Bill adding flexibility to local TDR programs passes

February 21, 2019

Under existing law any locality may adopt a transfer of development rights (TDRs) ordinance. The employment of TDRs is a zoning technique used to protect farmland and other natural and cultural resources by redirecting development that would otherwise occur on these resource lands to areas planned to accommodate growth and development.

HB 2139 (Thomas) incorporates two changes that will allow greater flexibility to localities in crafting a TDR program.

First, the legislation expands the definition of “receiving areas” where development rights can be transferred to. Currently only urban development areas (UDAs), as established by a locality per § 15.2-2223.1, may accommodate growth from identified “sending areas.” The proposal allows a locality to include “similarly defined areas” to accommodate growth.

HB 2139 also adds a provision for fine tuning the designation of sending and receiving areas by allowing a locality to “… designate receiving areas or receiving properties that shall receive development rights only from certain sending areas or sending properties specified by the locality.

The measure has passed both chambers unanimously and awaits signature by the Governor before coming law.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

Topic Tags: Capitol Contact, Joe Lerch

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