Planning and Development Services

Transfer of Development Rights Project
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

Historical

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.