Who's Going to Pay for this Park?

Many communities require developers to donate land or pay in-lieu fees for the acquisition of parkland. The rationale for these so-called "developer exactions" is that population growth (and the resulting housing construction) eliminates formerly open land and also adds to the number of residents who must be served by ever-more-stressed parkland.

Much has been written about the formulas used to calculate the amount of land and/or the in-lieu payments required of developers. Much has also been written about whether the programs are equitable or not. But almost no attention has been paid to the more basic question—do these programs actually result in the public acquisition of land?