construction Division is responsible for planning the acquisition, development, improvement, and restoration of City parks, open spaces, recreation, and community facilities.

RAP has developed a Quimby Tracking System (QTS) to produce necessary financial reports and manage Quimby revenue transactions. Additionally, RAP has developed a Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping system to provide improved facility mapping and land-based analysis of Quimby Fee collections.

The RAP Planning and Construction Division prepares reports (Board Reports) containing recommendations for the allocation of Quimby Fees.  Typically, RAP staff develops an “area-wide” Council District Quimby Board Report to make multiple project allocation recommendations for the system of parks in recognized geographic areas within each Council District. This approach takes a very comprehensive look at park needs and possible acquisitions and allows a larger number of projects to be planned and presented to the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners for consideration at one time. Individual Board Reports requesting allocation of Quimby funds for emergency and high priority projects are submitted as necessary. When developing Board Reports, RAP staff typically reviews various RAP strategic plans and initiatives, consults with community organizations, consults with other City Departments/Agencies, and solicits input from the local Council District(s).

Board Reports are submitted to the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners for their review and approval. All allocations of Quimby Fees must be approved by the Board of Recreation and Park Commissioners.