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Planning and Development Services

Transfer of Development Rights Project
Skagit County Transfer of Development Rights and Density Credit Project

Skagit County is evaluating the creation of aconservation and development incentives program. The program would facilitate the voluntary conservation of farm, forest and open space lands, while encouraging development in urban areas and in a limited number of rural areas best suited for additional growth. The program would offer two ways for buyers and sellers to participate:

  • A transfer of development rights (TDR) option would enable private-market transactions between receiving-area developers and sending-area landowners who negotiate a mutually agreeable price for the sale and transfer of development rights.
  • A density credit option would allow developers to obtain additional development potential in receiving areas by purchasing density credits from the County or from a participating city or town based on an established fee schedule. The County would use density credit revenues to purchase development rights from willing landowners in sending areas.

Receiving areas are areas eligible for additional development potential through the purchase of density credits or the transfer of TDR credits. Sending areas are areas prioritized for conservation where landowners are eligible, on a voluntary basis, to sell development rights and place their land in a conservation easement.

Conservation and Development Incentives Program 


County Commissioners Direct Department to Draft TDR Policies and Code
On September 16, 2014, the Board of County Commissioners directed Planning & Developer Services to begin drafting TDR program policies and code, for consideration through the formal planning process.
• Resolution R20140298

Report Presentation
On August 6, 2014, project staff and TDR Advisory Committee members presented TDR report recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners:

  • TDR presentation slides
  • TV21 Video
  • Written comments
  • Response to Comments
  • Skagit Valley Herald article
  • Planning Department Releases TDR Recommendations Report (July 2014)

    In July of 2014, Skagit County Planning & Development Services released a report, Skagit County Transfer of Development Rights: Project Findings and Program Recommendations, which reflects nearly two years of work with a Board-appointed TDR Advisory Committee.

    The report provides a comprehensive overview of TDR programs and methods and their potential use in Skagit County. It reflects the diverse views and opinions of TDR Advisory Committee members and others who have participated in discussions during the course of the project. It also draws on research and analysis conducted by Planning & Development Services staff with the help of two project consultants, Forterra and Heartland.

    Additional information about TDR programs and related issues:

    Additional information about TDR programs and related issues:

    TDR Project Update with Board of County Commissioners, 11-26-13 [Skagit TV21 video]
    Powerpoint slides for 11-26-13 TDR Project Update
    Heartland Presentation Slides for TDR Advisory Committee, 11-14-13
    Presentation to Skagit County Planning Commission 9-10-13