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Implementation of Lysander TDR Program Underway

Preserve the character and quality of life on the Cold Springs Peninsula.

According to Lysander officials, that is what the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) program aims to do.

"This is in large part, a farm land protection program," said Lysander Attorney David Twichell.

Adopted in October, the TDR will take several steps before being fully implemented. Lysander officials adopted the first step of the program Monday night, namely identifying sending and receiving areas within three separate areas -- the Cold Springs Peninsula region, West Phoenix region and Seneca region (along Route 370 near Emerick Road).

This designation will allow a property owner in a sending zone to sell the development rights of their property in exchange for creating an easement on the property, making it forever agricultural. The owner of a receiving property could then purchase the right to increase density on their property to a minimum of one house per 20,000 square feet.

The proposed transfers would result in a housing build out no larger than what the current AR-40 zoning would allow in the designated areas.

What is TDR?

TDR is a complicated program to grasp because it deals with the transfer of an intangible concept -- the development right. The development potential is what can increase the value of a property -- for example, a farmer sells his property for $1,500 per acre to be farmed land or for $5,000 per acre to be the site of a future subdivision. These are two drastically different prices and uses for the same property and easy to see why a farmer might want to sell property to a developer rather than another farmer, especially if the farmer is looking at retirement. However, it is imperative to preserve viable farmlands, namely the one the farmer wants to sell. Not only does the land provide food to the surrounding region, it also provides a serene vista to the residents living within its proximity. But neither government nor residents can prevent the farmer from developing the land within zoning regulations.

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