Transfer of Development Rights and Development Transfer Fee

Description: In theory, if carefully developed, TDR can be an attractive growth management tool and an attractive way to protect land in strategically identified areas with high conservation values. Unfortunately, what works well in theory may not be as effective (yet) in practice. While Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) programs have largely not been successfully implemented in Maine at this time, a slight revision to the traditional TDR approach is showing promise. A Development Transfer Fee program is based of the same basic concept as TDR. The difference is that a Development Transfer Fee program is fee-based using a third party as the broker. A developer pays a transfer fee to the town. This payment enables them to buy and build an additional number of units in the designated growth area than would be allowed under current density limits. In turn, the payment is deposited into a town fund for land acquisition. Accumulated funds are then used to conserve lands in the designated rural sending areas once an opportunity becomes available.

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