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Home » Glossary » Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)

Transfer of Development Rights (TDR)

  1. TDR programs allow landowners to sever the building (aka development) rights from a particular piece of property and sell them. Purchasers are usually other landowners who want to increase the density of their developments. Local governments may also buy development rights in order to control price, design details or restrict growth. TDR programs strive for two main goals. First, communities can use TDR programs to preserve open space, agriculture, historic buildings or housing. And TDR programs make such preservation more equitable and politically palatable by compensating landowners who lose the right to develop their property. [Source: Jason Hanly-Forde, George Homsy, Katherine Lieberknecht & Remington Stone, Transfer of Development Rights Programs Using the Market for Compensation and Preservation: http://government.cce.cornell.edu/doc/html/Transfer%20of%20Development%20Rights%20Programs.htm#Definition]