Developers could be tapped for park land, money
May 06. 2014 1:58PM
Some land developers could soon be tapped by the City of Dell Rapids for cash or land when they build neighborhoods here.
The city council has the ability to take at least five percent of any new subdivision, or the monetary equivalent, for parks and public use purposes but doesn’t normally apply the ordinance when new residential developments are plotted.
Councilor Mark Crisp said it might be in the council’s interest to consider using the ordinance to come up with some extra funds for upkeep of municipal recreation areas.
“Right within our ordinance, right here, is money for our parks,” he said at an April council meeting.
When the city bought the former tractor pull south of the Big Sioux River in February, it didn’t all have to come from city coffers, Crisp said.
“We just recently bought $37,000 worth of land for public use with tax payer dollars. I think there’s an opportunity for us to look at some land or some money,” he said. “We’re not necessarily after more acres of park. We need to maintain the parks that we have.”
Although the revenue tool isn’t often used, the city has applied it on occasion. Dells Investment Group, Inc., which Crisp and councilor Lee Burggraff hold membership in, gave the city six acres for the 12th Street retention pond in northern Dell Rapids. When Spruce Glen, Inc. plotted its development near the golf course, it offered a lot to the city. But planning and zoning officials turned it down because of potential drainage issues.
“If … I haven’t paid (my) fair share, I’m here to say that I’m willing to pay mine,” said Crisp, an area developer and homebuilder.
The ordinance states the council may require a portion of any new subdivisions, whether residential, commercial or industrial, or cash. Councilor Craig Lauritzen said the policy should be better defined.
“I like the idea of clarifying it. I don’t like the ‘may’ part,” he said. “How does that come off? When do we enact that?”
Councilor Chad Andrews agreed.
“I say change it,” he said. “I think we need to change it to require it.”
City administration was directed to compile a list of all developers in Dell Rapids and provide details on land or money given to the city.