Recreation Fund Payments for Recreation, Park and Open Space Sites

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Prepared by:  Laura Cove, Director FDTS 
Adopted by Council: 4/24/2014
Supersedes: 12/13/2012
Effective: 7/1/2014


To establish a policy setting guidelines for the use of recreation fund payments for the acquisition or development of recreation, park or open space sites.


This policy, upon approval by the Town Council, shall be applicable to all revenues received for recreation fund payments as established in the Town of Cary Land Development Ordinance, N.C.G.S. § 160A-372, and North Carolina Session Law 2007-321.


Cary has a growing and diverse recreation, park and open space system serving multiple functions and users.  The Town’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources (PRCR) comprehensive plan included extensive analysis and public input used to identify and define target levels of service to meet the recreational needs of the Town’s residents.  Level of service considers the quantity, distribution and functionality of the parks and recreational facilities with the goal of providing a range of recreational options to residents.

The PRCR comprehensive plan makes recommendations based on level of service analysis within geographic areas, called “planning subareas,” which are segregated and defined by significant roadways.  Plan recommendations include geographic disbursement of recreation, park and open space facilities to serve the needs of residents in their immediate area, represented by the planning subarea.

The PRCR comprehensive plan further includes a classification of park types primarily based on how a park functions and the primary users of the park.  For instance, park types range from mini parks, which may be ½ acre sites with benches and no parking, to metro parks that are over 100 acres and have amenities such as multiple ball fields and boat rentals that draw and serve residents of the entire town.  This classification system was designed to recognize the necessary range of park types and scales needed to serve the diverse development patterns and population present in the Town of Cary. 

The Town’s Land Development Ordinance requires recreation fund payments or dedication of land or a combination thereof, for residential development.  Recreation fund payments may be collected and expended in accordance with the following guidelines:

A.         Recreation fund payments may be allocated for the acquisition or development of recreation, park or open space sites.  Maintenance of existing facilities is not eligible.

B.         All recreation fund payments will be designated and deposited in separate accounts based upon the planning subareas (as defined in the current PRCR comprehensive plan, as may be amended from time to time) from which they were collected.

C.        Recreation fund payments may be expended within the planning subarea in which they were collected, and/or may be expended for special use parks/facilities, metro parks, primary greenway corridors, the American Tobacco Trail, or the East Coast Greenway, all of which are designated to serve the entire community as more fully described in the current PRCR comprehensive plan, as may be amended from time to time. 

D.        All recreation fund payments will be subject to annual appropriation by the Town Council and administered in accordance with the Land Development Ordinance.