Basics of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)

Ever wondered how projects are funded and added as part of the Capital Improvement Plan, also known as the CIP? Read below to find out more.

Initiatives that Guide Project Planning Priorities

The City Council adopted the General Plan Update on December 13, 2011. The General Plan has been described as the constitution for a city's development and must include seven "elements" or subject categories: Land Use, Circulation, Housing, Conservation, Open Space, Noise, and Safety. It also may include other optional elements that address topics of interest or priority to a community. The City of Fremont General Plan includes the seven state-mandated elements as well as seven optional elements: Sustainability, Community Character, Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, Public Facilities, Community Plans, and Implementation.

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan addresses the updates to the General Plan and also provides guidelines on how to meet the demands for future planning, recreational, programming, environmental, and maintenance needs, as well as to establish priorities for facility improvements, future park development, future long-range park development and land acquisitions.

How Funds are Allocated for Parks and Recreation Projects

Projects and maintenance needs are funded on community priorities founded from the General Plan and Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

  1. Every 2 years the City adopts/updates the 5-year CIP plan: The first two years are funded through the Council action, and the third, fourth, and fifth years are considered “programmed,” but not technically funded. 
  2. The funds used for park development and parkland acquisition are collected by the City developer impact fees through the building permitting process. Park Funds are dedicated to park development and acquisition, and per State law are not eligible for other City expenditures such as maintenance and public safety. Interest that accrues in these funds remains in the fund for development or acquisition use. 
  3. The park projects funded by developer fees are unique in Fremont, because they are the only groups of projects that are considered by a City Commission (Recreation) before Council adopts the final plan. 
  4. The City continues to employ the policy of “Maintenance Neutral” in terms of park projects. This means that each park project must have an established funding source, or the maintenance of the new facility is balanced by a reduction of maintenance elsewhere or within the project itself. 
  5. Themes are used to identify and prioritize projects. For this upcoming CIP, 2019/20 to 2023/24, the Community Services Department is identifying the following overarching themes:
    • Balance between saving for the future and continuing to improve the park system. 
    • Honoring the Recreation Enterprise Cost Center, and the maintenance beneficial approach to capital projects.
    • Limited new funds coming into the next CIP Plan.
    • Develop long range planning for parks and park facilities. 
    • Address preliminary data received during the Parks and Recreation Master Plan outreach process.

  6. After projects are prioritized, City staff will discuss project scopes, create estimates and present their findings to Recreation Commission for approval by City Council. The schedule for the 2019/20 to 2023/24 Capital Improvement Plan, and for typical CIP process, is as follows: 

  • November 4, 2020: Recreation Commission Study Session #1
  • December 2, 2020: Recreation Commission Study Session #2
  • January 20, 2021: Recreation Commission Considers Recommendation to City Council
  • February 2021: First Council Review of 5-Year CIP Plan, and recommendations from Recreation Commission
  • May/June, 2021: Council Considers Final 5-Year CIP Plan
  • July 1, 2021: 5-Year CIP Plan takes effect, first year funding available.