COVID-19 Risk Level for Multnomah County: High Risk

Portland Parks & Recreation to Adopt More Equitable Fee Structure for System Development Charges

News article

In this article

One-time fees from new development to pay for parks and recreation infrastructure 

(Portland, OR) –

 Portland City Council voted today to approve a new methodology for how Portland Parks & Recreation calculates System Development Charges (SDCs).  SDCs are one-time fees on new development to provide funding for the City to meet the infrastructure needs created by growth.  The changes that Council approved more equitably distribute the responsibility for meeting those needs between new residential and non-residential development.

 The changes will go into effect on July 1, 2016.

 “These Parks SDC changes are for new development.  They do not impact existing homes,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  ”They provide for a more equitable collection of Parks SDCs which will help ensure that money will be available to provide needed parks and recreation facilities to serve Portland’s growing community.”

Parks SDCs are one-time fees assessed on new development.  They cover a portion of the cost of providing new parks, trails, natural areas and other recreational facilities to keep pace with a growing city.

“This is about the future of Portland’s parks,” says PP&R Director Mike Abbaté.  “100 years from now, our children’s children will be thankful we had the foresight to guarantee their opportunities for vitality, health, and recreation.”

“People move to Portland because of our quality of life, and our parks are a big part of that,” Fritz added. “We have to make sure that our infrastructure keeps pace with that of development.  This is a fiscally responsible measure.”

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) reviews and updates its SDC methodology every five years.  Council decided to delay the changes it adopted today until July 2016, as a way to ensure existing development projects in the pipeline are not affected. 

Prior to her “aye” vote, Fritz added, “We’ve listened to all the testimony and considered all the amendment requests.  New development should pay its way.  No more, no less.” 

The proposal provides a more equitable distribution of the impact and fees charged. In addition, the new methodology will now charge new businesses in the non-central city for employees’ impact on neighborhood parks. This is currently the case in the central city, but was not previously done for non-central city commercial development using the 2008 methodology.

FAQ’s on Parks SDCs

The Park System Development Charge Methodology Update Report: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/index.cfm?&a=523731

A comparison of the 2014-15 Parks SDC rates to the 2016 Parks SDC fees can be found here: