MapLink™ | Procedures | Open space

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Open space
All plans shall designate the use of open space, the type of maintenance to be provided, and a planting plan.
A. The developer may offer for dedication the land to be retained as open space to Lower Southampton Township upon the completion of the necessary and agreed upon changes, modifications or improvements to the land needed to make it usable for park and recreation purposes. When the Board of Supervisors deems it to be in the public interest to accept dedicated land, such acceptance shall be by means of a signed resolution to which a property description of the dedicated recreation area shall be attached. All changes and agreements should eventually be listed directly on the signed drawing linens.
B. In the event that the land is not dedicated to the Township, a plan for the administration and maintenance of all such open space shall be presented to the Township Supervisors as part of the overall development plan. Such plan shall take one or more of the following forms:
(1) The owner or developer of the development containing the open space shall post an escrow bond or cash escrow with the Township to insure the administration and maintenance of the open space. The interest which accrues to the bond shall be used by the Township for the maintenance of the open space.
(2) The owner or developer of the development containing the open space shall provide the Township with a conservation easement in a form deemed satisfactory to the Township Solicitor.
(3) A homeowners' association may maintain and administer common open space but is required to post an escrow bond or cash escrow with the Township to insure such maintenance. The association may not dissolve itself or dispose of the common open space without first offering to dedicate the same to the Township or to an organization specifically conceived and established to own and maintain the open space per the original organization's commitment.
C. If the homeowners' association desires to dissolve and offers the land and equipment to Lower Southampton Township, the Parks and Recreation Board shall review the land condition and maintenance costs and provide budgetary inputs to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors shall then determine whether it wishes the land to be dedicated to the Township or whether the homeowners' association is free to dispose of the land. The Board of Supervisors shall require that the land be used for open space or recreational purposes, and such land shall not become a further extension of the original building development or any subsequent development.
Fee in lieu of open space.
1. Where the Board of Supervisors agrees with the developer that because of the size, shape, location, access, topography or other physical features of the land it is impractical to set aside land for recreational and/or open space area as required by this chapter, the Supervisors shall require a payment of a fee in lieu of the provision of such land, which shall be payable to the Township prior to approval of each final section of the overall plan by the Board of Supervisors.
2. The amount of the fee shall be substantially equal to the value of the land that would have been set aside and shall be paid to the Township prior to the approval of the final plot. The land shall be valued in its unimproved state. In the event that Township and the developer are unable to agree on the value, the value will be determined by arbitration before three disinterested persons, one thereof to be appointed by the Township, one by the developer, and the third by the two appointed as aforesaid, and the award of such three persons, or any two of them, shall be final and conclusive.
3. All monies paid to the Township pursuant to this chapter shall be kept in a capital reserve fund. Monies in such fund shall be used only for the acquisition of recreation and open space land or capital improvements for open space and park and recreation purposes within the Township.