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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Land Acquisition Program

Property acquisitions for park purposes are made possible through a variety of resources. In some cases, funds are obtained for purchase of a specific piece of property through grants or special one-time allocations from City Council. Previous bond measures have also provided resources for park acquisition. However, the Park System Development Charge is currently the primary funding source to meet the need created by growth for acquisition of land for future parks and recreation facilities. While acquisition is PP&R’s priority, the funds can also be used for development.

SDC funds are generated by a one-time fee that is charged to new residential development at the time the building permit is issued. Since the funds are generated only when new development occurs, the law requires that SDC acquisitions be made in the parts of town experiencing growth. While growth is occurring in all parts of town, the greatest growth continues to be in outer east. PP&R tracks building trends on an annual basis and adjusts SDC target areas accordingly.

Because property meeting PP&R’s acquisition guidelines is rapidly disappearing, acquisition rather than development is the priority for use of SDC funds. However, in some cases SDC funds have been used as a match for park development in target areas. In most cases, newly acquired properties are land banked until funds are available for development.

PP&R’s Land Acquisition Strategy provides the framework for determining which potential acquisition projects to pursue. The strategy focuses on these program areas:

  • Trail corridors and connections*
  • In-holdings and adjacent properties*
  • Natural areas*
  • Expanded outdoor recreational opportunities*
  • Expanded indoor recreational opportunities
  • Significant cultural resource properties
  • Maintenance and administrative facilities

    *These areas are eligible for SDC funds.

PP&R is continually identifying opportunities and gathering information for potential park acquisitions. Community nominations are one of the ways that PP&R learns about these opportunities. The Site Nomination Form provides staff with the basic information needed to evaluate a suggested site. Once the form is received, preliminary research and review is completed. Then the site information is added to the overall acquisition inventory and the nomination is acknowledged. 

PP&R staff also actively seeks owners interested in selling their property. If property owners are not interested in selling, PP&R will respect that decision and not pursue a purchase from them.

As funds for acquisition become available, properties listed in the inventory are evaluated based on the City’s acquisition priorities and, if applicable, the criteria of the funding source. This is an ongoing process.