Developers must give land or moneyA code that requires developers give up land to enhance Dickinson parks hasn’t been applied in years but is being brought back to life.
A code that requires developers give up land to enhance Dickinson parks hasn’t been applied in years but is being brought back to life.
The code, which has left a bad taste in the mouth of at least one local developer, requires at least 5 percent of development land be given to the Dickinson Park District, otherwise known as Parks and Recreation, Director James Kramer said.
If the city and developer decide a park is not needed in the area, the developer must pay the Park District instead, Kramer said.
Though the Park District gets the land, a park may not be developed.
Dave Kitzan, a Dickinson resident developing a 100-acre subdivision, doesn’t agree with the rule.
“If a developer purchases land from the city and the land requires a park, the developer should not be obligated to pay for that land nor donate it to the Parks and Rec.,” Kitzan said in an e-mail. “It should be handled internally by the city.”
He is developing Diamond Acres Subdivision in northeast Dickinson.
There is already park property on each end, Kitzan added.
Due to an increase in building in the city, the code is being enforced for the first time in years, Kramer said.
“For quite a while it hasn’t been an issue because there hasn’t been that much new development,” Kramer said. “Now we’re starting to see new developments, new areas of town being annexed; things like that, where, now this ordinance is coming more in to play.”
The ordinance does not apply to commercial or industrial property, said Shawn Soehren, city engineer. The code is enforced when an area is platted, he added.
Areas that already have park land dedicated, but are re-platted, do not have to have land rededicated, Soehren said.
Developers are made aware of the ordinance as they’re developing a plat, Soehren said.
“The point of it, I imagine, is quality of life,” Soehren said. Residents typically want parks for their children and that’s why the code is in place, he added.
The Park District and Planning and Zoning Commission members decide whether land or cash should be provided, Soehren said. They also decide what portion of land will become the Park District’s, he added.
However, the developer does have a say in where the park land will go.
“But to say you’re going to give the Park District a bunch of land that’s not usable, that doesn’t necessarily work either,” Soehren said. “It’s all got to be worked out together before you get a plat that’s acceptable for everyone to be approved.”
Bill Fahlsing, Dickinson public information officer, could not provide information Friday evening on how long it’s been since the code was enforced.