Costa Mesa may start acquiring more money to put toward parks under a proposal making its way through City Hall.

The idea is to charge developers of new nonsubdivided properties — apartments, namely — a one-time park fee similar to what's already being paid by developers of subdivided properties such as single-family homes and condominiums, said Gary Armstrong, the city's economic and development services director.

"Land is scarce, so we do need to take a look at this fee and see if it's appropriate to us," he said.

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For decades, the state Quimby Act has required that developers pay the fee, which is used to help acquire new parks or improve existing ones.

Since 2007, Costa Mesa has charged $13,572 for each new single-family unit and $13,829 for each new multifamily unit.

In April, city officials opened the bidding process as it sought a study to examine whether the fees could be applied to new, nonsubdivided properties. Three of the top firms that applied to carry out the study were then interviewed and one was chosen, Armstrong said.

In the coming weeks, the council will consider approving the study, estimated to cost $30,000 to $40,000 and take two or three months, Armstrong said.

He noted that one recently approved rental property is paying a fee even though it doesn't have to under the Quimby Act.

Red Oak Investments, the developer of a $75-million, 240-unit apartment complex planned for 125 E. Baker St., near John Wayne Airport, is paying an extra $250,000 to the city toward a future public infrastructure project. Mayor Jim Righeimer negotiated the amount.

Red Oak is also paying for a new traffic light at Pullman and Baker streets.