§ 151.221  PARK AND RECREATION AREAS.
   (A)   Purpose.  As a condition of approval of a final plat of subdivision of any parcel of land within unincorporated Lake County, in order to provide proximate recreation land for the residents of the subdivision, qualifying developers shall be required to:
      (1)   Permanently set aside land for active or passive recreation purposes;
      (2)   Provide a cash contribution in lieu of actual land dedication; or
      (3)   Provide a combination of both.
   (B)   Applicability.  The recreation land dedication or cash contribution in lieu thereof shall apply to all residential land developments with two exceptions.
      (1)   Subdivisions composed entirely of single family detached houses having a net density equal to or less than 1.25 dwelling units per acre shall not be required to dedicate land or contribute cash; and
      (2)   Subdivisions which would be required to provide less than one-fourth acre of recreation land shall not be required to dedicate land or contribute cash.
   (C)   Calculations. The recreational land requirement is determined by the site capacity regulations of § 151.070(D).
   (D)   Design guidelines.
      (1)   Recreation improvements shall be accessible to all residents of the subdivision.
      (2)   Access to recreation areas shall be provided from internal subdivision streets.
      (3)   Recreation improvements shall be designed so they maximize their use and enjoyment for the population served.
      (4)   Proposed subdivisions may provide passive and active recreation improvements. Passive recreation improvements may consist of trails, picnic areas and benches. Active recreation improvements may consist of sports fields, game tables, tennis courts, sand boxes, and other playground equipment.
      (5)   Landscaping within recreation areas shall be designed to be aesthetically pleasing and functionally usable for the specified purpose.
      (6)   All sites shall be ready for full service of electrical, gas, water, sewer, sidewalk, streets and storm drainage where those services are included in the subdivision and as applicable to the location of the site.
      (7)   When appropriate, recreation improvements may be combined with that of an adjoining subdivision in order to produce more useable recreation areas or trail linkages.
   (E)   Review requirements.
      (1)   The proposed recreation areas shall be designated on the preliminary plat.
      (2)   Plans, cost estimates, and other information necessary to ensure the proper designation, use, maintenance, ownership, and installation of all recreation improvements required by this chapter shall be submitted as part of the final engineering plans.
      (3)   Recreation improvement plans shall include but shall not be limited to the following:
         (a)   Site location;
         (b)   Points of access;
         (c)   Site design, including landscaping; and
         (d)   Equipment specifications.
   (F)   Installation.  The recreation improvements shall be installed in accordance with the approved final engineering plans. The installation of recreation improvements shall be guaranteed by including costs of the improvements in the performance assurance deposited with the county.
   (G)   Maintenance. 
      (1)   The maintenance of recreation improvements shall be guaranteed by providing the county a maintenance assurance for the amount and term specified by the county.
      (2)   The developer shall be responsible for the maintenance of all improvements until the time that 80% of the lots in the subdivision have been sold. However, the developer shall not transfer the improvements for the purpose of maintenance until all maintenance assurances are released by the county.
      (3)   The maintenance and improvement responsibilities for the recreation areas shall be determined based upon the form of ownership and finalized at the time of the final plat review.
      (4)   Maintenance of the recreation improvements shall consist of all acts necessary to ensure that they remain usable and that no hazards, nuisances, or unhealthy conditions exist.
   (H)   Ownership.
      (1)   Recreation improvements shall be either publicly dedicated or commonly owned.
         (a)   The developer may dedicate the sites to any suitable public or not-for-profit entity approved by the Planning, Building and Development Director; or
         (b)   If the developer does not choose to dedicate the sites or if there is no public agency willing to accept the dedication, provisions shall be made for a compulsory homeowners’ association as a means of assuring that the land will be maintained and preserved in perpetuity as commonly held recreational open space.
      (2)   The developer shall be responsible for conveying good, marketable title to the sites and shall be responsible for payment of all real estate taxes to date of conveyance.
      (3)   Articles of agreement for a homeowners’ association, or any other necessary documents, shall specify the appropriate maintenance responsibilities for all active and passive recreation improvements. These shall be approved by the Planning, Building and Development Director and shall be recorded with the final plat with a notation on the plat referring to the documents.
   (I)   Cash contributions.
      (1)   General.  In the following situations the county may require the developer to pay a cash contribution in lieu of the land dedication:
         (a)   A previously established public park is in the immediate vicinity of the proposed subdivision. The park shall be less than a mile from the proposed subdivision and shall be accessible by either a sidewalk or a trail;
         (b)   The subdivision is small and the resulting recreation area is too small to be practical; or
         (c)   The available land is inappropriate for a recreation area.
      (2)   Criteria.  The cash contributions shall be based on the fair market value of the gross site valued as improved land in the area that otherwise would have been dedicated as a recreation area.
      (3)   Fees and costs.  The cost of all appraisals shall be the responsibility of the parties submitting them.
      (4)   Determination of fair market value.  The fair market value shall be determined in the following manner:
         (a)   After preliminary plat approval and prior to submission of the proposed final plat, the developer shall submit to the Planning, Building and Development Director a statement as to the fair market value of the improved land in the area and state the evidence or reasons for this.
         (b)   If the Planning, Building and Development Director does not agree with the statement of fair market value, the Planning, Building and Development Director shall notify the developer who shall then submit a fair market value appraisal prepared by a certified appraiser of improved land in the area of the proposed development. The applicant shall be responsible for paying all costs of the required appraisal.
         (c)   If the Planning, Building and Development Director does not agree with the certified appraisal submitted by the applicant, the Planning, Building and Development Director shall, within 15 days from the receipt of such, notify the developer of this disagreement in writing. The county shall then have a fair market value appraisal prepared by a certified appraiser of the improved land in the area of the proposed development.
         (d)   The final determination of the fair market value per acre of the improved land shall be made by the Planning, Building and Zoning Committee based upon the information submitted by the developer, any appraisers involved and from any other sources that may be involved.
      (5)   Administration.  Any local public agency that provides recreation land and facilities may be eligible for the cash contribution. The Planning, Building and Development Director shall approve of the agency. The cash contribution shall be held in a special fund by the county or other public body designated by the county. The fund shall be used to cover only those costs specifically and uniquely attributable to the subject subdivision. Specifically, the funds shall be used to purchase recreation land that will serve the immediate or future needs of the residents of the proposed subdivision or for the improvement of recreation land existing within one mile of the proposed subdivision.
      (6)   Expiration.  If any portion of a cash contribution is not expended for the purposes set forth herein within ten years of the date of receipt, it shall be refunded to the present owner of the property for which the contribution was made.
   (J)   Criteria for combined land dedication and cash contribution.  There may be situations in subdivisions when a combination of land dedication and a cash contribution are necessary. These combinations may be permitted in the following instances:
      (1)   The local park district indicates that the proposed subdivision overlaps a proposed park. The portion of the subdivision falling within the park shall be dedicated as a recreation improvement. The remainder of the required donation shall be in the form of a cash contribution; or
      (2)   When the Planning, Building and Development Director determines that due to site design constraints, the entire required land area cannot be accommodated in the subdivision, the remainder of the required donation shall be in the form of a cash contribution.
(Ord., § 11.2, passed 10-13-2009)