Conservation and Development Incentives (CDI) Program
Over 2013-2015, Skagit County considered a new program to enable the voluntary and permanent conservation of farm, forest, and open space lands while encouraging development in urban areas and certain rural areas best suited for additional growth. While the Board ultimately decided against adopting it (Ordinance O20150009), the program would have:
- allow owners of lands in designated conservation priority areas to sell their residential development rights to the County or to private purchasers in exchange for placing their land in a permanent conservation easement;
- allow developers to purchase development credits either from the County or from private landowners, to access additional development potential in designated development priority areas;
- generate a new source of private-market support for land conservation, thereby complementing existing publicly funded programs such as Farmland Legacy.
Proposed Code and Policy Amendments
- Memo to Board of County Commissioners on Planning Commission Recorded Motions on 2014 Docket (December 9, 2015)
- Planning Commission Recorded Motion (December 8, 2015)
- Supplemental Staff Report, Conservation and Development Incentives Program Proposal (November 17, 2015)
- Memo to Planning Commission on CDI Deliberations (November 10, 2015)
- Letter on CDI proposal from Don Measamer, City of Anacortes (November 10, 2015)
- Letter on CDI proposal from Bob Hyde, City of Mount Vernon (November 10, 2015)
- Map showing Rural Reserve parcels potentially eligible for the CDI “Small Lot CaRD” provision if the threshold is 3.5 or 7 acres (November 9, 2015)
- Map showing Rural Reserve parcels potentially eligible for the CDI “Small Lot CaRD” provision if the threshold is 4.5 or 9 acres (November 9, 2015)
- Comprehensive Plan Map showing parcels enrolled in Current Use Tax Program (June 2015)
- Public comments (November 5, 2015)
- Notice of Availability, Public Hearing, and How to Comment (September 24, 2015)
- Staff Report (September 24, 2015)
- Proposed Comprehensive Plan policies (September 24, 2015)
- Proposed Code Amendments (September 24, 2015)
- Example Exchange Rate Schedule (September 24, 2015)
- Presentation to Planning Commission (October 6, 2015)
- Responses to Planning Commissioner Questions (October 22, 2015)
On September 15, 2015, the Planning and Development Services Department held a work session with the Planning Commission on the CDI program proposal,
prior to completion of drafting and release for public review and comment.
On June 2, 2015, the Planning and Development Services Department held a work session with the Planning Commission on the proposed policy framework for the CDI program.
Prior to the formal process to develop the CDI proposal, Skagit County worked for two years with an advisory committee, appointed by the Board of County
Commissioners, to study the possibility of a program to transfer or purchase development rights. The result of that process was a 130-page report: Skagit County Transfer of Development Rights: Project Findings and Program Recommendations (July 11, 2014)
For more information, see the Transfer of Development Rights and Density Credit project webpage.