The Market Factors That Make Transferable Development Rights Work

Zoning Practice — January 2021

By Lane Kendig


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The concept of transferable development rights (TDR) sounds simple. Owners in designated sending areas can sell unused development rights to developers in designated receiving areas. But without careful program design, market conditions can doom even the best-intentioned systems. For the market to work, the price buyers can pay must match the expectations of the sellers.

This edition of Zoning Practice highlights the distinct market challenges of targeted and rural TDR programs. It explores the key determinants of targeted TDR success and presents six potential alternatives to conventional rural TDR systems.


Page Count
Date Published
Jan. 1, 2021
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Author

Lane Kendig
Lane Kendig is the founder of Kendig Keast Collaborative a national planning firm. Prior to that he worked in Bucks County, PA and was county planning director in Lake County, IL. He has practiced planning for over 45 years across the United States working for large and small cities, counties, and developers. He is the author of “Performance Zoning” (APA 1980) and the Island Press books “Community Character” and “Planning with Community Character” 2010. He has authored three PAS reports for APA, as well as writing numerous articles. He is an expert in comprehensive planning, land use regulations, and environmental protection. Mr. Kendig has not only written plans and codes, but reviewed thousands of site plans and designed developments ranging from small residential to super regional shopping centers.