Parks_Land_Ord
DPR_Logo_Square

Park Lands Dedication Ordinance (PLDO)

Background

The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation’s (DPR) mission includes providing a world-class park system that helps build strong and sustainable communities. Parks and recreation facilities are key components of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision; they give residents space to exercise, recreate and gather which supports physical and mental well-being. One of the ways the County provides parks for its growing population is through the  Park Lands Dedication Ordinance (PLDO), which requires new residential development projects to dedicate park land for its new residents and/or pay park impact fees to the County so that parks can be developed.  Originally adopted on December 19, 1972 (33), the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors adopted a comprehensive update to the PLDO on July 25, 2018(4) 

The PLDO requires dedication of parks, payment of park impact fees, or a combination of both for private residential development projects.  For residential subdivision and condominium projects with more than 50 dwelling units, the County may require dedication of park land as condition of approval for any discretionary project.  For residential development projects with 50 of fewer dwelling units, only the payment of park impact fees is required.

PLDO - Private Residential Development Projects

Discretionary projects proposing to dedicate parkland in lieu of fees or a combination of both shall be subject to review and approval by the DPR Director prior to review by the approving body (Planning & Development Services (PDS) Director, the Zoning Administrator, the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors).  Discretionary projects are projects that builders and homeowners cannot do “by right,” but require approval of a County approving body if the projects meet certain conditions.  Discretionary projects include lot splits, residential subdivisions and conditionally permitted residential uses.  

PARK IMPACT FEES AND PARK LAND DEDICATION REQUIREMENTS

The PLDO divides the County into 24 Local Park Planning Areas (LPPAs) that coincide with the Community and Subregional Plan boundaries in the County’s General Plan.  Each LPPA requires different rates of park impact fees or park land dedication per dwelling unit.  PLDO park impact fees are based on land acquisition and park construction costs within each LPPA.  Park land dedication rates are based on park acreage and population density.  Please click here for the Local Park Planning Area or here to use the PDS - Zoning & Property Information Tool in the County of San Diego Public Web Map Gallery to identify the applicable Local Park Planning Area and community.

PLDO park impact fees are paid at issuance of a ministerial building permit for a dwelling unless previously paid or exempted by the PLDO. Please note that park impact fees for permits issued only in the unincorporated areas are collected by the PDS on behalf of the DPR.  When an application for a dwelling is submitted, the PDS Building Division Land Use Technician will verify if the fees have previously been paid and notify the applicant if the park impact fees will be due at permit issuance.

Below are links to tables with the PLDO park impact fees and park land dedication requirements for each LPPA:

Park Impact Fees Table

Park Land Dedication Requirements Table

CRITERIA FOR DETERMINATION OF PARK LAND DEDICATION OR PAYMENT OF FEES

DPR reviews and conditions all residential discretionary projects to either dedicate park land or pay of park impact fees as a condition of approval to ensure consistency with the PLDO.  Dedication of park land is more preferred than the payment of park impact fees.  Whether the County accepts land dedication or elects to require payment of the park impact fees, or a combination of both, is determined by consideration of the following:

  • Compatibility with approved County plans and policies (Strategic Plan, General Plan, Community Plan, Parks Master Plan, Specific Plans);

  • Topography, geology, soils, soil stability, drainage, access, location and utility of the land;

  • Size and shape of land;

  • Amount, usability, and location of public property available for combination with dedicated park lands;

  • Additional private recreation facilities available to future residents of the project;

  • Location of existing and planned recreational facilities;

  • Proximity of homes to in projects with village densities, pursuant to the General Plan, should be within one-half (1/2) mile walking distance to all dwelling units or lots;

  • Form of ownership and financing mechanism for operation and maintenance of land;

  • Suitability of the site for visibility, supervision, and maintenance;

  • Conformance with the Department of Parks and Recreation Park Design Manual; and

  • Recommendations of the applicable Community Planning or Sponsor Group and DPR Director.

PARK CONCEPT PLAN REVIEW

When park land dedication is required, DPR identifies required park land dedication acreage and request park concept plans for both public and private park and recreational facilities.  DPR then reviews the park concept plans for compliance with the PLDO, Parks Master Plan, and Park Design Manual.  DPR also reviews site plans, parcel maps, and preliminary grading plans for grading, drainage, utility and infrastructure improvements that may be required for the County to accept land to be dedicated for a public park. 

