Park Lands Dedication Ordinance (PLDO)

On December 16, 2015, the Board of Supervisors approved recommendations (Board of Supervisor’s December 16, 2015 (2) Hearing Report) to evaluate the current Park Lands Dedication Ordinance (PLDO), research other ordinances and gather input from stakeholders.

Subsequently, on July 20, 2016 (10), the Board directed the Department of Parks and Recreation(DPR) to conduct a comprehensive update of the PLDO (Board of Supervisor’s July 20, 2016 (10) Hearing Report)


The PLDO was adopted on February 17, 1973, pursuant to the State Quimby Act, to meet the park and recreational needs of residents of new residential developments in unincorporated San Diego County. The PLDO requires dedication of parks, payment of in-lieu fees, or a combination of both for all residential development projects. For developments on 50 or more parcels, the County typically requires dedication of park land. For developments on less than 50 parcels, only payment of in-lieu fees may be required.

The current PLDO divides the County into 24 Local Park Planning Areas (LPPAs). Each LPPA requires different in-lieu fees or allocations of dedicated park land per dwelling unit; fees are based on land acquisition and construction costs within the LPPA, and park land is dedicated based on current park acreage and population density

A table of current PLDO fees and park acreage dedication requirements per LPPA can be found here: PLDO Fees and Acreages.


On July 20, 2016 (10), the Board of Supervisors directed staff to proceed with a comprehensive update of the PLDO. A comprehensive update includes funding for a consultant prepared nexus/feasibility study which will explore the legal and policy basis for updating the PLDO based on the Quimby Act, Mitigation Fee Act, or both and provide recommendations.

  • The study will examine the feasibility of requiring projects that only pay in-lieu fees to fund ongoing maintenance as well.
  • The  study will realign the Local Park Planning Areas to coincide with the Community and Subregional Plan Area boundaries.
  • The study will examine broadening the scope of the County’s park fee program and providing additional clarity on parks conditioning and flexibility for siting parks.

Throughout the update process, County staff will conduct additional community outreach which includes the draft Parks Master Plan which contains planning area level of service standards.

This comprehensive update allows staff to research and address all major concerns raised with the existing PLDO and update PLDO fee methodology and implementation. 

DPR will continue to reach out to local stakeholders to provide information on this update, and gather input and feedback on recommended changes to the PLDO. 

DPR will bring options to the Board of Supervisors  for updating the PLDO based on the of the nexus/feasibility study and stakeholder feedback.  DPR will then return to the Board of Supervisors to request adoption of a new ordinance based on the options selected by the Board by Summer 2018.

All changes to the PLDO will align with the County’s Parks Master Plan.  The Park Master Plan is a guidance document for the acquisition, development, and operation of parks and recreational facilities in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County.  The Parks Master Plan is a living document that will be updated and amended as new information becomes available.

Comments and Recommendations

If you or your organization would like to request a meeting, provide comments/recommendations, and/or receive a monthly PLDO update, please contact Marcus Lubich at (858) 966-1348 or   

Written comments should be sent to Department of Parks and Recreation, 5500 Overland Avenue, Suite 410, San Diego, CA 92123, attn.: Marcus Lubich.

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