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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

Plymouth, Massachusetts

The town of Plymouth, population 51,701 (2000), lies 40 miles southeast of Boston on the western shore of Cape Cod Bay. Plymouth has a TDR program designed to protect sensitive resources by transferring development rights between sending and receiving sites within its Rural Residential zoning district.

Plymouth uses TDR to preserve a wide variety of resources including public access to ponds and forests.

All sending sites must be located in the Rural Residential (RR) District. The Planning Board determines whether the proposed sending sites meet the following criteria for land of significant economic or environmental character:

  1. wellhead protection areas;
  2. aquifer recharge areas;
  3. potential public water supply areas;
  4. land designated under G.L. Chapter 61, 61A and/or 61B;
  5. locations of historic and/or cultural significance;
  6. land areas adjacent to permanently protected open space;
  7. land areas providing access to an ocean, pond, forest or other natural resource;
  8. land containing significant natural resources such as rare species habitat, unfragmented forest areas, and similar natural area determined by the Planning Board to be significant;
  9. land appropriate to a specified potential municipal use(s); and/or
  10. land so situated that, if developed, would result in the need for significant capital improvements for roads, water distribution, wastewater treatment, and other needed capital facilities and services.

To determine the number of TDRs available for transfer from a sending parcel, the owner submits a preliminary subdivision plan showing the number of lots that could be created on the sending site under applicable zoning and subdivision regulations. The owner also submits an appraisal of “FMV” (the difference between the total projected lot sales and the total projected infrastructure cost.) The number of development rights available for transfer is the FMV divided by “AVG” (the average assessed value of an RR lot for the year the application was filed.)

Prior to TDR use, the property owner must record a conservation easement on the sending site permanently requiring the parcel to be left in its natural state and prohibiting or limiting the construction of any structure.

Receiving sites must be located in the Rural Residential (RR) zone or Rural Residential Receiving Area (RRRA) zone. In the RR zone, the Planning Board must determine by special permit that the proposed development will contain adequate on- and off-site improvements including recreational areas, roads, sidewalks and amenities. In the RR zone, developments using TDR cannot exceed 150 percent of the residential density otherwise permitted.