CONDITIONING PRIVATE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

After review of site plans, parcel maps, and preliminary grading plans is complete, DPR conditions residential discretionary projects to submit grading and improvement plans to DPR for review and approval, execute of a park acquisition and improvement agreement to ensure park land is dedicated and establish a community facilities district or other financial mechanism to fund ongoing operation and maintenance of dedicated park land prior to approval of the project’s final map. 

GRADING AND IMPROVEMENT PLAN REVIEW

DPR reviews grading, improvement, and landscaping plans to ensure consistency with an approved public park concept plan, and compliance with the PLDO and Park Design Manual.  Landscape Documentation Package Checklist is submitted to (Planning & Development Services) PDS Project Planning who reviews for consistency with County of San Diego's Landscape Ordinance and Water Efficient Landscape Design Manual and routes plans to DPR for review and approval.  Grading and improvement plans are submitted to PDS Land Development who reviews for provides engineering and plan review services for construction and development projects and routes plans to DPR for review and approval.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES DISTRICT

When park land dedication is required, projects are conditioned to establish a community facilities district (CFD) or other financing mechanism pursuant to County of San Diego Board Policy I-136: Comprehensive Goals and Policies for Community Facilities Districts.  CFDs fund operation and maintenance of not only dedicated park land but trails, open space, stormwater facilities, flood control facilities, and fire services.  During CFD formation process, DPR provides cost estimates for operating and maintaining parks dedicated pursuant to the PLDO, trails dedicated pursuant to the County Trails Program, and open space preserved pursuant to the Resource Protection Ordinance and Biological Mitigation Ordinance.

PARK ACQUISTION AND IMPROVEMENT AGREEMENT

Project dedicating park land must into a secured Park Acquisition and Improvement Agreement with the County or another governmental agency for operation and maintenance of parks and recreation facilities.  The Park Acquisition and Improvement Agreement establishes a timeline for completing park construction and turnover to the County and requires a deposit to DPR that is equal to two years of operating the park land being dedicated pursuant to the PLDO.  The amount of the annual operation and maintenance cost is determined during the CFD formation process. 

PARK CONSTRUCTION

In addition to the approvals and inspections required by other County departments, such as PDS, Public Works, and Environmental Health, needed to complete park construction, DPR monitors park construction to ensure consistency with approved plans.  DPR also approves any park design modifications to respond to changes that arise during construction phase.  When park construction is complete, DPR conducts a walk through with the applicant and creates list of corrections that must be addressed prior to park land being dedicated to DPR. 

PARK TURN OVER

In addition to DPR approval of all park improvements and corrections, the applicant must also receive approvals from the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) through the Volunteer Assistance Program and the Department of General Services (DGS) through the Mandatory Dedication Checklist process.  The Volunteer Assistance Program is required to ensure the park land is not contaminated with hazardous substances.  Completion of the Mandatory Dedication Checklist is required by DGS to complete transfer of the park property to DPR ownership.  Once all of the above are complete, DPR would take on ownership and operation and maintenance of the park land and all conditions of approval would be satisfied. 

USEFUL LINKS

Below are links to additional resources and documents referenced in the summary above:

Park Lands Dedication Ordinance
Park Design Manual
Parks Master Plan

Relevant County of San Diego Board of Supervisor Policies:

Board Policy F-26: Utilization of Park Lands Dedication Ordinance Fees and Interest
Board Policy I-44: Procedure for Designing New County-Owned Local Parks
Board Policy I-136: Comprehensive Goals and Policies for Community Facilities Districts  
Board Policy G-19: Design Guidelines and Standards for County Parks and Recreational Facilities
Land Development Final Engineering (PDS)
Landscape Documentation Package Checklist (PDS)
Project Issue Resolution (PDS)
Mandatory Dedication Checklist (DGS)

Volunteer Assistance Program (DEH)
Park Impact Fees Table
Park Land Dedication Requirements
Local Park Planning Area
PDS - Zoning & Property Information Tool

COMMUNITY PLANNING AND SPONSOR GROUPS PLDO INFORMATION

Community Planning and Sponsor Groups advise and assist in recommending priorities, site selection and development of park facilities within their community.  The PLDO divides the County into 24 Local Park Planning Areas (LPPAs) that coincide with the Community and Subregional Plan boundaries.  Please click here for the LPPA map or here to use the PDS – Zoning & Property Information Tool in the County of San Diego Public Web Map Gallery to identify the applicable Local Park Planning Area and community.  Park impact fees collected pursuant to the PLDO are to be used benefit the LPPA where the project is located.

