The Town of Ridgeland, population 4,036 (2010), county seat of Jasper County, is located in the southern corner of South Carolina, 30 miles north of Savannah, Georgia. In 2010, the City adopted a Smartcode that retains the TDR mechanism incorporated within the standard SmartCode template.
The Ridgeland Smartcode establishes TDR as a means of gradually transferring development rights from the S2 (Reserved Open Sector) to the Growth Sectors allowing development to exceed baseline densities set forth in Table 14. Once land in the S2 sector is preserved it becomes part of the S1 Preserve Open Sector, consisting of open space protected from development in perpetuity by law, regulation, acquisition and easements as well as TDR, including surface water, wetlands, protected habitat, riparian corridors, purchased open space, transportation corridors and land preserved by cluster developments.
The sending area in this program consists of lands in the S2 Reserved Open Sector which forms of a proposed greenbelt practically surrounding the urban core. The S2 contains land that should be but is not yet preserved including flood plains, steep slopes, legacy woodland, legacy farmland, legacy view sheds and areas to be acquired as open space, corridors and buffers. As established by Table 14, on-site development in the sending area is limited to one unit per 25 acres. Presumably, the preservation of each 25 gross acres of sending area land generates one TDR although the Smartcode does not appear to specify this allocation ratio.
Development rights are expressed as housing units which can either be used to exceed baseline residential density in receiving zones or converted to lodging (up to two bedrooms per dwelling unit) or 1,000 square feet of retail or office floor area. At least 15 percent of bonus development achieved through TDR must be affordable housing.
Receiving areas consist of four growth zones. In the Rural Crossroads Zone, bonus density from TDR can increase development potential from a baseline of 3 units per acre to a maximum of 6 units per acre. In the Neighborhood General Zone, bonus density from TDR can increase development potential from a baseline of 6 units per acre to a maximum of 8 units per acre. In the Neighborhood Core Zone, bonus density from TDR can increase development potential from a baseline of 8 units per acre to a maximum of 9 units per acre. In the Town Center/Main Street Zone, bonus density from TDR can increase development potential from a baseline of 10 units per acre to a maximum of 15 units per acre.