TDRs and Other Market-Based Land Mechanisms: How They Work and Their Role in Shaping Metropolitan Growth

Chris Williamson, Jan Mazurek, Rick Pruetz, and William Fulton
William Fulton Director of the Planning, Neighborhoods, and Economic Development Department for the City of San Diego

June 1, 2004

Transfers of development rights (TDRs) seem an ideal solution to the incessant conflict between land conservation and property rights. They also can serve as a useful tool to reconcile urbanization pressures and the desire to preserve rural and exurban land.

Using case studies and a national survey, this paper examines TDRs and other market-based land preservation techniques like mitigation banking and density transfer fees.