USE OF PARK IMPACT FEES

The Park Impact Fee consists of an administrative fee, park land acquisition fee and park improvement fee.  Administrative fees fund annual reporting requirements and administration of LPPA funds.  Park Land Acquisition Impact Fees fund the acquisition of park land.  Park Improvement Impact Fees fund construction of new or improvement of existing PLDO Eligible Recreational Uses.

PLDO Eligible Recreational Uses include adventure play areas, amphitheaters, bicycle parks, children's play areas, community gardens, community gather or event spaces, disc or Frisbee golf, dog parks or leash free areas, equestrian facilities, exercise areas or fitness stations, gymnasiums, improved overlooks, open lawn areas, picnic areas, plazas, recreation centers, skate parks, splash pads or wading pools, sport courts and fields, swimming pools, and trails outside of dedicated open space and County right-of-way.  No more than twenty-five percent (25%) of park impact fees may be used in a fiscal year to acquire land for trails and/or develop new trails.  

PLDO Eligible Recreational Uses do not include natural open space, nature study areas, open space buffer areas, steep slopes that are not improved with PLDO Eligible Recreational uses, golf courses, parking or staging areas, riding and hiking trails in open space preserves, trails conditioned pursuant to the County Trails Program, unimproved scenic overlooks, water courses, drainage areas, unenhanced stormwater facilities, water bodies (lakes, ponds, reservoirs), boating areas, archaeologically sensitive areas, group and individual usable open space as defined in the Zoning Ordinance, landscape corridors, pathways, environmental mitigation areas, land encumbered by easements, or other areas that preclude PLDO eligible recreational uses.

PLDO PRIORITY LIST REQUESTS

On an annual basis, pursuant to Board Policy F-26: Utilization of Park Lands Dedication Ordinance Fees and Interest , DPR requests a 5-year priority list from each Planning and Sponsor Group or other approved entity (County Service Area advisory committees) within the unincorporated county, for purposes of defining community recommendations for use of PLDO funds.  DPR review these lists for conformance with Board Policy F-26, the PLDO, and Parks Master Plan.  DPR also considers the following factors:

  • Compatibility with approved County plans and policies (Strategic Plan, General Plan, Community Plan, Parks Master Plan);

  • Topography, geology, soils, soil stability, drainage, access, location and utility of the land to be acquired and/or developed;

  • Size and shape of land to acquire and/or developed;

  • Additional private recreation facilities available to community;

  • Location of existing and planned parks and recreational facilities;

  • Financing mechanism for operation and maintenance of park land and/or improvement;

  • Suitability of the site for DPR visibility, supervision, and maintenance; and

  • Conformance with the Park Design Manual.

DPR considers PLDO priority requests against the factors above, as well as general community park needs and needs identified by DPR staff, when determining whether to bring PLDO funding recommendations forward to the Board of Supervisors for consideration.  In some instances, DPR may recommend park improvements not on the lists provided by the local Planning and Sponsor Groups or other approved entities.  Park projects in the Park Capital Improvement Plan and Capital Improvement Needs Assessment constitute the County’s plans to spend down accrued PLDO fees.

JOINT EXERCISE POWERS AGREEMENTS

Planning and Sponsor Groups may recommend park improvements on land owned by another public agency, such as a city, parks and recreation district or school district.  In these cases, the County must enter into a Joint Exercise Powers Agreement (JEPA) with the applicable public agency.  Prior to funding any park improvements through a JEPA, DPR considers the PLDO priority requests for against the same factors as all other PLDO priority requests (see PLDO Priority Requests above).  DPR also considers the duration and frequency that the requested park improvements would be available to the public and the willingness of the other public agency to participate in the JEPA.

RELEVANT LINKS FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING AND SPONSOR GROUPS

Below are links related to the PLDO that will are relevant for Community Planning and Sponsor Group members.

 PLDO Overview 

Park Lands Dedication Ordinance (PLDO)
Park Design Manual
Parks Master Plan

Relevant County of San Diego Board of Supervisor Policies:

Board Policy F-26: Utilization of Park Lands Dedication Ordinance Fees and Interest
Board Policy I-44: Procedure for Designing New County-Owned Local Parks
Board Policy I-136: Comprehensive Goals and Policies for Community Facilities Districts  
Board Policy G-19: Design Guidelines and Standards for County Parks and Recreational Facilities
Local Park Planning Area
PDS - Zoning & Property Information Tool
Park Impact Fees Table
Park Land Dedication Requirements

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

For additional information on the Park Lands Dedication Ordinance, Park Impact Fees, or Local Park Planning Area, please contact Emmet Aquino at (858) 966-1351 or Emmet.Aquino@sdcounty.ca.gov.

Back To Top

SINGLE-FAMILY DWELLING UNIT PLDO PARK IMPACT FEES

LOCAL PARK PLANNING AREA LAND ACQUISITION IMPACT FEE* PARK IN-LIEU IMPACT FEE** PARK IMPROVEMENT IMPACT FEE ADMINISTRATION FEE TOTAL PARK IMPACT FEE

Alpine

$430

$430

$4,787

$104

$5,322

Barona

$387

$387

$4,593

$100

$5,079

Bonsall

$836

$836

$4,600

$109

$5,544

Central Mountain

$637

$637

$3,790

$89

$4,516

County Islands

$1,410

$1,410

$6,893

$166

$8,469

Crest-Dehesa

$639

$639

$4,554

$104

$5,296

Desert

$56

$56

$3,619

$73

$3,748

Fallbrook

$583

$583

$4,810

$108

$5,500

Jamul

$547

$547

$4,707

$105

$5,360

Julian

$195

$195

$4,782

$100

$5,077

Lakeside

$456

$456

$4,802

$105

$5,363

Mountain Empire

$66

$66

$4,512

$92

$4,669

North County Metro

$651

$651

$4,652

$106

$5,409

North Mountain

$196

$196

$4,774

$99

$5,069

Otay

$1,122

$1,122

$6,541

$153

$7,816

Pala-Pauma

$300

$300

$4,483

$96

$4,879

Pendleton-De Luz

$161

$161

$5,477

$113

$5,751

Rainbow

$138

$138

$5,140

$106

$5,383

Ramona

$415

$415

$4,930

$107

$5,452

San Dieguito

$2,907

$2,907

$5,413

$166

$8,486

Spring Valley

$1,290

$1,290

$5,641

$139

$7,070

Sweetwater

$1,834

$1,834

$5,898

$155

$7,887

Valle De Oro

$979

$979

$5,422

$128

$6,529

Valley Center

$473

$473

$4,806

$106

$5,385

*Non-Subdivision Residential Project

 

 

 

 

 

**Subdivision Residential Project

 

 

 

 

 

MULTI-FAMILY DWELLING UNIT PLDO PARK IMPACT FEES

LOCAL PARK PLANNING AREA

LAND ACQUISITION IMPACT FEE*

PARK IN-LIEU IMPACT FEE**

PARK IMPROVEMENT IMPACT FEE

ADMINSTRATION FEE

TOTAL PARK IMPACT FEE

Alpine

$409

$409

$4,556

$99

$5,064

Barona

$470

$470

$5,588

$121

$6,179

Bonsall

$788

$788

$4,330

$102

$5,220

Central Mountain

$479

$479

$2,850

$67

$3,396

County Islands

$1,457

$1,457

$7,125

$172

$8,754

Crest-Dehesa

$636

$636

$4,531

$103

$5,270

Desert

$51

$51

$3,328

$68

$3,446

Fallbrook

$619

$619

$5,109

$115

$5,843

Jamul

$452

$452

$3,885

$87

$4,423

Julian

$185

$185

$4,505

$94

$4,783

Lakeside

$443

$443

$4,675

$102

$5,221

Mountain Empire

$60

$60

$4,145

$84

$4,290

North County Metro

$625

$625

$4,465

$102

$5,192

North Mountain

$184

$184

$4,488

$93

$4,765

Otay

$847

$847

$4,937

$116

$5,900

Pala-Pauma

$254

$254

$3,802

$81

$4,138

Pendleton-De Luz

$155

$155

$5,260

$108

$5,523

Rainbow

$123

$123

$4,594

$94

$4,812

Ramona

$412

$412

$4,892

$106

$5,410

San Dieguito

$2,987

$2,987

$5,563

$171

$8,721

Spring Valley

$1,270

$1,270

$5,551

$136

$6,958

Sweetwater

$1,767

$1,767

$5,682

$149

$7,597

Valle De Oro

$918

$918

$5,085

$120

$6,124

Valley Center

$377

$377

$3,827

$84

$4,288

*Non-Subdivision Residential Project

 

