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Atlanta TDR Margaret Mitchell House 9490 WestLampeter San-Diego-Receiving-Zone South-Street-Seaport-154 San-Francisco-Actual-Certified-Sending-Site-635-Pine jefferson West_Hempfield HistoricDowntown

Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico


The Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, population 5,000, is located five miles north of downtown Albuquerque. In early 2000, the Village adopted its 2010 Master Plan. In May 2003, the Village Board of Trustees implemented the Master Plan with a zoning code update featuring transfer of development rights. The program is designed to maintain the character of Los Ranchos by preserving farmland and promoting innovative development along the Village?s main street, which also happens to be a stretch of historic Route 66.


The TDR section of the code is designed to promote economic development, preserve agricultural character, protect scenic views and encourage commercial development on Fourth Street. It also authorizes the Village to create a TDR bank to stabilize the TDR market and control sending area development. It allows the Village to create its own TDR bank or participate in a bank established by a private entity. The section clarifies that that a private TDR bank could retire development rights at a sending site regardless of whether a market current exists for those rights.

Sending areas are lots zoned A-1 and A-3. The A-1 zone is intended to preserve residential/agricultural character while allowing residential development at a density of one unit per acre. The A-3 zone is designed to preserve rural/agricultural character, protect groundwater and save open space while allowing residential development at a maximum density of one unit per three acres. The TDR code section requires A-1 lots to be at least two acres in size and A-3 lots to be at least 6 acres in size when a house already exists on the site. The program appears to have a one-to-one transfer ratio: one TDR can be transferred from the sending site for each potential dwelling unit foregone on the sending site.

The sending site property owner may request to transfer title of the property to the Village or other entity authorized by the Village. The TDR Manager decides whether or not to accept title based on guidelines adopted by the Board of Trustees.

The TDRs created by the recordation of TDR easements can be purchased, held and sold by brokers, developers, investors or any other party before being used on a receiving site.

One receiving area is the Commercial (C-1) Zone, which includes the Fourth Street corridor with the exception of the Village Core zone described below. The C-1 zone allows commercial development as well as residential development. This code section is not explicit about the use of TDR. The most likely interpretation is that density of up to six units per acre is allowed without a TDR requirement. This 6-unit-per-acre density is referred to as the TDR threshold. Developers are allowed six units above the TDR threshold for each TDR they retire but this code section does not specify the maximum with-TDR density.

One other area is the Village Center zoning district, located within a one-quarter mile radius of the intersection of North 4th Street and Osuna Road. Here, the Village envisions a Main Street environment that mixes residential and commercial uses with a plaza and enhanced streetscape. The Village is also working with the City of Albuquerque to improve bus service and passenger amenities. In the Village Center zone, the TDR threshold is clearly stated as 12 units per acre. Above that threshold, approval of a conditional use permit allows ten additional dwelling units per TDR to a maximum of 22 units per acre. Also by CUP, an additional 15 percent extra density can be granted to projects when at least 10 percent of the units are affordable.

Developers must acquire TDRs to receive preliminary development plan approval. Prior to final development approval, the developer must submit a document identifying the sending site, receiving site, the number of TDRs extinguished and the recorded Deed of Transfer. The TDR Manager records this document and notifies the Land Use Department that the TDR requirement has been satisfied. In the Village Center Zone, use of TDR is approved via the conditional use permit process. In the C-1 zone, the approval vehicle is not specified. Most likely, a CUP is also used in the C-1 zone since the TDR code section states that receiving site projects can be denied if the proposed density would be ??incompatible with the land uses on neighboring lots or parcels?

Program Status

This TDR code section was adopted in May, 2003. No transfers have occurred as yet.