Transfer of Development Rights: An Effective Policy Mechanism for Historic Preservation
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Type of Work114 p.
ProgramMA in Historic Preservation
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Transfer of Development Rights
Historic preservation -- Theses
A transfer of development rights (TDR) program is a type of incentive zoning mechanism for land management. In its most basic form, a TDR program designates "sending areas," zones in which low-density development is encouraged, and "receiving areas," zones designated for denser development. This thesis research seeks to answer whether transfer of development rights programs effective tools for protecting historic resources in an urban context. The research is based on an extensive literature and the examination of five urban TDR programs located in: Washington, DC; San Francisco, CA; Atlanta, GA; New Orleans, LA; and New York, NY. This thesis research finds that a TDR program can be an effective tool for protecting historic resources in an urban context provided certain locational conditions and program features are present. Factors concerning how a particular TDR program is run, such as appropriate market incentives, the existence of a TDR bank, a consistent administration process, clear zoning regulations with little to no alternatives to TDR for bonus development, are key factors found in successful TDR programs. The foremost factor in a program’s success is whether the targeted urban area has a competitive real estate market with a high demand for additional development. If this condition is not present, a TDR program is sure to fail regardless whether the program is focused on preserving historic properties, providing low-income housing, targeting specific areas for growth, or any other such intention.
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