§ 23-310. Recreation area.

Effective on Wednesday, September 19, 2018
  • All residential developments approved as subdivisions, planned developments, or single-lot multi-family developments shall provide recreation area and facilities in compliance with this section.

    a. Design criteria. Parks shall be planned as integral features of a development, providing scenic vistas along roadways, conveniently located recreation opportunities for residents, and access to and views of natural features such as ponds. Locating parks adjacent to water bodies and other natural features is encouraged.

    1. Neighborhood parks and mini-parks required under this section shall be easily and safely accessed by pedestrians via walkways from the neighborhoods served.

    2. Parks shall be located so as to utilize and highlight natural features of the property, to preserve stands of trees, to add interest to the streetscape, and to maintain and enhance views.

    3. Parks shall be located and shaped to provide an environment separate from residential lots within the development.

    i. If the park is equal in size to a single lot in the development, it shall have frontage on at least two (2) sides of the parcel.

    ii. No single lot located between two (2) residential lots shall be designated as a park.

    iii. Where neighborhood parks abut residential lots, buffering shall be provided to separate the residential property from the park and to prevent encroachment.

    4. Parks designed to provide a focal point and gathering place for a neighborhood are encouraged.

    5. Visibility of parks from residential units is encouraged. Central greens and parks with long street frontages are encouraged. Parks located in interior spaces surrounded by residential lots are discouraged.

    6. Existing trees shall not be removed for the development or expansion of a park or common open space area except in accordance with a plan approved by the administrative official. The preparation and approval of such plans shall be guided by the standards for tree removal in section 23-302.2.a. and standards for recreation areas in this section. Such plans shall be based upon a tree survey prepared by a professional arborist unless a waiver is granted by the planning board for minor projects. An effort shall be made to identify and preserve trees of desirable species and good condition and to create an appealing park with shady areas. Allowance shall be made for removal of a reasonable number of trees in wooded areas to create usable, park-like conditions and to improve growing conditions for remaining trees. The plan(s) shall be reviewed as part of the site development permit process (section 23-217) unless otherwise specified in the conditions of approval for the development.

    b. Recreation area requirement.

    1. Neighborhood parks. In all residential developments, recreation areas in the form of neighborhood parks shall be provided at a ratio of one and one-half acre per 400 dwelling units at minimum. With the approval of the city commission, the neighborhood park requirement for a new development may be fulfilled through an equivalent contribution for improvements to an existing or proposed neighborhood park outside of the development, provided the park is within a quarter mile of the development and will be conveniently accessible for residents within the development and provided the level of service standard for neighborhood parks is met in the area.

    A. A neighborhood park shall be located no further than 600 feet from any dwelling in the neighborhood it serves.

    B. Green areas less than 5,000 square feet in area shall not be credited toward the neighborhood park requirement.

    C. A neighborhood park with a minimum area of one quarter acre is required in any development, or defined neighborhood within a development, of fifty units or more.

    D. A neighborhood park shall include at minimum the following improvements: benches, trees, open or grassy areas and play or exercise facilities geared to the type of population served.

    2. Mini-parks. In all residential developments, recreation areas in the form of mini-parks shall be provided at a ratio of one-quarter (¼) acre per four hundred (400) dwelling units at minimum.

    A. Mini-parks shall be strategically placed throughout a development to maximize accessibility to green space for residents.

    B. A mini-park shall be no smaller than one thousand (1,000) square feet.

    C. Mini-parks shall not be combined with neighborhood parks, except that mini-parks may be incorporated into a linear park.

    D. Mini-parks shall be landscaped and at minimum shall provide seating area and connection to the pedestrian path network within the development.

    E. Green space at the entrance to a development shall not be credited toward the mini-park requirement unless the permitting authority finds that by virtue of the design, the green space serves the function of a mini-park.

    c. Credit for recreation area.

    1. Linear parks, such as bike/pedestrian path corridors, may be credited toward the recreation area requirement after an adjustment to remove the total area of required sidewalks and a 3-foot green area between the sidewalk and street. To be credited toward the recreation requirement, such linear parks must be in a landscaped corridor, a minimum of 25 feet in width. Linear parks shall not constitute more than 50% of the neighborhood park requirement.

    2. Recreation area provided in a development in excess of the minimum requirement may be approved to increase the inventory of community parks, and commensurate credit against the recreation impact fee (see article VII, div. 4) may be granted, provided the city commission finds that the recreation facility functions as a community park.

    3. Medians within a roadway right-of-way shall not be credited toward the recreation area requirement unless the median functions as a linear park with a minimum width of 25 feet.

    4. Retention areas, whether wet or dry, shall not be credited toward the recreation requirement, except as follows: 150% of the upland area of parks fronting on ponds or wet retention areas shall be credited in developments or neighborhoods of 50 units or more, provided the land area of the park is 10,000 square feet in area or more, and provided the park's frontage along the shoreline is a minimum of 50 feet per 10,000 square feet of such park land, and provided that the park has a minimum of 50 feet of street frontage.

    d. Recreation facilities.

    1. Recreation buildings or enclosed or paved play courts shall constitute a maximum of fifty (50) percent of the total required recreation area.

    2. A minimum of two (2) shade trees per recreation area or a minimum of five (5) shade trees per acre, whichever is greater, shall be provided in recreation areas.

    3. Community buildings shall be designed to double as hurricane shelters.

(Ord. No. 2006-24, §§ 10, 11, 6-6-06; Ord. No. 2008-45, § 7, 12-16-08; Ord. No. 2018-07, § 3, 09-19-18)