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Normandy Park, Washington

The City of Normandy Park, population 6,335, is a seven square mile city in King County located between Seattle and Tacoma on the shores of Puget Sound. In 2012, the city adopted a subarea plan for the Manhattan Village neighborhood on the city’s east side. That Plan describes the fiscal problems caused by limitations on property tax and inability to generate meaningful sales tax revenues due to shopping destinations outside the city limits. Consequently, in addition to addressing connectivity and design issues, the plan aims to motivate mixed use in Manhattan Village as a smart-growth strategy as well as a means of generating neighborhood-retail sales for the City. During the preparation of this plan, the City received a $49,000 grant from King County (using USEPA funds) to study the feasibility of inter-jurisdictional TDR transfers from sending sites under King County jurisdiction. The subarea plan anticipated implementation via TDR and in 2014, the City amended its zoning code, adding a TDR mechanism described below.

The purpose of this ordinance is to preserve farms, forests, open space, wildlife habitat and other land with important public benefits by transferring development rights to the Manhattan Village revitalization area using an administrative approval process. TDRs are transferred inter-jurisdictionally from sending sites under King County jurisdiction to Normandy Park pursuant to an interlocal agreement.

The ordinance specifies sending sites under King County jurisdiction on shoreline and near-shore properties on Vashon Island. King County is responsible for qualifying and certifying the TDRs under the King County TDR ordinance.

Eligible receiving areas are properties zoned neighborhood commercial (NC), mixed use (MU) and high density (RM-1800) multifamily, which lie in a 20-acre area roughly bounded by 2nd Ave SW, SW 178th Street, SR 509 and SW 186th Street.

  • In the NC zone, baseline is 0.5 FAR for Non-residential, 1.0 FAR for residential and 1.5 FAR for combined residential and non-residential uses. One TDC allows 4,300 sq. ft. of bonus floor area in the NC.
  • In the MU zone, baseline is 0.5 FAR for Non-Residential, 0.75 for Residential and 1.25 FAR for residential and non-residential combines. One TDR allows 2,500 sq. ft. of bonus floor area in the MU.
  • In the RM-1800, baseline is 24 units per acre. One TDR allows 2,500 sq. ft of bonus floor area in the RM-1800 zones.

Certain restrictions are placed on these bonuses. For example, bonus density must be used for cottage housing developments in the MU zone. And the amount of bonus in the RM-1500 zone is limited to 0.25 GFAR not to exceed a maximum density of 0.75 GFAR. The ordinance specifically authorizes the City Manager to recommend to the City Council and King County changes to the TDR incentives based on further information about the economics of TDR on receiving site project economics as well as other factors.