 

 

 

 

**Subdivision Residential Project

 

 

 

 

 

ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT PLDO PARK IMPACT FEES

LOCAL PARK PLANNING AREA

LAND ACQUISITION IMPACT FEE*

PARK IN-LIEU IMPACT FEE**

PARK IMPROVEMENT IMPACT FEE

ADMINSTRATION FEE

TOTAL PARK IMPACT FEE

Alpine

$302

$302

$3,366

$73

$3,741

Barona

$284

$284

$3,366

$73

$3,723

Bonsall

$612

$612

$3,366

$80

$4,058

Central Mountain

$479

$479

$2,850

$67

$3,396

County Islands

$689

$689

$3,366

$81

$4,136

Crest-Dehesa

$473

$473

$3,366

$77

$3,916

Desert

$47

$47

$3,073

$62

$3,183

Fallbrook

$408

$408

$3,366

$75

$3,849

Jamul

$392

$392

$3,366

$75

$3,833

Julian

$138

$138

$3,366

$70

$3,574

Lakeside

$320

$320

$3,366

$74

$3,760

Mountain Empire

$49

$49

$3,366

$68

$3,483

North County Metro

$471

$471

$3,366

$77

$3,914

North Mountain

$138

$138

$3,366

$70

$3,574

Otay

$578

$578

$3,366

$79

$4,023

Pala-Pauma

$209

$209

$3,129

$67

$3,405

Pendleton-De Luz

$99

$99

$3,366

$69

$3,534

Rainbow

$90

$90

$3,366

$69

$3,525

Ramona

$284

$284

$3,366

$73

$3,723

San Dieguito

$1,808

$1,808

$3,366

$103

$5,277

Spring Valley

$770

$770

$3,366

$83

$4,219

Sweetwater

$1,047

$1,047

$3,366

$88

$4,501

Valle De Oro

$608

$608

$3,366

$79

$4,053

Valley Center

$332

$332

$3,366

$74

$3,772

*Non-Subdivision Residential Project

 

 

 

 

 

**Subdivision Residential Project

 

 

 

 

 

Square Feet of Park Land Dedication Per Dwelling Unit/Lot

LOCAL PARK PLANNING AREA SINGLE FAMILY MULTI-FAMILY ACCESSORY 

Alpine

372.43

331.93

196.02

Barona

331.93

501.81

196.02

Bonsall

367.21

320.17

196.02

Central Mountain

328.01

165.96

165.96

County Islands

504.42

544.94

196.02

Crest-Dehesa

360.68

356.76

196.02

Desert

291.42

240.45

196.02

Fallbrook

368.52

420.79

196.02

Jamul

384.20

240.45

196.02

Julian

295.37

246.99

196.02

Lakeside

377.67

355.45

196.02

Mountain Empire

376.35

312.33

196.02

North County Metro

346.30

313.63

196.02

North Mountain

294.03

261.36

196.02

Otay

500.50

287.50

196.02

Pala-Pauma

432.55

313.63

196.02

Pendleton-De Luz

443.01

405.11

196.02

Rainbow

382.90

287.50

196.02

Ramona

390.73

384.20

196.02

San Dieguito

360.68

386.81

196.02

Spring Valley

416.87

401.19

196.02

Sweetwater

376.36

338.46

196.02

Valle De Oro

368.52

309.71

196.02

Valley Center

386.81

215.62

196.02

Planning and Sponsor Group Information 

Please use the Local Park Planning Area map below or use the PDS – Zoning & Property Information Tool in the County of San Diego Public Web Map Gallery to identify the applicable Local Park Planning Area and community.

PLDO Local Park Planning Area Map


 

Subscribe Now
2017_Easy2Hike_Button_V0
Get Outside San Diego
parks-button-news-events
parks-button-find-a-park
parks-button-volunteer
parks-button-sponsorship
parks-button-donate-now