Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) Program

The 2002 version of the Town Comprehensive Plan first introduced the idea of TDR.  After years of deliberation and analysis, the Town first implemented its TDR program in 2018 and had its first residential development rights transfer a year later.  The TDR program is authorized by the Town Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Ordinance

TDR program goals are to preserve farmland and farming; redirect housing to areas of existing residential development, parcels too small for most farming, and poorer soils; and provide voluntary, market-driven, criteria-based alternative to the Town’s 1-per-35 splits policy.  That policy assigns residential development rights to farms based on their size as of 1979 (when the Town first adopted exclusive agricultural zoning).  The Town has developed a series of maps that help determine how many residential development rights remain on each farm per Plan policies.

Those interested in developing more residential lots on their property than those maps suggest are possible may be able to acquire development rights from another parcel to transfer to their land to yield more lots.  Those interested in preserving their land can transfer their rights to one of those individuals interested in developing more lots.  The cost of the development rights is negotiated between the two parties.

The Town has a TDR Administrator and the following resources to help interested parties understand and use the TDR program:

RULES & PROCEDURES (detailed program guidance)
SENDING & RECEIVING AREA WORKSHEETS (can be completed by individuals or TDR Administrator)
TDR SENDERS’ LIST (you are welcome to find other interested parties)




(1) Developer and development rights’ seller work with Town to determine splits on sending area and complete criteria worksheets;
(2) Concept Plan review from Town Plan Commission;
(3) Developer secures option to purchase development rights;
(4) Rezoning and land division approval process; and
(5) Complete development rights transaction and record conservation restrictions against sending area property.