Houston new parks fee nets $11M, but no parks

By: From Wire Reports
By: From Wire Reports

HOUSTON (AP) - A fee collected from developers by the city of Houston that was supposed to go toward new park lands has netted more than $11 million - but no new parks.

The Houston Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/H1GnBN ) that a 2007 ordinance was intended to expand green space in a sprawling, sometimes congested city. Developers could either donate land for parks or pay a $700 fee per unit constructed.

Instead, that money has paid for replacing playgrounds and adding features at existing parks. The fund has not paid for any new land.

A spokeswoman for the city Department of Parks and Recreation says the city is currently pursuing its first purchase.

One developer involved in the initial ordinance says he was misled.

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