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Alternative Uses and Benefits of TDRs

Alternative Uses and Benefits of TDRs

Transfer of Development Rights

Transferring development rights is principally a way to compensate sending site landowners for protecting their land from development and subsequently allow developers to achieve increased density in qualified receiving areas, but there are other potential benefits associated with TDRs - for both sellers at sending sites and for developers at receiving sites.

Sending TDRs from your property can reduce your property taxes

When development rights are "certified" for transfer from a sending site, a conservation easement is placed over the sending site property. Because conservation easements limit some or all of the future development and preserve "conservation values" of a property, easements are one of the ways to achieve property tax reductions through King County's Public Benefit Rating System (PBRS). There are other requirements for enrollment in the PBRS program, but generally speaking, if a property is eligible for the TDR program it will also be eligible to enroll in the PBRS program, and vice versa.  Please visit the PBRS website to learn more about reducing your property taxes with TDR.

Rural TDRs may allow you to build a larger ADU

King County Code chapter 21A.08.30 outlines the rules for building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). In the Rural Area zones, ADUs are allowed under certain conditions. In most cases, these ADUs are limited to 1,000 square feet. However, in certain cases a Rural TDR can be used to increase the allowed size of ADUs to 1,500 square feet. It is important to note that each parcel and development proposal will have a unique set of conditions and circumstances; final authority rests with King County Permits to permit residential ADU's. Contact King County Permits or a TDR program staff member if you have questions about using TDRs to permit a larger ADU.

For questions about the TDR Program, please contact Nicholas Bratton, TDR Program Manager, or Anne-Gigi Chan, Land Conservation Project Manager, King County WLRD Rural and Regional Services Section.