Monthly archives "September 2014"

Parks Should be a Priority in San Jose

by Helen Chapman

With all of the new worries we’ve had in San Jose in recent years…the police exodus, the rise in crime, the poor relationships between city employees and their bosses…it’s easy to lose sight of other “quality of life” issues that are really just as important.  In fact, some of the issues that are getting left on the back burner, cold and unattended, are the reason so many people love San Jose and strive to make their home here, and we need to heat those issues up once again.

Someone asked me the other day – “We were promised a park in our neighborhood years ago, why is it taking so long to get a park built?”  I wish there was an easy answer.  As usual, it comes down to funding and priorities.  The primary funding mechanism to build parks, trails and adding capital improvement to existing parks is from the Parkland Dedication Ordinance (PDO).  The Ordinance requires developers of new residential sub-divisions to provide land or pay a parkland fee in lieu of land or do both, to acquire, develop or renovate neighborhood and community serving parks to serve the new residents of the sub division(s).  The PDO was enacted by the City in 1988 and is consistent with the State’s Quimby Act.  The fees paid in lieu of land dedication are deposited into the Park Trust Fund. Read More →

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In The September District 10 Newsletter, Johnny Khamis has a nice quote about the value of parks.


“Another thing I appreciated about Copenhagen, is the increased community outreach in the planning of parks and other public destinations. This helps them achieve highly activated public spaces. I was especially impressed with the use of science and culture in the many parks that we visited. Parent-friendly playground equipment is used to keep parents and kids entertained and playing together. Park staff measure the use of parks before and after features are added to gauge the popularity of new features. Many parks have a specific theme and attract residents from other areas of the city. In many cases, activating a space has brought new life to neighborhoods and increased the values of the surrounding homes.”