Mapleton, Utah

Mapleton, population 7,979 (2010), lies immediately southeast of Provo Utah. The Wasatch Mountains and the Uinta National Forest form the eastern boundary of the City. Mapleton uses TDR to preserve critical environmental areas, particularly the foothill areas that lie just east of the City. The TDR code section (Chapter 18.76) was amended following the 2003 publication of Beyond Takings and Givings. This profile uses the code section in effect in August of 2011.


The Mapleton TDR program aims to promote the preservation of agricultural land, rural open space, scenic vistas, sensitive lands, natural hazard areas and places where delivery of public services would be difficult and/or expensive, such as hillsides and mountainsides.

Sending areas are designated in the Mapleton general plan or described in the TDR code section. Once a conservation easement is recorded on a sending site, the site is rezoned TDR-S unless the site has been deeded to the City as open space or parkland in which case the zoning changes to OS-P. In all sending area zones except the Critical Environment-1 (CE-1), the number of TDRs issued is equal to the site’s base zoning density. Except in the CE-1 zone, sending site owners can chose to transfer some or all of these TDRs. When owners choose to sell only some of their TDRs, the easement covers that portion of the site where the owners wish to sever their TDRs.

In the CE-1 zone, TDR generation is three times base density if the owner retains fee title or five times base density if the owner transfers title to the City or if the sending site owner is the City of Mapleton. These bonuses cannot be used if any portion of the lot as it existed as of 1998 has subsequently been subdivided or developed. On land owned CE-1, the easement must cover the entire site and all of the site’s TDRs must be severed at the same time.

Receiving areas are lots within the A-2, RA-1, PRC and SDP zones. The maximum density of the proposed development cannot exceed the maximum density of the site’s general plan designation or double the baseline density of the underlying zoning designation, whichever is lower. In deciding whether or not to approve a receiving site development, the city council must consider the compatibility of the proposed development with surrounding development as well as consistency with the general plan and compliance with the development code. The city council can also determine lot sizes and other development standards as well as density.

Program Status

In an April 2001 update, Administrator Bill Jones, reported that development rights had been transferred from six sending parcels in the hillsides, preserving more than 100 acres. In some places the City now owns the entire foothill area located between the development edge and the boundary of the Unita National Forest.