Redmond, Washington

(Profiled 2-26-21)

Redmond, Washington, population 71,929 (2019), lies 20 miles east of downtown Seattle. In 1995, the City adopted a TDR program designed to preserve agriculture and recreational land in the Sammamish River Valley. In the next 12 years, the TDR program was expanded to accomplish additional goals including the protection of environmentally sensitive areas including streams, and wetlands, as well as historic sites. In addition to having a variety of sending areas, the Redmond TDR program by 2007 offered developers a variety of urban receiving areas plus a wide range of incentives to use TDR including increased floor area and building height as well as modifications of standards for open space, parking, and impervious surface coverage. 

As of January 2021, the Redmond zoning code (20D.200.10) contained four TDR sending area categories: 1) Property zoned Urban Recreation; 2) Historic sites; 3) Environmentally critical areas (specifically Species Protection Areas, selected wetlands, stream, and stream buffers, and landslide hazard areas plus buffers); and 4) Forested land meeting criteria for area, native species, and tree age.

The allocation of TDRs varies depending on the zoning designation of the sending sites. At the low end, 1.1 TDRs can be generated per acre of sending area land zoned Urban Recreation. At the high end, 13.8 TDRs per acre can be produced on sending sites in any Downtown district or 14 TDRs per acre of land zoned Overlake Village or Overlake Business and Advanced Technology.

Receiving areas are properties in the following zones: all Downtown districts, Overlake Village, General Commercial, Overlake Business, and Advanced Technology, Gateway Design, Business Park, Manufacturing Park, and Industry.

In receiving site projects, one TDR can accomplish any of the following: 8,712 square feet of additional floor area; substitution for a requirement to provide 8,712 square feet of parkland; 8,712 square feet of additional lot coverage or impervious surface coverage (with the increase not greater than ten percent of the site); 8,712 square feet of additional floor area in a story exceeding baseline building height (with restrictions in some zones). In addition, one TDR can allow receiving site developers to add up to five stalls above Redmond’s maximum parking standards not to exceed a total of five stalls per 1,000 square feet of floor area.

As of 2008, the Redmond TDR program had transferred 573 TDRs worth over $16.8 million, protecting more than 420 acres of farmland, urban open space, and environmentally sensitive sites (Churchill 2008). As of April 30, 2018, 961 TDRs had been transacted with a sale total of over $24 million, yielding an average mean of $26,396 per TDR. Microsoft Corporation was the largest customer, accounting for over 805 TDRs purchased. Sales prices have varied, ranging from a low of $9,246 per TDR in a 2010 transaction to a high of $70,000 per TDR for a fractional TDR transaction in 1997.


Churchill, Jeff. 2008. Redmond’s TDR Program Aims to Preserve Rural Sammamish Valley. Accessed 2-26-21 at About-Growth—Fall-2008-PDF (