Gallatin County, Montana

The TDR Handbook contains a profile of Gallatin County’s TDR programs. However, due to page limitations, the book does not include several facts about the use of TDR in Gallatin County’s Middle Cottonwood Zoning District which are provided in the following paragraph.

The Saddle Peaks Estates subdivision was the first project to use Middle Cottonwood’s transfer provisions. The 520-acre receiving site was entitled to 26 lots at the baseline density of one unit per 20 acres. The developer, Bill Muhlenfeld, bought 15 density units for $20,000 each, permanently preserving 514 acres of off-site open space, which continues in agricultural use. Half of the receiving site, or 262 acres, were also set aside as open space and are leased to a local farmer. The PUD allowed the reduction of the average lot size from 20 acres to 6.3 acres. The development is reported to have received no opposition from its neighbors and Muhlenfeld states that Saddle Peaks Estates is very successful from a financial as well as a design perspective. It has “succeeded beyond our wildest expectations” Muhlenfeld is quoted as saying. “I think it [TDR] is a wonderful tool and wonder why there have not been more transactions of this type.”