HJR 195: Joint Subcommittee Studying Transfer
of Development Rights
July 14, 2008
The Joint Subcommittee
Studying Transfer of Development Rights held its initial meeting in Richmond
on July 14, 2008. Delegate Matthew J. Lohr was elected chair and Senator
Mark D. Obenshain was elected vice-chair.
of the Code of Virginia defines transfer of development rights (TDR) as
the process by which development rights from a sending property are affixed
to one or more receiving properties. Virginia's TDR statutes were enacted
in 2006 but have not yet been utilized by any Virginia locality. HJR 195
instructs the joint subcommittee to "examine ways in which the existing
TDR legislation may be modified to make it more appealing to localities."
The members of the
joint subcommittee will examine the following issues:
of a bank of credits that can be sold in advance of a developer needing
to purchase them for a rezoning.
- Incentives for
farmers to purchase additional farmland with the money they receive
from selling development credits.
- Specific benefits
developers would gain by participating in the TDR program.
- Use of a statewide
system of development credits.
Potts, Virginia Farm Bureau
Potts noted that Virginia has seen significant farmland acreage lost to
development in recent years and that large additional amounts of farmland
are currently at risk due to the amount of land expected to transfer ownership
in the next 10 years. Ms. Potts stated that the Farm Bureau would like
to see the TDR statutes improved to provide a more consistent process
for the transfer of development rights, including the creation of a development
rights "bank" and the ability of a property owner to work through
localities rather than a developer in transferring the rights.
Virginia Association of Counties
stated that there is much interest in the TDR program among localities.
Mr. McCormack also agreed that authorization of a TDR bank would be one
of the most important issues in determining whether the TDR program would
be successfully utilized. He also noted that TDRs are just one of several
tools that can be used to preserve farmland.
Hardiman, Home Builders Association of Virginia (HBAV)
informed the members that although his association was historically opposed
to TDRs, it did not object to the current TDR law because of certain protections
built into the law. Specifically, the HBAV wants to assure that the TDR
program continues to be optional for developers, that the transfer process
is a simplified, nonpolitical administrative process, and that the transferred
rights retain perpetual protection.
The next meeting
of the joint subcommittee will be Friday, September 5, 2008, at 10:00
a.m. in House Room C of the General Assembly Building.
The Hon. Matthew
Jeff Sharp, DLS
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