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American Fork, Utah

The City of American Fork, population 21,941 (2000), surrounds the mouth of the American Fork River where it flows into the northeastern corner of Utah Lake. It is 10 miles north of Provo and 20 miles south of Salt lake City, Utah. Within the I-15 corridor on the thriving Wasatch Front, the City has attracted significant employers and expects continued demand for strong population growth.

In 2005, American Fork adopted a TDR overlay zone designed to preserve farmland, open space, scenic views and other natural features as well as discourage development in hazardous areas. In addition to text, the City adopted a Transfer of Development Rights Eligibility Map depicting sending and receiving sub-zones.

The number of TDRs available to a site in the TDR Sending Area Sub-Zone varies depending on whether the underlying zoning is the SP, Shoreline Preservation Zone, or some other zoning district. The SP Zone includes areas near Utah Lake that are inundated and/or subject to periodic flooding. This zone allows farming and golf courses but no residential development. For the purpose of TDR, the development rights can be created at the rate of one transferable unit per five acres in the SP zone. In all other zones, the number of development rights available for transfer is one-half of the base density, meaning the maximum number of dwelling units permitted by the underlying zoning. A sending site owner may choose to transfer some or all development rights created by the recordation of a conservation easement. (If the owner chooses to transfer only some development rights, a conservation easement covers just the portion of the site equal to the number of development rights transferred.) When these rights are transferred, a notice to future owners of the sending site must be recorded indicating that development rights have been transferred and the number of development rights remaining, if any.

As in sending sub-zones, the designation of receiving sub-zones can be initiated by the City or at the request of the property owner.  Receiving site density can exceed the base density of the underlying zone at the rate of one bonus unit for each unit transferred from a sending site. When TDR is used, maximum density may be 30 percent higher than base density or the development density recommended in the general plan, whichever is less. The approval of density bonus occurs through the PUD process, allowing the City to grant alternative design standards needed to achieve the bonus density as long as findings can be made that the project is compatible with surrounding development and promotes general plan policies.