One of the key sources of funding for parks comes from the fees that developers pay to offset increased population density as they build new residential complexes.
Those fees have been collected since the State Quimby Act was passed in 1965 to prevent valuable green space from disappearing altogether from our most heavily urbanized cities. Yet how the Quimby Act is administered is left up to local governments.
As we reported in our months-long investigation into the Quimby Program in Los Angeles, city officials have known for years that the current rules are inadequate. In 2008, then-city controller Laura Chick produced a scathing audit of the city's handling of Quimby funds, pointing out that $129 million was available but not being spent on parks that desperately needed it and that the way the rules were interpreted in Los Angeles was contributing to the mismanagement. That document is below, followed by another, produced several months later, in which the city planning department acknowledged many of the same shortcomings laid out in the audit.
Five years later, the Quimby Program remains essentially unchanged.