The sidewalk fee in lieu allows for developers to pay a fee in lieu of building sidewalks if the project meets a certain criteria within the Land Development Code, Chapter 25-6-354. Should the criteria be met, the developer pays the fee. The money collected, is then set-aside in a fund for future sidewalk construction in the area. The City of Austin will then notify the Neighborhood Contact Team in the area if an application for fee-in-lieu is approved as part of a new subdivision, site plan, or building permit.
When will we be notified of a Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu payment?
Staff from the Development Assistance Center sends quarterly announcements to Neighborhood Plan Contact Teams. A notice is only sent if a fee in lieu of payment has been made in the planning area.
Is there a time frame for when the Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu money must be spent?
Yes, funds must be spent within ten years.
What happens to unspent Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu money?
Money not spent within ten years may be returned to the developer upon request.
What types of projects are eligible to use Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu money?
Eligible project types include: sidewalk and curb ramp installation. The funding must be spent within the neighborhood planning area from which the funding was collected.
How is Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu funding allocated to eligible projects?
The Public Works Department Sidewalk Program staff takes into consideration the recommendations of the adopted Neighborhood Plan for the area when allocating funding. In order to be considered for funding, projects typically must have been identified as a “very high” or “high” priority within the City of Austin Sidewalk Master Plan. Sidewalk fee-in-lieu funding will be used to supplement other funding sources, including voter-approved bonds and state and federal grants.
How is the construction of new sidewalks prioritized by the Sidewalk Master Plan?
The City of Austin Sidewalk Master Plan has a prioritization matrix for new sidewalk projects that includes the following factors:
How far are the nearby schools, major employers, transit stops, government offices, public accommodations and public housing?
How many people live in the area?
Are there already existing sidewalks in the area?
How busy is the street?
Has a request been made? (Has the request been made by the ADA task force, as part of an Adopted Neighborhood Plan, or by a neighborhood resident?)
Have there been reported pedestrian safety concerns?
Sidewalk Program staff use this decision matrix to prioritize eligible sidewalk projects for funding.
Is there a list of upcoming sidewalk projects available online?
A list is not currently available online, but the City is working to include sidewalk projects as part of the new CIVIC website (www.austintexas.gov/civic) which provides a map-based display of City of Austin Capital Improvement Projects.
Where can I find a copy of the approved Sidewalk Master Plan?
How can Neighborhood Plan Contact Teams be involved in the decision making process?
Contact teams should continue to work with PDRD implementation planners to prioritize their neighborhood plan recommendations on a regular basis. Pedestrian Program staff relies on the Sidewalk Master Plan, as well as the priorities identified in the Neighborhood Plans, to guide decision-making regarding construction of new sidewalks using fee-in-lieu and other funding. In some cases contact teams may also be able to secure additional resources that can leverage fee-in-lieu funding in a particular location, including Neighborhood Partnering Program grant funding.
How do I find out the amount of Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu that has been collected for my neighborhood?
Funds are tracked through a Capital Reporting system. If you have questions regarding the amount of funding available in your neighborhood plan area, please contact Eric Dusza, Public Works Department at (512) 974-6504.
Can Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu money be used as a match for the Neighborhood Partnering Program?
Yes. The monies must be requested and approved by the Public Works Department on a case-by-case basis.
Who do I call if I have questions about the Sidewalk Fee-in-Lieu Process?
If you have questions regarding how sidewalk fee-in-lieu is collected during the development process, please contact Amber Mitchell, Planning and Development Review Department, Land Use Review Division at (512) 974-3428.
If you have questions regarding how the sidewalk fee-in-lieu funding will be applied in your area, please contact Eric Dusza, Public Works Department at (512) 974-6504.