Comment 31873

By kevlahan_rth (anonymous) | Posted June 18, 2009 at 12:39:23

It should be noted that the land in lieu of cash deal (which is the right way to think of it) encourages greenfield sprawl and penalizes dense infill in three ways:

1. Greenfield developers have usually bought land cheaply, often before re-zoning, so the actual cost is much less than paying cash into a parkland fund. In fact, the greenspace is located in their new subdivision and so actually increases the price they can charge for their houses!

2. The cash amount paid is not based on the surface area of the development, but on the number of dwelling units which greatly penalizes high density in-fill and (again) favours single family houses on greenfield land. In fact, as in the case of the Thistle development, the cash amount required for a dense in-fill development can make the project unviable.

3. The money paid into the parkland fund can only be spent on NEW parks. Since there is usually no land for new parks in existing urban areas, the parkland money paid by an in-fill development will be spent on providing new parks for sprawl developments!

This issue is similar to the parking space requirement: both regulations encourage low-density sprawl.

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