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More on Transfer of Development Rights - "Bonus" Receiving Density or Market Regulation?

In what appears to be an effort to allow localities to provide additional incentives to redevelop certain areas or sites, both houses of the General Assembly have voted to modify Section 15.2-2316.2 of the Code of Virginia, better known as the "TDR Statute" (inclusive of Section 15.2-2316.1 as well).  Previously, transferable development rights ("TDRs") severed from a "sending" site or area could only be equal to the TDRs permitted to be attached to the "receiving" site.  The modification now allows TDRs transferred to receiving sites to be greater than those severed from the sending sites. 

I have to admit, you can read this modification to mean a number of things.  If localities are smart, they could really use this modification to their advantage.  Read one way, this could allow localities an additional method to encourage owners of transferable development rights to transfer their density to sites that are less favorable from a business standpoint but more favorable from a planning standpoint.  It arguably provides localities with the ability to prioritize which sites should receive density through what amounts to a receiving site bonus density program.   It also could potentially allow the regulation and/or balancing of the TDR market because the locality now has what appears to be the additional ability to control market demand of TDRs (i.e. if the market has 15,000 SF of density available for sale, and only 8,000 SF worth of receiving site density permitted, market price for TDRs will be lower than if the ratio is reversed). Localities arguably now have more ability to control the supply and demand for TDRs.

As anyone in the land use racket can see, this is a significant amendment to the TDR Statute, and, as always, the political nuances of who will eventually benefit in any given locality will be interesting to follow.  It is certainly another tool in the planning toolbox localities should not ignore, and of which owners and developers should be aware.   If you want to read more about TDRs, click here.